[g-a-devel] GNOME3

Needing to vent, and possible open some minds to the problems suffered by some.

I am disabled. I have days when I cannot control my body. Still, I'm very fortunate. I do have good days. When I am able I build, from donated computers, boxes which I donate to local nursing homes. I also maintain those boxes and teach residents how to use them.

One such resident had an accident in her teens. She's now in her late 30's early 40's. She has almost no control over her body. She does have limited control over two fingers. She controls her wheelchair this way. She cannot speak clearly or write. For most of her life she has been unable to communicate well. She had a cardboard keyboard with letters, numbers and symbols which she carries with her to "talk" to people. It gave me the idea of downloading and installing a keyboard for the screen. Someone donated a rollerball mouse. The staff mounted it to the desk and also mounted a strap to keep her hand on the mouse.

For the first time since her accident, she can talk freely with her sister. It may take an hour for a simple eMail, but it has revitalized her world. The staff are wonderful. They take the time to wait with her and help her over some of the rough spots.

The old way was a simple panel icon she could click on to bring up GMail, and another to bring up the keyboard. I just upgraded my system to Fedora 15. I know that puts me behind, but as I always encounter problems with each new version, I tend to procrastinate. As I said, I am disabled as well.

Setting up GNOME3 to allow me to use desktop icons was a difficult process. I  have learned many new things, which I admit I enjoy, but it has instilled a fear in me that GNOME will disable the tools I used and lock out changes to what they consider "pretty."  I have learned about dconf-editor and used it to bring back the desktop and icons. I tried the Tweak tool, but it was very limited. I think she can use the system, so I'm going to upgrade the computer at the nursing home to 15.

Despite the fixes I made, there are still problems. GNOME3 forces her to click on "Activities" to bring up a menu, to which she has to navigate, only to click on another menu, to which, after positioning her mouse to click again, she has to navigate through a bunch of icons, to click on the program she wishes to access.  Gods. That's just bordering on cruelty. She's limited to the icons I can save to the desktop.

I am not nearly as disabled as she, but I still have my problems. I often position my mouse, only to have my hand twitch as I try to click and end up opening an entirely unintended program. It's frustrating. I liked the old way better where everything was grouped together. I would still make mistakes, but it didn't take so long to go through the process again.

Thanks for listening.

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