[Fwd: Re: GOK symbols above number keys?]

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Hi Ed:

The list archives are available at http://mail.gnome.org/archives/gnome-accessibility-list/ If the Board of Education is blocking gnome.org, then truly things are worse than I thought...

I'll try your suggestions, and try to access the list (but various ports, lists, etc. are blocked/censored by the board of education, and I have no control/input over that, unfortunately...sigh...bureaucracies...sigh...:-))

Actually, we're using it under KDE 3.1, Mandrake 9.2 distro, and the GOK is 0.8.1. I'll check for an update and install. Also, is it strictly tested under just GNOME, or should everything work under KDE as well?

Most of GOK's advanced features won't, and cannot, work with KDE applications. I also would be wary of conflicts with KDE's window manager - you'll lose out on still more features there. I would recommend running GOK under the GNOME desktop; you can continue to access your KDE applications while running the GNOME window manager, gnome-panel, etc. and the ease-of-use for your GOK users will be much better as a result.

We haven't been testing under KDE due to a combination of limited resources and the knowledge that many GOK features simply can't be provided for applications that don't work with the AT-SPI accessibility services. AT-SPI support for KDE is planned for the future, but it will probably not be available in the near-term.

Please make careful note of the fact that a good GOK user experience simply cannot be provided if you are using the 'core pointer' (i.e. system mouse) to run GOK; this is because most applications and toolkits make assumptions about the way the system mouse is used which directly conflict with GOK's needs. The GOK README gives directions about how to manually configure your xserver (usually via XF86Config) so that additional mouse-like input devices can be used without causing the 'core pointer' conflict. I cannot stress too strongly the fact that you should configure GOK to use such an alternate input device if at all possible.

You probably are already aware that GOK can be driven by various access methods including "Dwell selection", switch-based scanning methods like "automatic scanning", etc. Head pointers (madentec.com offers one that emulates a mouse quite nicely) or trackballs are good choices for pointing devices, depending on student needs. There are a number of options for USB switches that emulate mouse buttons, or you can take a soldering iron to a regular mouse and add a switch jack.

Also, note that you can construct custom keyboards for your students, or they can learn to do it themselves if they have inclinations towards elementary computer science. If you want hints on that we'll be happy to help, perhaps you can help us improve our documentation!

Hmmm...wasn't aware that I could construct a keyboard from the (speed) reading of the docs that I did...guess I better slow down and take a more thorough look...Thanks! :-)

If you are familiar with terse "usage" comments, you might try

gok --usage

and play with some of the options. The "--keyboard" option will cause GOK to start with an alternate XML keyboard (by default it uses "main", which is defined by the xml file "main.kbd" in the gok data directory). The exact location of this data directory will depend on your system, but may be something like /usr/share/gok.

Note that if you are in a french locale, recent versions of GOK will read its keyboard from /usr/share/gok/fr instead. Localization is much improved in the GNOME 2.6 version of GOK, so I'd advise upgrading to Fedora Core 2 when it becomes available, since I believe Fedora Core 2 will be based on GNOME 2.6.

best regards,


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