state of Gnome usability was Re: Mozilla accesssibility site restructured

On Tue, Aug 17, 2004 at 06:19:48PM -0700, Peter Korn wrote:
> Hi Aaron,
<Text deleted>

> Thanks for the update, and for your work on the site.  It is definitely a 
> lot cleaner.  Two comments though.  On the "access today" page:
> You say:
>  "Right now, GUI's on Linux are mostly not accessible. Microsoft Windows is
>   still far more accesible. Gnome, KDE, StarOffice, KOffice, Mozilla and all
>   other GUI software packages in Linux are unuseable by large numbers of
>   disabled users. There has been some progress with the support of Gnome's
>   ATK APIs in many of these packages, and the development of GOK (Gnome
>   Onscreen Keyboard) and Gnopernicus (screenreader and magnifier). However,
>   these solutions are not yet truly usable for real disabled end users."
> This is not an accurate characterization of GNOME and should be changed.  
> The *core* GNOME desktop (GNOME 2.6 and the about-to-be-released GNOME 2.8) 
> work quite well with both Gnopernicus and GOK, as well as with themeing 
> (high-contrast, large print) and keyboard navigation.  Especially with the 
> accessible login work wrapping up in GNOME 2.8, users with a wide range of 
> disabilities can be successful on the GNOME desktop.  While we're still 
> dealing with the occasional crash in GOK and the a-bit-more-than-occasional 
> crash in Gnopernicus, blind users in particular tell me the crashing rate 
> is similar to what they experience in JAWS on Windows.
Ok, that's it!  If Gnome is so usable, why are you using Windows for your oss?
I don't know the current state of Jfw, but JFW was more stable in 1996
than Gnopernicus.  I'm not a programmer, just a user who wants access to
Mozilla.  I've been trying to help since early last year.  What I get from
you guys is "use the latest CVS".  When I do, and report problems I get
a response suggesting I'm a dum user for expecting CVS to work.
If Gnome is so usable by blind people then I challenge you to turn off 
your monitor and use Gnome for work for a week.  You are using Mozilla for
mail so you should have no problem using the Unix version.  My sighted girl
friend has no problems using open office while the people she works with use
different versions of MS office.  That means you have no excuse for needing MS
office.  I'll cut you some slack and not ask you to use a Linux distro,
just use a Unix operating system.

> The key issues for a GNOME desktop user are:
>  1. No shipping Linux/UNIX distribution supports all of this yet (so it
>     is diffcult for most users to get this stuff working)

Linux distros have standards for quality.  A program that crashes every few 
minutes isn't very good quality.

>  2. Mozilla in particular has a good distance to go before it is accessible
>     on GNOME/Linux/UNIX; StarOffice a smaller distance
Ok, so you admit Mozilla isn't accessible with Gnopernicus.  Why do you post
messages after conferences that suggest it is usable?


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