Re: state of Gnome usability was Re: Mozilla accesssibility siterestructured

You wrote:
> "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
> 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
> crash in Gnopernicus, blind users in particular tell me the crashing rate
> is similar to what they experience in JAWS on Windows."

While I am extremely greatful for the work on Gnome and Gnopernicus I would
not go as far as saying that this is a successful accessibility solution
quite yet.
It is great that we can now move around the core Gnome desktop, edit text
files with gedit, but there is alot of necessary apps still missing to us
requiring accessibility.
For example Mozilla is coming along, but I still can not use it successfully
with gnopernicus for web browsing.  In the end I have to use lynx, or go to
Windows to do web browsing.
Email while balsa is becoming quite accessible I can never get it quite
setup right to send and recieve emails properly.
Evolution is progressing, but again I can't use it as effectively as I can
use MS Outlook.
Financial software. I have been loking of and on for an accessible financial
solution for Linux that is equal to Quicken. Gnucash is about the closest,
but again I can never get it to work well with Gnopernicus. So in the end I
am in Windows using Quicken.
Contrary to what is said Gnopernicus is not as stable as Jaws or Window
eyes. I'm using Windows XP Pro and Window eyes almost never crashes where as
Gnopernicus on a Gnome 2.6 desktop crashes no less than 3 or 4 times during
it's usage.
The last issue is no fault of the Gnome/Gnopernicus developers, but is an
issue none-the-less. even though Gnome 2.8 is coming out you can see at
least 6 months before most Linux distros will get it in to their
For example Mandrake 9.2 shipped with Gnome 2.4 and Mandrake 10 which just
came out came with Gnome 2.4.2.
In order for me to get newer versions of gnome I have to get unstable
packages from the Cooker releases, or I have to compile the entire Gnome
desktop and apps by hand.
It might be alright for me as I know how to do it, and I know enough about
rpm to make my own Mandrake packages.
However, for the new Gnome user chances are they will no nothing about
building source, making their own rpms, and may have to settle with a
distrobutions out of date packages that are 6 months to a year old.

After Gnome 2.8 is released here is what I think should be done in the

1. Try and get flagship apps such as Evolution, Mozilla, Gnucash, etc
working with Gnopernicus with a reasonable degree of accessibility.
2.  Work on the stability of GOK, Gnopernicus, and the accessibility apps
for Gnome. After all, Gnopernicus is my eyes for Gnome and nothing is more
frustrating than a crash and not know what is going on.
3. Really good support for gnome-terminal and command line apps with
Gnopernicus. I think gnopernicus and gnome-terminal are improving, but still
as of Gnome 2.6 it's not as good as using YASR, Speakup, or another solution
for apps like pine, g++, nano, vi, etc...
This way it would make a nicer transition from the shell to Gnome for most
of us with disabilities that are most at home at the shell prompt.
As it as now in my own life it is musical screen readers. I can use gedit
for general editing, OpenOffice, Gnome-cd, but as soonas I want to program I
have to fire up xterm and emacspeak to work on a program I am writing in
java and to use the j2sdk.

In short, I think is great we can use the Gnome desktop, but unless major
apps like Mozilla are as accessible as the core desktop Gnopernicus is very
little day to day productive help at this time.
We still need accessible apps to do the basics like browse the internet,
read/write email, send instant messages, and balance a checkbook. Once that
is accomplished Gnopernicus and the other accessibilitie tools will be
successful accessibility aids for those of us with disabilities.

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