Re: for educational purposes...

[quoted lines by Robinson, Norman B - Washington, DC on 2005/03/07 at 10:35 -0500]

>	Your post is confusing as it mixes several different ideas.

Not really ... but, then, I guess I shouldn't make assumptions. :-) My
assumption was that readers of this list would easily link that reply to one
I'd written only a couple of hours earlier.

>	Response to #1: I agree and this seems technically feasible, so
>why not do it?

My point was that although the author's suggestion is, of course, strictly
speaking, technically feasible, it assumes that a second sound card is either
already installed or can be easily accommodated. It just so happens that
neither is true. The real point here, however, isn't my personal limitations,
although I am willing to use them as the basis for a discussion, but, rather,
that we shouldn't assume that everyone has easy access to whatever we rich,
smart, technical dudes think they should have.

>	Response to #2: I don't think we have enough context to say your
>author was limiting anything. As this is somewhat a technical list, what
>is "enough hardware" (#2a)? 

This is only "somewhat of a technical list" because a lot of highly technical
developers who care about what their users need happen to hang out here, and
because only reasonably technical users tend to be willing to try out software
which is still under development. We must remember, though, that the goal of
accessibility software isn't to merely satisfy the needs of a technically
oriented community. Our software should be just as easy to use by the
technically illiterate else we haven't really accomplished anything of
significance. What, after all, is so great about opening up computer access to
those who've already figured out ways to use it?

>Not trying to argue, but 

Hey! I'm always up to a good debate.

>is there a baseline
>requirements document for the specific technology you are referring to?

You must be a manager. :-)

Of course there isn't. I'm trying to explain a foundational principle which I
hope all developers of accessibility software will operate by. We shouldn't be
demanding that all potential users of accessibility software rise to the
technical level of our highly documented but limited software, but, rather,
demanding of ourselves that our software function well for them at their level
of technical expertise, which, for many, will predictably be somewhere down
near 0%.

>Why should you limit my
><emphasis>ability</emphasis> to use both soundcards I have in my machine
>just because most people only have one? 

I don't believe I've said anything along those lines. If stereo speech support
would help you, and, in fact, that may actually be an interesting way to help
give highlighting to the announcements, then, by all means, it should be
implemented. When doing so, however, we mustn't leave out those poor and
impoverished single channel, single sound card owners like myself.

I'm simply saying that, in my opinion, we've failed if the users of the
software we write, and I'm referring specifically to accessibility software
here, need to go out and purchase all sorts of extra equipment in order to do
so. If you want lots of colour and have enough money then you go out and buy
the coolest monitor you can find. Others, however, who have no money and a
harder life are still glad that the plain old VGA monitors are still supported.

>When the user asked "Can this be done" was it a yes, but you should
>consider most users won't want that, so design for both situations? 

Yes. I wasn't seeking a solution for a personal problem, but, rather, using
what happens to be my current situation as the basis for drawing attention to a

>I encourage you to document, reference specifications or use-cases that
>enforce what seems to be your goal of not having to have the latest-greatest
>or excessive hardware. 

Why? Do we need a formal document to tell us that we should treat poor
(financially, technically, or whatever) people respectfully?

Dave Mielke           | 2213 Fox Crescent | I believe that the Bible is the
Phone: 1-613-726-0014 | Ottawa, Ontario   | Word of God. Please contact me
EMail: dave mielke cc | Canada  K2A 1H7   | if you're concerned about Hell.                   |

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