[Nautilus-list] Nautilis for Users with Visual Impairments

Nautilis for Users with Visual Impairments
"Eazel, founded in the Fall of 1999, intends to help
make Linux the desktop of choice for millions of
people. To achieve this, we are creating next
generation user interface software and services
designed to make Linux easier to

	As a Linux user and someone who advocates Linux to
newbies, I am personally eager to see Eazel's Nautilis
graphical shell.  Because of Eazel's already high
profile, I expect it may become the main source for
easy to use interfaces for Linux.  As the admin. for
Ocularis, a project at SourceForge that aims to create
an Open Source Linux distribution for the visually
impaired, I am also somewhat concerned about ensuring
that Linux is easy to use for everyone, not just the
majority of people.
 	Ocularis, like Eazel (although it is still in the
planning stages of development) intends to create an
easy to use, straightforward Audio User Interface
(AUI) in the same way that Nautilis aims to make a
similarly simple GUI.  I am aware that Mike Boich
(President & CEO, Co-Founder), Andy Hertzfeld
(Software Wizard, Co-Founder), and Guy "Bud" Tribble
(VP Software Engineering) all worked at Apple, which
is well known for its original and innovative Human
Interfaces as well as its quality text to speech
conversion software (SimpleText).  Because of Eazel's
founders experience with and focus on user interface
engineering, I am wondering if there has been any
discussion of integrating support for users with low
or no vision.  I believe that narrowing down Linux's
myriad features in the shell and otherwise to a set
number of frequently used ones is a simplification
that transcends vision.  That is to say that I believe
you (the Nautilis developers and Eazel employees) have
already done a large part of the interface
re-engineering needed for sighted users and ones with
visual impairments to effectively use Linux as a
desktop. Both groups of people use the same features
most often (with a few key exceptions, e.g., features
related to appearance), so it is a matter of
re-expression in an audio versus graphical format.  
 	If the question of extending Nautilis' refinement of
Linux's shell into the realm of AUIs has not been
raised, it would be a topic I would love to discuss
with the Nautilis developers and Eazel engineers, and
one that I believe has the potential to enlarge
Eazel's goal of "mak[ing]... Linux the desktop of
choice for millions of people."  With talented user
interface engineers and software developers such as
yourselves, this discussion would be one that could
eventually benefit and include more people than a
solely graphical user interface can.  Thank you for
your consideration.

--JP Schnapper-Casteras
jpsc sourceforge net

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