Re: [orca-list] buffering

On 23/12/42 19:59, Hermann wrote:
On 28.03.2009 at 05:16:13 Daniel Dalton<d dalton iinet net au>  wrote:
  I was in discussion with
a couple of people from another mailing list, had to use jaws for a day,
(and hated it), ...
Do we have to like Jaws? Jaws certainly isn't my first choice if using windows, out of the commercial ones 
window-eyes is my preferred choice. Don't know what his reason is for not liking jaws, but its not always 
this I hate commercial apps... stuff.

  but we got onto the topic of virtual buffering. I don't
think it's the best idea myself, but I think it is good at times. So,
would a key to "buffer" the current page, help at all with:
- speed of navigating pages when blind?
- Responsiness
- Accessibility.
Couldn't say, the different platforms do work in quite different ways, may be what works on one may not 
translate technically well to another environment with different accessibility designs, etc. Also on linux 
while there is a variety of browsers, the main one recommended by websites (if any which run on linux) is 
normally firefox, although opera is another fairly popular browser which may be recommended/supported by 
websites (the others like epithany, konqueror, etc) probably aren't even hinted at. This means that firefox 
is quite an obvious choice to use and most distros include firefox, so making orca only provide access to the 
firefox browser is not such an issue. Responsiveness has been an issue in the past (I remember one website 
having a point where orca would stick for about a minute or so before moving on) but things keep improving 
(that very slow example has now been seen to and behaves much better now) so leads me to wonder if the 
performance issues partly lie with orca and not the way it interacts with firefox. May be the responsiveness 
needs greater attention when not buffering and so to save that work virtual buffers have been chosen by some.

Essentially what I am saying there is the two systems are simply different approaches, neither might actually be "better" in the sense that one would be best for all, each may have their own advantages (eg. buffering may require less time to keep it fast and responsive but may have issues about working with dynamic pages (keeping the buffer up to date), etc) and it comes down to which developers and users feel are most important to them.

Of course, it is hardly necessary, but could be useful at times. I'm
just curious has it been considered? I'll paste some of the emails
below, to see what people think.

I didn't read all mails, but I think the first one is a good statement.
I didn't get that feeling, it felt a bit biased to me. Some of it pointed out facts only from one view point (eg. users moving from linux to windows and prefering windows) when other views may and do exist (I had used windows for many years and still do from time to time but have only looked at linux from about 2004 onwards, and have to say that I now prefer the orca way). There were some comments which just seemed wrong, there was repeated discussion of requiring the mouse cursor for tasks if no virtual buffer exists (eg. selecting text to copy from the web), may be so in internet explorer but firefox has a caret browsing mode, and as I understand it orca moves the firefox cursor (when orca controls the caret rather than letting gecko control caret, this can be changed with a hot key in orca) so when dealing with firefox I believe there is no need for a mouse cursor.
My impression in the discussions we had before was often that people
judge very much from their ideological commitments, rather than from their
experience (in fact there were not too much regarding Windows).
But to make a long story short: I doubt that we will ever have such a
feature like buffering, since the majority of the list member, and above
all the Orca team, rejects completely this idea.
But to utter another suspicion: Does AT-SPI provide this opportunity at
all? Perhaps MSAA is superior to AT-SPI? Just an idea.
But a lot of people would rather tear out their tongue than admit this :-(
Won't comment on your question/comment of MSAA being better than at-spi, other than to say that the general view I find is at-spi is better (eg. openoffice made accessibility work natively on linux but they felt MSAA wouldn't meet their needs but the java accessibility could, I believe iaccessible is influenced if not based on some of the ideas of at-spi, etc), in fact I am unsure if I have seen a case laid in favour of MSAA being better. I don't have enough technical knowledge to independently create a conclusion on at-spi vs MSAA, so have only stated what I have read.

Anyway I feel sometimes these one approach vs another approach arguments aren't always productive. Let's try and view this another way, what do you want from orca? (eg. faster navigation (approx how fast), access to a particular page, certain behaviour on certain types of page, etc) Then we can ask the question how can this be done? If buffers are needed then the answer to the last question should always come back virtual buffers, but if buffers aren't needed then the answer may come back as something else. As a user I want orca (or what ever screen reader I use) to help me do what I want to do, not just blindly follow what other screen readers do. Equally we shouldn't just reject a solution to a user requirement because it exists elsewhere. The only thing which really matters is how well it fits the need.

Michael Whapples

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