Re: [orca-list] Incorporating Storm Dragon's customizations

I have heard a lot of arguments against including things like weather by default. Here's the reason why I believe it should be included. Weather is available on the panel. All someone has to do to see the weather is glance up at it, then back to what ever they were doing. With Orca, or any screen reader that doesn't have the functionality built in, you have to press control+alt+tab to first find the top panel, then tab to the section you want read, in this case the weather, then navigate back to your application you were using, and possibly find your place. Even if it is not complex to do so, it still takes your attention away from your current project for longer than a sighted user for equivilant information. Though retrieving weather info is not part of what a screen reader does, providing information in an easy and timely manner is. The press of the button to display time or weather is the same as glancing up at the panel to view the info and quickly returning to your work. It could be argued, in fact has been argued, that time doesn't need to be included because it's available on the panel. But I believe it should be included for the same reason as the weather information. The purpose of a good screen reader is to present information to visually impared users. A great screen reader does it in such a way as to make it as efficient as possible. Another reason I have heard for leaving this out by default is because the screen reader purest won't like it. My counter for this argument is, if a function isn't liked, then don't use it lol. How much effort could it possibly take to not press a button?

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On Mon, 2010-04-12 at 18:27 -0400, Jacob Schmude wrote:
Hash: SHA1

I only agree to a point. I agree there should be a default key to turn
on Orca. Interestingly, in systems like Ubuntu, there is an
accessibility shortcut you can assign that says "toggle screenreader"
but as far as I've been able to determine, once assigned, it doesn't
actually do anything. I had to create a shortcut key to start Orca myself.
The three customizations I would integrate are time, date, and battery
status. Possibly the clipboard reading keys too. The others though I do
not believe should be integrated into Orca. It is not the place of a
screen reader to look up the weather for you, nor should it change the
system volume. I don't buy that multimedia keys "hard to find" idea,
they're no harder to find than any other nonstandard key and you only
have to find them once and then you know where they are. Also, if you
don't like the multimedia keys, just reassign the volume up/down/mute
keys in gnome's keyboard shortcut preferences. That's what they're there
for, let's not duplicate functionality that really has nothing to do
with Orca in the first place.
However, while I'd integrate the three shortcuts listed above, I'd
change how they're done. It should probably be avoided calling shell
commands that might not be there, in particular the acpi command for
battery status isn't usually installed by default. It should probably
query GNOME for this information instead if such is possible and, in the
case of the time/date keys, honor your regional configurations along
with it.

What does everyone think?

On 04/12/2010 12:38 PM, Bill Cox wrote:
> Storm Dragon has a cool and very useful set of customizations he adds
> to Orca.  He has a web-page for generating a customized
> file:
> We ship his customizations in Vinux by default, but it would be pretty
> nice if they were simply part of Orca's default setup, in my opinion.
> I feel particularly strong about his new volume control keybindings.
> As a goal, I feel the Linux community should try and make all the
> major Linux distros accessible by default to the blind, which will
> require a standard Gnome keybinding for launching Orca, which should
> likely be Control+Alt+o.  Once that's done, blind users will still
> need to be able to control the volume, which is normally on
> multi-media keys, and hard to find.  Public Linux boxes also tend to
> be muted by sighted users, so a blind person will need access to the
> volumee controls.
> Bill
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Visit for more information on Orca.
The manual is at
The FAQ is at
Netiquette Guidelines are at
Log bugs and feature requests at
Find out how to help at

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