Reading Kindle books on Linux

John G Heim jheim at
Tue Sep 15 14:49:59 UTC 2015

Sam, you are disputing a point I never made.  I never said the law 
requires a company to make their products accessible on arbitrary hardware.

My point is that using command line linux isn't simply a personal 
preference for some people. It provides tremendous advantages over the 
GUI. It's wrong to tell someone that their accessibility problems are 
the result of their preference for the command line when it's not simply 
a personal preference.

I get into these kind of debates on every list I'm on. When someone gets 
kicked out of a restaurant for having a guide dog, you often see people 
blaming the person who got kicked out. They didn't handle it correctly. 
They should just go somewhere else. Often the same people saying these 
things are most vocal about their own access issues. If they had gotten 
kicked out of a restaurant, it would be a huge injustice. If someone 
else does, it's their own fault.

No one on a linux users list should criticize someone else for their 
choice of platform. Otherwise, Amazon could say if you want access to 
our books, you have to buy our computers and use our software. And if it 
doesn't work for you, too bad. That attitude invalidates everything 
we've fought for for the past 20 years -- the Marakesh Treaty, the 
Chaffee Amendment, the 21VACC.

On 09/15/2015 09:24 AM, Sam Hartman wrote:
>>>>>> "John" == John G Heim <jheim at> writes:
>      John> It's not true that using linux at the command line is a always
>      John> a choice. For one thing, command line linux runs on a lot more
>      John> platforms than does the graphical user interface.
>>From the prospective of US accessibility law, I don't think that
> matters.
> You're not required to make apps and services accessible on arbitrary
> hardware.
>      John> And for
>      John> someone who is deaf/blind, the command line interface has
>      John> tremendous advantages.
> I don't have enough information to agree or disagree here.
>      John> When you say all these solutions are available for the GUI, I
>      John> am guessing you mean they work with speech, right? How is the
>      John> braille support?
> You can certainly get the same information that would be spoken sent to
>   a braille display.
> It's been the late 1980's since I've used a braille interface for
> interacting with a computer enough to have thoughts about what would
> work well and what would not.
> For me speech was so much more efficient that I stopped using braille
> after that point.
> Based on my memory of what worked well and poorly with braille
> interfaces, and based on my understanding of the documented capabilities
> of the technology, I think it would work reasonably well.  You'd want to
> map some of the common navigation commands to things you could enter
> from your braille display.  That's supported.  At that point, yeah, I
> think the kindle app would work similarly to reading any braille book.
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John Heim, jheim at, skype:john.g.heim

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