How did people here learn GUIs

Jude DaShiell jdashiel at
Thu Jul 28 16:30:43 UTC 2016

It's possible to control VoiceOver output by redirecting stderr to 
stdout then piping all output through less.

On Wed, 27 Jul 2016, Martin McCormick wrote:

> Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:19:40
> From: Martin McCormick <martin.m at>
> Reply-To: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at>
> To: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at>
> Subject: Re: How did people here learn GUIs
> 	This topic is about learning GUI's and I want to honor
> that as much as possible but Janina touched on a very important
> piece of the puzzle to getting a good experience with computers.
> 	I actually wrote my own screen reader for the IBM P.C.
> and continued to use it in DOS until 2009 when Vinux came along.
> 	If you are a tinkerer and like to write programs which
> usually also involves lots of debugging, the best screen readers
> echo every character you type plus read all new input to the
> screen from the system. If the input is bursty such as from a
> compiler or assembler, you should hear a sequential playback of
> what is happening as soon as it can be read out.
> 	My home-made screen reader did this pretty well in to an
> Echo speech synthesizer and speakup does it beautifully, also.
> 	The interface feels or sounds natural and you don't have
> to pump it for screen after screen unless that is what you want.
> 	The terminal in orca also works pretty well but not quite
> as well as the good old command-line but I am still not
> complaining.
> 	The voice in Apple's voiceover is good but there is one
> glaring problem which I would love to see fixed and yes, it is
> broken if you can't change the behavior.
> 	If you are listening to bursty output in voiceover, there
> tends to be a short time period after which new text that arrives
> blows away whatever is being said right then so you just hear
> shreds of useless babble.
> 	I hate to be picky but I'd like to see a switch, so to
> speak, where the user can select either a speakup-like mode or
> the current voiceover mode. Both have their moments where they
> are the best but I can not use voiceover for Unix
> trouble-shooting, logging and debugging. Speakup is great at all
> these things as well as very good at ssh logins and the rare
> telnet session.
> 	I have even had speakup do weird things on slow serial
> connections and there is a parameter one can tweak in which
> speakup decides that all new input has stopped and it goes ahead
> to speak what characters have accumulated so far.
> 	My old home-built screen reader actually also had a short
> timer that kept resetting on new characters unless there had been
> around a tenth or twentieth of a second with no data.
> 	I was glad to see speakup come along as my project only
> worked in DOS and it was getting to be a monster toward the end.
> 	It was 8086 assembler with many modules. One could have
> done much, much better in C but by then, it was time to move on
> to Linux.
> Martin
> Janina Sajka <janina at> writes:
>> I think as a general rule, Cheryl is quite correct. Support for the
>> terminal in Voice Over, and in every gui screen reader I know is frankly
>> subpar. We got to the point in DOS where the screen readers, especially
>> asap and vocal-eyes, were powerful and able to change configurations on
>> the fly to deal with different screens properly. Even Speakup can't do
>> that like they did, though I use Speakup far more than any gui, even
>> Gnome and Orca.
>> Janina
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