Orca & tbird issues

Jeffery Mewtamer mewtamer at gmail.com
Thu Nov 10 16:00:02 UTC 2016

One reason I'm stuck using Knoppix instead of Vanilla Debian is that I
find espeakup's screen review functionality far less intuitive
compared to SBL, the text-mode screen reader included in Knoppix's
Adriane accessibility suite. Plus, when I'm scrolling through a text
document in nano or package lists in aptitude, it's confusing when
espeakup decides to read the line that just scrolled on screen instead
of the line that the cursor was just moved to.

I do like how espeakup will automatically read the position
information in nano when I press crtl+C instead of needing to use
screen review to read that line in SBL and how I don't need screen
review to have espeakup read output from Frotz and other text-mode
ZCod Virtual Machines, but SBL is still the overall better text-mode
screen reader in my opinion. Sadly, I've never gotten the knoppix .deb
to run on a Debian system, and it's i386 only so I couldn't use the
.deb on 64-bit or ARM debian anyways. To make matters worse, aside
from Knoppix, I know of no attempts to port SBL to any distro aside
from Suse where it originated, and I've been using Debian-based
distros for so long that learning an RPM distro would probably be more
trouble than its worth.

Also, while Gmail's HTML view works well with Firefox and Orca, it's
pretty much unusable in elinks with either SBL or espeakup. Then
again, I find elinks unusable in general and every other text-mode
browser even worse, which is a real shame since Firefox is the only
graphical program I use and Firefox, Orca, and the minimalist X-server
I use to run them accountt for most of my root partition's used space.

Granted, even Firefox would be borderline unusable if not for all the
handy navigation shortcuts Orca adds. Being able to press numrow 3 to
jump straight to the links to folders with unread messages or my
contacts link or pressing x to jump to the checkbox for
selecting/unslecting a message that happens to have the participants
and subject as it's label and being a single tab from the link that
will open the conversation is really handy. I try loading Gmail in
elinks, and I can't even tell if focus is on a link in the folder list
or a link in the message list. It's enough to wish my programming
skills were advanced enough to make patches for elinks that would add
the navigation shortcuts Orca adds to Firefox and to force elinks to
display multi-column webpages in a single column.


Jeffery Wright
President Emeritus, Nu Nu Chapter, Phi Theta Kappa.
Former Secretary, Student Government Association, College of the Albemarle.

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