Sonar GNU/Linux merges with Vinux

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Mon Apr 24 09:42:41 UTC 2017

I'm Tony Baechler. Probably others will comment, but having looked at the 
NVDA git repo and following the Orca list, I would like to clarify some things.

On 4/23/2017 2:54 PM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> And even if the NV association had any interest in branching out, I
> suspect they'd be more interested in porting NVDA than improving other
> projects, and depending on how much NVDA depends on Windows specific
> APIs, that might just lead to slower development on the Windows side
> without providing a decent Orca alternative under Linux.

Yes, this is correct. Actually, NVDA is written in Python and borrows code 
from Orca. Look at the credits some time. However, as you say, it's very 
specific to Windows and would be impossible to port to any other OS without 
a rewrite. It hooks directly into app accessibility like Orca and unlike 
other Windows screen readers. That's why in my opinion I get a much better 
Firefox experience than with Window-Eyes. It's very much closer to how Orca 
works. Pages are buffered and read much faster. It has an equivalent of 
forms or browse mode, but switches in and out automatically as you come to a 
form field, such as an edit box. While I think it would be good for the 
projects to work together, as Kyle said, I don't see it happening. NVDA, for 
example, uses custom Braille drivers and a modified ESpeak.

> understand it, Orca doesn't wrok well at all in desktop enviornments
> other than Gnome and Mate).

This is partially true, but because those other desktops don't have built-in 
accessibility. In Windows, a screen reader tries to make every app 
accessible, whether that's a browser, media player, calculator, etc. That's 
why you learn a set of keyboard commands for your screen reader and expect 
them to work everywhere. This mostly works, but not always. NVDA and Orca 
use the opposite approach. Rely on the apps themselves to provide 
accessibility hooks. QT works much better in NVDA than Window-Eyes, even 
though WE claims to have QT support. KDE doesn't have accessibility hooks 
like Gnome, MATE and Unity do, so no, Orca won't work. I read that XFCE has 
some accessibility support. LibreOffice in Linux works much better than in 
Windows, at least last time I tried.

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