Sonar GNU/Linux merges with Vinux

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Mon Apr 24 12:40:09 UTC 2017

I said absolutely nothing of Red Hat hosting Orca. I said they ship it 
with the distribution, which they are not at all obligated to do, as 
proven by the fact that Linux Mint didn't come with Orca in the live 
environment for a very long time. As for Speakup, it has never been 
fully ready for prime time up to now, and there are very good reasons 
why it is still stuck in the staging tree. If you want to talk about too 
little too late, then I would talk of Speakup, which is only recently 
getting its act together enough to hopefully make it out of staging and 
into the stable kernel tree, maybe in the next couple of years if we're 
lucky. Meanwhile, we have a very nice package called Fenrir, which has 
taken the screen reader completely out of the kernel, putting it fully 
in userspace where it belongs. Perhaps this will address the issue of 
speech from a text only environment much better than Speakup ever could, 
as it can not only work on kernels without staging enabled, but it will 
also eventually be far more portable to things like FreeBSD, which has 
never had even a proof of concept kernel-based screen reader, and has up 
to now required ssh in order to get it to do anything for those of us 
who need speech output.

Regarding installer accessibility, I have used quite a few installers, 
and Red Hat was one of the first major vendors to ship an installer that 
while not accessible by direct methods e.g. via speech on the machine 
where the OS was to be installed, did come with a method of gaining 
access to the installation terminal via telnet, and also had kickstart 
files that could be used in place of the on-screen system. Of course 
Speakup had to be used via Speakup Modified, and before that, the kernel 
had to be patched, but I wouldn't call that not caring by any stretch. 
Once the graphical environment started becoming usable, Red Hat, now 
called Fedora, was already shipping Orca in its repositories, and they 
were one of the first to include the quite new at the time Espeak, which 
was far more responsive than Festival, and all the other distros soon 
followed. I'm not sure where in the world you have come to the 
conclusion that Red Hat simply doesn't care about accessibility. Is it 
because your beloved Speakup, which is stuck in the staging tree for 
more than 3 years now still isn't enabled in the Fedora kernel? Sorry, 
but it's way past time to look elsewhere for text mode screen reading to 
something that isn't locked into a kernel. No other screen reader is 
bound to a kernel, and there are excellent reasons that go far deeper 
than accessibility for disabling staging in a vendor kernel. Rather than 
complaining that a distro vendor doesn't enable a potentially insecure 
and/or unstable part of its kernel so that we can have a screen reader 
in text mode, those who use text mode on a regular basis and need a 
screen reader for it need to either learn how to muck about in the Linux 
kernel itself so that the screen reader can get out of staging and into 
the kernel proper, or better yet, contribute to Fenrir development, 
where everything goes on in userspace and the screen reader only relies 
on interfaces to stable and well-tested parts of the kernel that are 
never disabled in any distro or vendor kernel. If Red Hat decides not to 
accept a Fenrir package, then and only then can we begin to arrive at 
the conclusion that maybe perhaps they don't give a care for accessibility.

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