Blind vs. mainstream distros

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Mon May 1 19:13:38 UTC 2017


Jefferey, on lun. 01 mai 2017 18:26:42 +0000, wrote:
> Did people actually complain about the beep?

Yes. The debian-boot people did complain that when they test images,
they'd keep getting beeps along all the tests. The compromise was then
found to include the beep only on the release images, so that people
working on the installer don't get bothered by the beeps all day long.

A few months or years later, a user reported it as a bug.  It's
debian-boot people themselves who explained to the user the importance
of the beep.  That shows how the long discussion with debian-boot was
fruitful: the beep is now well-integrated in the process, and won't go

> If so, I'm starting to think the sighted end-users aren't willing to
> make any compromise at all for the benefit of their blind peers.

The story shows that they are willing to.  It's a matter of discussing.
Getting immediately upset because the first reaction is "no" will surely
not get anywhere. Making a compromise needs discussion and make efforts
from both sides.  The fact that users complain is just only normal:
they simply don't know the use for it.  Once informed, they are fine
with it.

> Though, while we're on the subject, is there any technical reason the
> beep couldn't be replaced with a prerecorded message that says "press
> s and enter for talking installer" or something similar?

The technical reason is merely that it needs implemeting withing
syslinux: that requires sound drivers and whatnot, while the BIOS itself
provides the support for beeps.  So it's feasible, just needs to be done.
Whether it'd be accepted is another issue.  I'd tend to believe that
it'd be accepted.

> I'm not really bothered by the need to press s at the beep since I
> already know what to do, but if I handed a copy of Debian CD1 to
> another blind user and forgot to mention that bit, they wouldn't be
> able to get anywhere and might not even realize the beep means
> anything.

It'd mean they're not able to basically read all the documentations
which exist about accessibility of the Debian installer.  It's written
in the installer manual (available inside the CD), it's written on the
wiki page, it's well-known by the Debian community, and a sighted user
can work it out.

Again, I agree that this is less than ideal, but if the talking
installer is made the default, I'm pretty sure you'll get a firework of
complaints, while the beep is already an annoyance for sighted users.
Again, it's a question of compromise.

> Though, if there's a way to change which boot option is default on a
> Debian install disc, I'd like to hear it.

It's a matter of putting "menu default" in the menu entry.

> Though, at present, my biggest complaints regarding doing a blind
> install of Debian are:
> 1. From what I remember from the last time I could installDebian as a
> sighted user, all the menus that could be scrolled through in the
> silent installer using arrow keys have been reduced to listening to a
> numbered list and entering the number of the option you want. On
> average, I find this slows things down and it almost makes me wish for
> a reference I could use to memorize the numbers of my choices prior to
> launching the installer. In particular, it makes operating the
> partitioner quite a bit more cumbersome.

Well, I thought that was the preferred way since *nobody* complained on
the list AFAIK.

Really, people have to understand that the big gap between people who
implement stuff and people who use stuff *has* to be filled through
discussion.  I bet everybody in debian-boot currently assume that the
current way is what blind people expect from the talking installer.

Again, this is a matter of opening the discussion, and getting somebody
to work on a better backend for debconf.

> 2. Best I can tell, there's no way of rereading all or part of a
> specific screen within the installer,

?! All the speakup shortcuts are available.


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