Orca does not speak

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Tue Jan 15 18:13:06 UTC 2019

I'd guess that in speech most people would say re start Orca with the 
command "orca -r" or "orca --replace", and everyone would be and has 
been OK with that. This only came up when someone, who probably never 
read the man page for Orca,  said that using the word "replace" for a 
command line switch was using English improperly and was imprecise. It 
seems to me that we're now talking details about what is technically 
meant by the words "replace" and "restart" in computer science. I think 
we've moved past whether we're using the English language correctly or 
not and whether we're being precise in a layman's view.

IMHO, the Orca developer has bigger fish on her plate then whether a 
command line flag is properly using English or not, but if anyone feels 
strongly enough about this they should bring it up on the Orca list and 
have the command line flag and associated documentation updated. I may 
not use the word "replace" in this context myself, but I'm not going to 
quibble with another developer who chooses to use the word "replace" in 
this context.

I think someone also mentioned how surprised they were that Orca has 
command line flags. I just assume everything in Linux has command line 
flags, and I'd be surprised to stumble across a command or an 
application that didn't have a set of command line flags. Just try 
typing your favorite command or application followed by the "--help" 
flag and see what you get. For example, try "firefox --help" or 
"google-chrome --help" or "rhythmbox --help".

For completeness, here's what the Orca man page says about the replace flag:

               Replace a currently running*orca*  process.  By default, if*orca*  detects an  existing
               *orca*   process  for  the  same  session, it will not start a new*orca*  process.  This
               option will kill and cleanup after any existing*orca*  process and then start  a  new
               *orca*  in its place.

On 1/15/19 7:27 AM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> Maybe there's some subtle distinction I'm not catching, but saying it
> kills the running process and replaces it with a new one sounds like a
> convoluted way of saying it restarts the process, and I think most who
> aren't trying to justify the wording of the switch would say it
> restarts the program. Actually, if I remember correctly, the original
> answer to what the --replace switch does was "it restarts orca" or
> something to that effect, and the more detailed answer only came up
> when someone pointed out the odd wording.
> --replace might be technically correct, but it still strikes me as
> using a word in an unusual context most won't understand without
> explanation when a different word would get the meaning across without
> explanation. Kind of reminds me of how Americans sometimes have
> trouble understanding Brits because of common words that vary greatly
> in their common definition on opposite sides of the pond(and for all I
> know, replace might be commonly understood in this context in some
> part of the anglosphere other than my own).
> I understand the explanation for why the switch is --replace, but I'd
> probably still call it --restart if I was going to include such
> functionality in a program I wrote myself.
> On a more humorous note, without the context that orca -r restarts
> orca, I'd probably be wondering what a screen reader could possibly
> reverse or recurse since those are the most common things a -r or -R
> switch do.
> --Jeff
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Christopher (CJ)
Chaltain at Gmail

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