early warning I hope

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Wed Feb 19 13:36:53 UTC 2020

Speaking as the one who first mentioned Knoppix, I thought I did a
decent job of admitting it's shortcomings... most of which have little
to do with accessibility and everything to do with it being intended
as a live-only distro... Though, for what it's worth, it's the only
live distro I can remember hearing of that can be booted from DVD and
come up talking without any user input(though again, since the CD
edition was discontinued, such has required a bit of micro remastering
starting from the official images, which I fully confess isn't the
most newbie friendly thing to do). My running system is based on a
hard drive install of Knoppix despite all the reasons not to do so,
but I find SBL's screen navigation super intuitive whereas espeakup's
makes me wonder if that's how someone who grew up in the era of the
GUI feels when they encounter their first command prompt as an adult,
plus I like being able to launch Firefox without launching a full
desktop and having good, old LXDE waiting for me on the rare occasions
I need a full desktop. Would gladly switch to vanilla Debian if I had
any clue how to get SBL running as default console screen reader and
could figure out launching a single application graphical session with
orca. As for the stability of my setup, I take full responsibility for
most of the breakages that force me to boot Knoppix from DVD and
restore my root partition from backup and the fact I don't create such
backups nearly as often as I should, but then again, I'm a bit of an
incessant tinker.

Overly long commentary on my chosen distro aside, I think an important
point to remember here is that many of us are experienced Linux users
and were so prior to having any reason to care about Linux
accessibility. Much of what we consider straight forward and intuitive
might seem intimidating to a Linux oldbie suffering sight loss, or
downright terrifying to a blind user dipping their toes in Linux for
the first time(and I realize this list has both, but I'd expect those
groups to be asking about accessible distros rather than giving
opinions thereof), and speaking more generally, what seems obvious and
intuitive to an insider on any subject can be downright esoteric to an
outsider looking in.

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