FYI - Command Line Programs for the Blind

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Wed Apr 13 16:30:18 UTC 2022

I think the most important things to remember here are that:

1. People are different and that's okay.

2. Blind people are just as diverse as people in general.

At the end of the day, debating Mutt versus Thunderbird has about as
much impact as debating Coke versus Pepsi. Hardcore fans of either
aren't likely to change their mind for any reason, there's no way of
doing an objective comparison, and just as how which cola is better
comes down to the individual's tastebuds, which e-mail client is
easier to setup and use ultimately comes down to which software
idiosyncrasies the end user is more comfortable with.

Though, for what it's worth, just as I'm not a fan of colas and much
prefer Dr. Pepper when it comes to caramel colored fizzy drinks, I'm
not a fan of e-mail clients and prefer to just use my e-mail's web
interface... and the last time I checked my e-mail on a machine other
than my personal one, doing so was as simple as launching Firefox,
typing into the address bar, entering my e-mail
address and password, and then once logged in, I just used what of
NVDA's navigational hotkeys matched Orca's to check level 3 headings
for how many unread messages were in my inbox and spam, and jump to
the checkbox on the first message in the message list... Granted, that
was years ago, so its entirely possible paranoid security on Google's
part would make logging in difficult, and they might try forcing me to
use their bogged down with JavaScript standard view instead of
respecting my preference for the HTML view.

Granted, the only time I've ever used an e-mail client was theGmail
app on android 2.2 back when I still had a working eyeball, so I
suspect I'd find both Mutt and Thunderbird perplexing if I ever gave
them a try, and the only things I know about SMTP, pop3, and imap is
the first stands for simple mail transfer protocol and they all have
something to do with the technical details of e-mail most people are
ignorant of... Though, I'd probably give Mutt or Alpine a try befor
Thunderbird or whatever Chromium's companion e-mail client is called
if only because my setup doesn't really let me run GUI applications
other than Firefox.

And while I agree the massive overlap in key bindings makes switching
between GUI applications easy, and its great that Micro exists for
those wanting to reduce their GUI dependence without having to learn
an editor with key bindings that predate standardization, I must
confess that I'm so used to nano's key bindings that I wish I could
make Firefox switch over to nano-like bindings when I focuse a
multi-line textbox and the only modern convention I miss when typing
in nano is the ability to select text by holding shift and using
arrow/navigation keys...

Honestly, the application I most want that doesn't seem to exist would
probably be a text-mode web browser that:

1. Arrow and navigation keys move around the page like in an editor.

2. Has Firefox-like keybindings for all the common web browser functions.

3. Has Orca-like keybindings for page navigation.

4. Has a browse/focus mode toggle equivalent to Orca+A.

5. Forces pages with multi-column layouts into single column for
presentation(or at least as the option to)... This is to avoid
situations where a console screen reader tries to interleave text from
a list of links in the left column with the page's main content in the
center/right column.

6. Supports the functional aspects of JavaScript, HTML5, etc. while
ignoring the eyecandy aspects.

7. Disables rich web content by default, but has a keyboard shortcut
to activate it for the current page and a menu for fine tuning which
rich content is allowed, and whether the allowance is temporary or
permanent(essentially providing No-Script-like functionality).

8. embeds nano(or the text-mode text editor of the user's choice)
within focused textboxes(so, if I wanted to post the contents of a
file on my hard drive via a web form, instead of opening a second tab,
navigating to the file on my system, and copy and pasting it into the
form, I could just go into thetext box, get an embedded nano window,
and use Nano's insert from another file command... and if there's
multiple files, I could just do that repeatedly... and unlike with
Firefox's address bar, I'd have tab completion for getting the path to
the file).

9. The ability to import bookmarks, saved passwords, etc. from a
Firefox(and other popular browsers) profile would be a nice bonus,
especially if it was done via a supplementary package that could be
removed after migrating.

There are probably other features I'd want in my dream text-mode web
browser, but something that provides a remotely similar browsing
experience to Firefox+Orca would be amazing and would probably be
enough to make me ditch the GUI altogether... though I confess, a
simple means of launching arbitrary GUI applications in a kiosk-like
manner with Orca would be nice for those rare occasions I'm curious to
give a GUI application a try... sadly, maintaining a full desktop is
over kill with how much I live in the GUI, and the script I use to
launch Firefox with Orca suffers from crippling overspecialization and
its someone else's work that I don't begin to understand how to adapt
to applications beyond the handful it was designed for.

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