slack in Ubintu?

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Sun Sep 25 20:10:01 UTC 2022

> Do you happen to know of any resources on screen-reader friendliness for
> TUIs in general? Is there any particular way screen-readers know how to
> distinguish from actual text and "graphical" elements? Or a way that TUI
> program developers can accomodate that?

Here comes a wall of pontification...

Not really.  As a rule, I avoid TUIs.  Interfaces that exploit the
cursor-addressable terminal seem like the worst of both the text and GUI
world to me.  Essentially, a TUI is just a GUI with a VT100 as the
canvas and typically no underlying object toolkit[1].  But don't let
that discourage you.

I use three types of interfaces.

1. Self-voicing.  I make heavy use of Emacs with the Emacspeak
extension.  Emacs can be a TUI or a GUI program, and with extensions
like Emacspeak and speechd.el, it can be a self-voicing program as
well.  Editing text is a great UI metaphor.

2. Teletype-style programs, either with their own interactive input
loops, or called directly from the shell.  Edbrowse is an example of the
former category.  The reddit client I use, reddio, is an example of the
latter.  There's an excellent opinion piece about teletype-style interaction
written by Karl Dahlke: <>.

3. GUIs, when I must.

[1] As a thought experiment, we could imagine an object toolkit for the
terminal: a GTK or QT for the VT100, if you will.  It's been done
before, though I don't remember any citations off the top of my head.
In theory, such a toolkit could provide hooks for screenreaders, to give
a more seamless / less frustrating experience.  That hasn't been done,
and I don't know if it would be worth doing.

-- Chris

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