[bct] Re: Should we do a chat on improving software accessibility?

  • From: "Tiffany Black" <tifflblack@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 15:25:47 -0700

Silly question, but what does reclassing windows mean?

-----Original Message-----
From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Robert Riddle
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2006 3:13 AM
To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bct] Re: Should we do a chat on improving software accessibility?

Most software is quite accessible. But what's accessible to one person isn't
for another. For example, there's a program called flashfxp that, upon
installation, doesn't look all that accessible. HOwever, all it needs is a
couple of window reclassifications and it works like a charm. In short, most
program inaccessibility (nice eight dollar word there eh?) can be boiled
down to lazy users or just plain old user error. So before we whine about
inacccessiblity to companies, see if you can reclass windows or controls in
the program and determine if that helps the problem.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Krister Ekstrom" <krister@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2006 1:50 AM
Subject: [bct] Re: Should we do a chat on improving software accessibility?

> Hash: RIPEMD160
> Hi listers,
> I know that what i say now is politically incorrect, and i will 
> probably get flamed to ashes for saying this, but i'll say it anyway.
> Sure we could do a chat on how to communicate with companies and so 
> forth, but i think it won't change the situation a bit. Why? Because 
> we're actually a small fraction of the market and as the majority 
> rules, we won't get listened to. We may get heard, but we won't get 
> listened to. We can bash the companies all we want, and they'll 
> probably say: "So you're 20000? Well we have 8 gazillion people around 
> the globe who use and love our software, and if you don't or can't, well
tough luck".
> I'm not saying i like the situation, only that it is like that.
> Only my 2 cents.
> /Krister
> Tiffany Black wrote:
>> I think your chat's a good idea.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Debee 
>> Norling
>> Sent: Thursday, May 11, 2006 10:27 PM
>> To: Blindcooltech@Freelists. Org
>> Subject: [bct] Should we do a chat on improving software accessibility?
>> Short version: a Saturday evening chat on strategies for 
>> communicating with developers about how to make their software more 
>> accessible. Does this interest people? Should I lead it?
>> Long version:  I am in desperate need of a DVD-Writer. My husband has 
>> one if I get super desperate, but I need one at work, where I scan 
>> books for a living so need a way to archive them, no fuss, no muss. 
>> I'm sick and tired of CDS and the Windows XP CD writing wizard.
>> So yeah, you're saying, shop for a DVD-Writer; do a little research, 
>> buy one, get boss to reimburse you, problem solved.
>> Ok, so I shopped. I shopped in the store, I shopped online. There are 
>> a ton of DVD-Writers out there.
>> Every single one comes bundled with some DVD-writing software. Some 
>> got Nero 6, some got Nero 7, some got Nero Express, some got Nero 
>> something else.
>> Some got a software suite from NTI. Some got a Roxio product. There 
>> about twenty different versions of Roxio burning thingies. Many come 
>> with software I've never heard of.
>> And by the way, when my husband, a sighted electrical engineer and 
>> experienced computer user, installed a scaled-down Nero that came 
>> with his writer, it dragged in a lot of junk like the Yahoo toolbar, 
>> which he didn't want and had trouble removing. His Nero also 
>> clobbered Safe Mode, a known bug he read about online, and it took 
>> him hours to get his system back to the way it was before. I love 
>> bundled software!!!
>> So, already I've used about six different CD-burning programs and my 
>> favorite one is the Linux command line tool. Rick did a great job 
>> with Nero, but who knows if the Nero that comes with the DVD-Writer I 
>> buy is even close to the Nero that he reviewed. The "express" and 
>> "limited" versions of a product often have a completely different 
>> interface.
>> So, OK, I figure I'll just download some shareware and pick an 
>> accessible burner that will probably work with the hardware I plan to 
>> buy. Yesterday I downloaded and tried three programs, "Swift Burning 
>> Wizard" "Deep Burner"
>> and "Zip backup to CD". All were reviewed as having a very bare-bones 
>> interface, using few system resources and being particularly good for 
>> archiving files.
>> All of them wanted to "create projects" "create a data CD" "build a 
>> CD Image" and were set up for you to drag and drop icons hither and
>> They could create auto-run scripts and playlists and for all I know 
>> kitchen sinks. Why does software have all this extra and unnecessary 
>> complexity!
>> I
>> want to just select my files, and click a write to CD button. I don't 
>> want to create projects and mess around with a ton of dialog boxes.  
>> I want the program to be smart enough to cope when my data fills more 
>> than one CD.
>> Like
>> why can't a program just tell you that it will need 4 CDS and start 
>> burning.
>> All three of these supposedly simple programs weren't simple, and 
>> more important, were not very accessible. With a lot of poking 
>> around, I could burn a CD, but to do it on a daily basis, in a busy 
>> work environment where I am constantly interrupted, forget it!
>> Then I listened to Tony's cast about the inaccessibility of Spyware 
>> removers
>> -- I have a rebuttal for that, but that's a different story -- and I 
>> felt very frustrated. The reality is that software is a lot less 
>> accessible than it used to be.
>> So to fight back, we need to find ways to communicate with developers 
>> in language they understand about the problem. It isn't enough to 
>> say, "Dear Mr. Programmer: your software doesn't work with JAWS". We 
>> need to tell them exactly what doesn't work, why and how to fix it.
>> I propose that since I like to write, and know how to program, sort 
>> of anyway,  that I write a draft letter to developers and then we do 
>> a brainstorming chat and all attempt to improve it.
>> Once we have a good letter, we can easily tailor it for our 
>> individual needs, and send it off to developers when we try to use an 
>> inaccessible program. I'd concentrate on shareware and low-cost 
>> software that is sold by small companies online. For example, I'd 
>> talk to Patrick about Spybot before I'd talk to Symantech about 
>> Norton Anti-virus.
>> Your thoughts, please. Should we do a chat on this? Should I craft up 
>> a draft?
>> --Debee
>> * The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has 
>> occurred.
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