Re: Freedom Scientific introduces bugs intentionally!

Did they fix it?

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From: "Armond" <armond1980@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 8:19 AM
To: <jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Freedom Scientific introduces bugs intentionally!

Hi, all,
Many of you might find the following email exchange between a friend of mine and Freedom Scientific's Jonathan Mosen shocking or, rather, frustrating. Basically, it describes a Unicode-related bug in newer releases of JAWS 11 which later turned out to be an intentional move on the point of Freedom Scientific to get users to purchase a certain right-to-left language pack from a dealer--at a higher cost--though this is against the spirit of the Unicode feature. Here's my friend's message--note that he himself doesn't have a blog or venue to voice his concerns and isn't interested in pursuing that line of action either for various reasons, so I'm doing that on his behalf and on the behalf of those who have been affected:
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Hello Jonathan,
Please forgive me for sending you this message. The following bug is so serious that I decided to notify you as I don't know to which FreedomScientific employee it should be sent. This affects the latest JAWS 11 update. As you know, each unicode symbol or character has a value in hex. For instance, the Persian or Arabic character "?" ("Alef") has the following value: U+627. Now JAWS 11 interprets hex values in the form of the correct value minus 1. That is, for instance, the letter "Alef" with the value of U+627 is read is "Yaa hamzeh" which has the hex value of U+626. That's quite strange, but the bug indeed affects all unicode symbols modified in Eloq.sbl! This means that I can't use the Eloquence engine to type or read characters in Persian and Arabic because what I type or whatever the cursor points to will be read as something else by JAWS 11.0.1447. Would you please inform JAWS developers about this bug? I don't want to downgrade to the previous JAWS 11 release.
All the best,
Amir
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My friend's second message:
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Just as a follow-up to my previous message, this bug affects the behavior of NumPad5 in a slightly different way. That is, if NumPad5 is pressed once on a Unicode character which has a certain value in Eloq.sbl, JAWS incorrectly reports that character in the form of the actual Unicode value minus 1. However, if NumPad5 is pressed twice on a Unicode character for its phonetic representation, JAWS incorrectly reads it in the form of the actual Unicode value plus 1. Just thought I'd pass this finding, too.
Best,
Amir
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Jonathan's reply:
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Hi Amir, the issue you've advised me of is actually a design change in JAWS. If you could please let me know your serial number, we'll look at your situation further and see if there's anything we can do for you.
Jonathan
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My friend's reply:
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Hi Jonathan,
That's a bit strange because the JAWS online help still indicates that Unicode symbols can be added for engines like Eloquence which support it. Eloq.sbl is mentioned, too. At any rate, am I correct in assuming that in the future it would be impossible to use Eloquence to read and type modified Unicode symbols and get correct feedback? May I ask why this decision has been made? As I live in a country which is now under various sanctions, I can't use credit cards or PayPal to pay for any app including JAWS, so I have to use it in demo mode. The only exception to this is, as you know, use apps I test. On the other hand, I heavily depend on JAWS for reading and writing Persian letter by letter, using my modified Eloq.sbl file in combination with Eloquence, because Persian doesn't have a TTS engine.
Would it be possible to kindly make changes to the status quo?
Best,
Amir
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Jonathan's reply:
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Hi Amir, JAWS now requires a language processor to work with Arabic and Hebrew correctly.
This can be sourced from our Arabic distributor Medialog -
http://www.medialog.ws
Hope this helps.
Jonathan
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My friend's final reply:
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Hi Jonathan,
Thanks for the note regarding the Arabic distributor of FreedomScientific products. However, following the URL which you provided results in the display of a webpage with an error message, regardless of the browser used, indicating that the page cannot be displayed. Do you happen to have a download link for that language processor? As I badly need the processor, your help would be greatly appreciated. For your information, I'm pasting the error message which is apparently in both French and English below.
Medialog Accessibilities
404 - Fichier ou répertoire introuvable. frame
Erreur de serveur
404 - Fichier ou répertoire introuvable.
La ressource que vous recherchez a peut-être été supprimée, renommée ou est temporairement indisponible.
404 - Fichier ou répertoire introuvable. frame end
The page cannot be found frame
The page cannot be found
The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please try the following:
. Make sure that the Web site address displayed in the address bar of your browser is spelled and formatted correctly. . If you reached this page by clicking a link, contact the Web site administrator to alert them that the link is incorrectly formatted.
. Click the Back button to try another link.
HTTP Error 404 - File or directory not found.
Internet Information Services  (IIS)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Technical Information (for support personnel)
. Go to Microsoft Product Support Services and perform a title search for the words HTTP and 404. . Open IIS Help, which is accessible in IIS Manager (inetmgr), and search for topics titled Web Site Setup, Common Administrative Tasks, and About Custom Error Messages.
The page cannot be found frame end
Best,
Amir
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Now, do you think this intentionally-introduced bug, which affects certain right-to-left languages, shouldn't be addressed in JAWS 12? Interestingly, even the first iterations of JAWS 11 didn't exhibit this bug, but its later releases do. I sincerely hope Freedom Scientific address that more responsibly without thinking about the extra copies it might sell to those who do not even need an Arabic or Hebrew TTS engine to read individual right-to-left languages. This is like getting Windows users in certain countries to purchase localized releases of Windows just to be able to read and write in their own native languages. BTW, if you can remember, my friend Amir has been behind the Symbian-oriented MobileSpace blog and also participates in beta testing certain accessibility-related products for the visually impaired.
Best regards,
Armond
--
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JFW related links:
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http://lists.the-jdh.com/listinfo.cgi/scriptography-the-jdh.com
JFW List instructions:
To post a message to the list, send it to jfw@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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