RE: Is GUI Programming Worth While for Visually Impaired Coders?

Hi Guys,
In all honesty, I feel that you have a fighting chance.

In the Windows, Microsoft world, there is Jamal's stuff. I don't know enough 
about how it all works to recommend the exact set up that might be best, but 
I'm sure Jamal would chime in here. Look at the packages called lbc, IniForm, 
HomerJacs, and LBC.Net.
In the other stuff area, you have these. I would think that in the Java world, 
you would have Swing, with various kinds of layout mechanisms, and SWT, with 
all of its power. With languages like Python, C++, and Perl, you'd have the WX 
stuff at your disposal.

I say don't give up, and report back how you are doing so that we can help you 
through it. Don't worry, I'll be doing what I'm talking about before long.

Jim
Jim Homme,
Usability Services,
Phone: 412-544-1810. Skype: jim.homme
Internal recipients,  Read my accessibility 
blog<http://mysites.highmark.com/personal/lidikki/Blog/default.aspx>. Discuss 
accessibility 
here<http://collaborate.highmark.com/COP/technical/accessibility/default.aspx>. 
Accessibility Wiki: Breaking news and accessibility 
advice<http://collaborate.highmark.com/COP/technical/accessibility/Accessibility%20Wiki/Forms/AllPages.aspx>

From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Kerneels Roos
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 11:08 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Is GUI Programming Worth While for Visually Impaired Coders?

This message was posted to a reply on the long thread about Oracle 
accessibility concerns involving Java. I thought I'd post it again with a new 
subject, since it deviates from the original topic.


 I can't agree more your this statement Jay. As much as all of us want to 
create nice GUIs, it is really such such a battel for someone that can't see 
properly, if you are honest with yourself. I would say that the FB examples are 
indicative of this, since the FB concept is very simple yet for a visually 
impaired person to build a GUI  is a massive task in all fairness.

I didn't  catch the whole story with the recent critisism of the FB examples, 
but I can understand why a professor for example would ridicule having the 
logic and presentation code (GUI code) all in one file. (or any other aspect of 
the FB stuff that servce the purpose of aiding blind people) It's a poor design 
choice for anything but an example, but then, that's exactly what the FB 
examples are -- tools to show you simple GUI creation in various programming 
languages. Personally I think it's great and I commend all the contributors. 
It's a service to the community, but sighted people will struggle to see it's 
worth.

We must understand, for a fully sighted person, building GUIs is rediculously 
easy and straight forward. No matter what kind of accessible GUI designer tools 
there might be in future, the playing field will never be level when it comes 
to anything graphic. Yet there is no reason for despair, since there are 
numerous other areas in computer sciense and programming in particular where a 
blind person could compete well and I'm speculating that there might even be 
areas where having no or little sight might aid you!

One particular small project I worked on while studying at university springs 
to mind. It was a little applet developed with AWT or Swing that saved your 
bookmarks in a tree structure. The professor was a gracious man, and he gave us 
a nice score for the project, but he stepped in after we did our presentation 
and basically told the  class that we really did spend much time on this and 
that we didn't just download it from the net or something... He did this, I 
think, because our project was fairly inferiour graphic wise compaired to the 
elaborate graphics the other student's projects sported even though I spent 
hours and hours on the little GUI side of the software.

It's heart breaking for me when I read how hard blind folks try and make 
appealing graphical interfaces, or when I read about the struggles some 
software causes blind guys. It's commendable to see how people cope with the 
worst of situations, but there are also better areas to focus on,, areas where 
you'll be far more productive and make a better impact .

It's a complex topic for me and there are much to say about it. What I'm 
wondering is if it is not a good time to review the way disabled people are 
trained up to believe that interaction with computers should commence in the 
generally accepted form of having a "normal" or sighted OS with all highly 
graphical applications with a rediculously advanced and complex and expensive 
screen reader stuck on top of it all.

And then, on the other hand, how we can identify better software development 
areas to focus on where blindness poses less of an obsticle. Also, how we can 
advance in those areas and properly promote ourselves and our value to a 
software development shop developing for the general public or business where 
accessibility is of little concern. Myself for one have a little bit of a 
complex when think of all my years experience as a software developer and yet 
the difficulty with which I'm faced with when having to develop a GUI, and how 
someone with far less experience than myself could code a GUI so much faster 
and better looking in less time and with less effort.

My challenge to the list; let's draw up a specification of areas in programming 
and computer science where visually impaired people can excell at in the modern 
age where graphics does play such a ever increasingly important part.

Armed with such a specification we'll be in the right position to start and 
focus efforts on training ourselves up in those areas and then sharing 
knowledge and awareness so that a wel trained blind programmer (in the 
identified fields) could approach any development house with confidence of his 
/ her abilities and value she / he will add to a company.

Kerneels

On 10/13/2010 12:31 AM, Jay Macarty wrote:

I would advise spending time on web development with java on the server side. 
Either that or headless java development such as web services. Both directions 
can allow a person to grow into a very strong java developer with very 
marketable skill sets without fighting the constant battle of either swing 
accessibility or trying to gain skills in an API, swt, which may have somewhat 
limited acceptence in a large traditional java shop. Personally, I love swt; 
however, as a tech lead, I can't push it into a project here because it is not 
an accepted technology by our enterprise architects.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Homme, James" 
<james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx><mailto:james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx><mailto:programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 7:02 AM
Subject: RE: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration, IMHO


Hi Jay,
Would you advise someone new to Java to spend more time on Swing, SWT, or web?

Thanks.

Jim

Jim Homme,
Usability Services,
Phone: 412-544-1810. Skype: jim.homme
Internal recipients,  Read my accessibility blog. Discuss accessibility here. 
Accessibility Wiki: Breaking news and accessibility advice


-----Original Message-----
From: 
programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
 [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jay Macarty
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 3:31 PM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration, IMHO

Over the past couple of years, I have been involved in hiring java
developers several times. One of the things we have had trouble with is
finding people with swing experience. It seems that, while there are
certainly a number of applications still using swing heavily, a lot of java
development is moving away from swing based GUI interfaces to using web
based front-ends. Perhaps, Oracle thinks that a declining interest in using
swing as a UI means they don't need to spend as much effort on swing
accessibility but that thought path can certainly leave those of us who
still need access to heavily swing based apps in a spot.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Stanzel, Susan - Kansas City, MO" 
<susan.stanzel@xxxxxxxxxxxx><mailto:susan.stanzel@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx><mailto:programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2010 8:11 PM
Subject: RE: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration, IMHO


Hi Listers,

I have not stepped into this until now. I would hope that needing government
contracts in the United States would have some affect on all this. I have
asked people about swing and I am told it isn't used very much because there
is newer technology out there. I am not an experienced Java programmer so
maybe the rest of you will know more than I do. I know we use Struts at my
building for creation of web projects. If I have just made a fool of myself,
it's not the first time and won't be the last. (grin).

Susie Stanzel

-----Original Message-----
From: 
programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of The Elf
Sent: Sunday, October 10, 2010 7:08 PM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration, IMHO

hey, this is my usual line, "beat them into submission" lol

or hound,or pummel,  or...

elf
Moderator, Blind Access Help
Owner: Alacorn Computer Enterprises
Specialists in customized computers and peripherals
- own the might and majesty of a Alacorn!
www.alacorncomputer.com<http://www.alacorncomputer.com>
proprietor, The Grab Bag,
for blind computer users and programmers
http://grabbag.alacorncomputer.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Sina Bahram" <sbahram@xxxxxxxxx><mailto:sbahram@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx><mailto:programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2010 10:14 AM
Subject: RE: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration, IMHO



Wow, it only took like 15 emails on the subject, but finally the voice of
reason has made itself known.

Ken, I completely agree. Now is the time to pressure them into actually
not abandoning it.

Take care,
Sina

________________________________

From: 
programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ken Perry
Sent: Saturday, October 09, 2010 1:10 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration, IMHO



If this is true then it's not time to tell people to stay away.  It's time
to get people to get active and start emailing and
calling them till they do support it.  If we stay away we lose what
accessibility was there.



Ken





From: 
programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Storm Dragon
Sent: Friday, October 08, 2010 11:09 PM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: Credible rumor that deserves serious consideration, IMHO



Hi,
I would not doubt it for one second. They dropped the ball on Linux
accessibility pretty much first thing when they took over Sun.
It's probably a good idea, if you have influence over software decisions,
to encourage companies, clients, and friends to stay far
far away from Oracle and their software. I was even going to get rid of
Open Office but fortunately the version used in Ubuntu is a
fork so not subject to them. unless, that is, they somehow manage to win
their evil attack on Google. If that happens, who knows who
they will attack next. Keep your fingers crossed, and maybe the open
source community will keep the Bridge going, Orca is still
alive and well after all.
Storm

--


Registered Linux user number 508465:
http://counter.li.org/
My blog, Thoughts of a Dragon:
http://www.stormdragon.us/
Get yourself a Frostbox:
http://www.frostbitesystems.com/


On Sat, 2010-10-09 at 08:15 +0530, prateek aggarwal wrote:


oh know,
i wish its just a rumor.
if its ever going to be true, i'll be so said.

regards,
prateek agarwal.



On 10/9/10, Jamal Mazrui <empower@xxxxxxxxx><mailto:empower@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I heard from a good source today that Oracle has decided to discontinue
support for the Java Access Bridge (and no alternative is planned).  I
would be glad to be convinced otherwise.  If anyone has information
regarding this topic, please share.

Jamal

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--
Kerneels Roos
Cell: +27 (0)82 309 1998
Skype: cornelis.roos

"Common Sense" is not "Common Practice" .

"The Strawberry Jam Law:
  The wider you spread it, the thinner it gets..."
   -- from the Java Specialist Newsletter, from a book on consulting.

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