RE: Auditory interface ideas, what would help?

  • From: "Michael Malver" <mmalver@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 17:05:14 -0500

It's been years since I worked with it, but doesn't eclipse already have a
keystroke that can move you from function to function?

-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Andreas Stefik
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2009 4:34 PM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Auditory interface ideas, what would help?

When a sighted individual navigates code, the most often navigate it by
scrolling, often very quickly, up and down the source looking for something
they are interested in.

Right now, we're working to build some tools that we will hope will make it
easier to scan the code looking for items of interest only using audio.
While failure is always an option, I'm really hoping we can make scanning
just as fast for the blind. The most obvious example I can think of is a
"navigator window" that jumps to the beginning of a method. This solution,
while fine for the sighted, requires one to change focus to a new window,
finding what you want by browsing (not searching), then typing a key to jump
focus back and find what you want.

Here's a couple possible ideas. None of them are perfect, just brainstorms:

1. Press a key combination to jump to the "next point of interest." This
might be the end of the current scope, the beginning of the next one, or
whatever. A cue would indicate where you jumped.

2. Have a series of hotkeys that jumps you to various places, like the
"next" or "previous" method, the end or beginning of a loop, if, or other
construct. Requiring someone to remember lots of hotkeys seems like a bad
idea to me, but it's just a thought ...

So yaa, that's two ideas. I know Sina has told me in the past that
navigation amongst various files can be excruciating. Ideas related to that
would be good as well. Search can obviously help, but we want an improved
"browsing" experience as well.

Hope that helps give you an idea of what I mean. Really, we're open to
pretty much any wacky idea people can come up with, that folks think might
help everyone program more effectively. 

Andreas Stefik, Ph.D.
Department of Computer Science
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

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