Better Speech Reading

  • From: "Matthew2007" <matthew2007@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2007 08:37:56 -0700

HI all,

for those who don't want to hear long strings of repetitive characters or even extraneous characters and only want to get to the meat and potatoes of the code, couldn't you simply use the jaws dictionary manager and similar manager in Window Eyes to change constant strings of characters and make the screen reader say something less verbose? For example, let's say I type out the alphabet as a b c d e f g H I j k l m n o p--you know the rest, I can use the dictionary manager and define this string of characters as "alphabet." As an added benefit, if I make any errors in writing this string of characters, jaws will read the entire alphabet rather than just saying the word, which means I must now go back into the string of characters and find where I made a mistake. This is fast, easy, and effective.

I do see a downside as the dictionary manager might run out of room for entries.


---- Original Message ----- From: "Marlon Brandão de Sousa" <splyt.lists@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2007 8:27 AM
Subject: Re: The top three big problems: Better Speech Reading

That's not controversial, in fact it might be of use to people in some
situations. I like to hear semicolon because at the same time I am
listening to code I am concentrated im understanding what that code
does and such punctioation says me "hey, guy, remember that what's
comming next is another statement" ..
But it has to be optional and turned off by default because it is
modifying the way the language is presented and this is dangerous in
the seense that it will say a pretty different thing than what it is
really written.
If one chooses this presentation mode, they should know they're seeing
something which is already pre interpreted for them, not the real

2007/10/14, Veli-Pekka Tätilä <vtatila@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>:
Hi Marlon,
I quite understand your point of view. And certainly this should be
optional and I would never have a new programmer start out with all the
convenience, so having this as an optional extra would be the way to do
it, seeing that it is language specific anyway. But think the situation
in which you know the syntax.

If you had someone read code over the phone or in an audio book, would
you have him or her read every parenthesis and every darn semicolon,
even those that are always part of the language syntax e.g. the boolean
expression in the if clause or empty parens in a method taking no
argument? Personally I hate the amount of redundancy, and if there's a
way to read code smarter, I'll definitely take that for browsing code.

My point is that when I think of code I think ok we multiply x and y
divided by z. I don't think:
x star y slash z.
which is an artifact of the language syntax.

But again, I do realize this is controvertial and open to debate.
And even as a proponent of this system, I'd say that I would have to try
it out first to see how well it could be made to work and how much
easier and briefer it would make reading code. Certainly, I could agree
on reding conventions with sighted folks, but getting them in an elegant
programmatically executable form might be non-trivial. Your words of
warning are appreciated.

With kind regards Veli-Pekka Tätilä (vtatila@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
Accessibility, game music, synthesizers and programming:

Marlon Brandão de Sousa wrote:
> Hello,
> I think this is dangerous. I personally would not like to have a
> solution set this way, but I will give a hint which is not dependant
> on my personal preferenses.
> If you set reading this way, a new programmer would have trouble
> learning sintax. I won't discuss if this is or isn't good, but such
> aproach would be modifying the way the programming language is
> presented to the blind person. A sigted person will see a * sign, a
> blind would hear a multipily word.
> This kind of tools HAVE TO BE OPTIONAL, one have tthe right of reading
> the same thing a sighted person is seeing.
> Note that every other suggestions I gave doesn't modify the way the
> language is presented, as the suggestions of Velipeca do.
> Tools that will make navegation equivalent for blinds and sighted
> people can be implemented, tools that will arbitrarely modify the way
> the programming language are presented SHOULD be implemented at
> maximum as a set of optional tools, and not be turned on by default.
> Marlon
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