Re: Here I Am Open Source Screen Reader Project

  • From: "Littlefield, Tyler" <compgeek13@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2007 15:48:06 -0600

I like the idea of open source. Then, people can work with it, make changes, etc. If this is free, and you're willing to share, this would be my idea of the best approach. I'd also recommend SVN or CVS, to manage your code. This can be done for development, and redistribution both.

Something for cross platform, that I was thinking about before.
Each OS will need hooks, and etc in the kernel, drivers, or what ever. There might be other ways of catching the video, but on windows, I can think of putting in a hook. This means, that even though, say you write this in c/c++, if you write pure ansi or iso, you're still going to have to either: 1. find some libraries to do what you want that are cross platform, which will present the same problem.
2. Write multiple versions of the reader for different operating systems. Target which ones you want, and write. I'd suggest starting from say windows, or linux.
Concentrate on 1.
Then, you can port, and you'll have large chunks of code to use.

If you're going the cross-platform routine, here is my suggestion for a language.

I recommend c, or c++, because of the capabilities. It will be fast, portable, and is low level so you can do what you wish with it.

You may also wish to combine this with perl, python, or another higher level light-weight programming language that is also cross platform.

This will save you coding time, as well as making it easier to implement some functionality into the reader.
If you wish to contact me, info is below.
I would like to help out with this project.

I'm currently in school, so my contributions will be limited, what with other projects that are currently in progress.
Tyler Littlefield.
Vertigo head coder
"My programs don't have bugs, just randomly added features."
msn: compgeek134@xxxxxxxxxxx
email: compgeek13@xxxxxxxxx
aim: st8amnd2005
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----- Original Message ----- From: "dusty bray" <dusty_bray@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ProgrammingBlind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 12:59 PM
Subject: Here I Am Open Source Screen Reader Project

Hi everyone,
i really hope it's okay that i've posted to both lists. i just wanted to make sure that everyone receives my response.

First, i have to comment on the incredibly fast pace of this list! i was surprised to find so many replies in my inbox this morning! And i wasn't sure what to expect, but i can already tell that most of you probably have more knowledge about programming than i do. This is awesome! i think several people here would be assets to an open source project.

Well, i was a little vague about my project, so let me clarify: i guess it's not really intended to be a "screen reader" in the traditional sense. The idea is a little convoluted, but hear me out. If anyone has tried the prototype, you noticed that it's actually an Internet browser. Most screen readers focus primarily on making the operating system accessible, but i consider this only a subset or an extension of the screen reader's functionality. This model is more concerned with improving communication and navigation in general. Hopping around the screen from control to control, learning keystrokes for every little task-- these methods are tedious to learn, frustrating to use, and have absolutely nothing to do with the way a sighted user operates his machine. i really believe that there are better ways of interacting with information.

Anyway, i want to make a more informed decision on the best language for implementing the project. i agree that a normal screen reader probably wouldn't survive as an open source project, but this model is so simple that i foresee a lot of the code being reusable at the very least. i would like to choose a popular language that a large number of systems recognize. i personally don't want to continue the project in VB.NET, but it's more a matter of principle. Microsoft isn't really a supporter of open source, nor do they support Internet standards. As a low-vision user, i hate Java, but i don't know what the totally-blind consensus is on this language.

i'm disappointed that Source Forge presents a major hurdle, but i should have seen it coming. i even have trouble navigating the site with my visual impairment. i'm open to any suggestions for a more accessible solution, and i will definitely check out Google. i certainly want to accommodate everyone who volunteered for the project.

Oh, and thanks so much, everyone, for making me aware of NVDA. i really wish i had known about it before my brother spent almost $900 on JAWS a few weeks ago...


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