Re: More Java Questions Was RE: MAGic and COM

  • From: Kerneels Roos <kerneels@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 17:05:27 +0200

Hi Jim,

I'll try and clear up your confusion.

The thing is, Java isn't a *purely* object oriented language such as Smalltalk for example, and hence you have so called primitive types such as int (all lower case) which isnt' a class but the type of a variable that can store an integer value.

You can't call methods on an int variable because it's just a value. Now there are some operations that best is classified as belonging to, and acting on variables of type int, and hence these methods are placed in a class called Int (capital I). So, the class called Int (capital I) has a member variable of type int (all lower case) and dealing with this int is it's main obsession, hence they speak about the class Int (capital I) being a wrapper class for the type int (all lowercase).

Consider the following code:

int i = 123;     // perfect, i is a primitive type int variable
Int objInt = 123;  // won't work, objInt is an object not a primitive type
Int objInt = new Int(123);  // ah, this works

Primitive types don't have all the overheads of classes, or rather, variables of primitive types doesn't have all the overheads associated with objects of classes.

Int.value is indeed of primitive type int and is inside class Int.

I'm no expert on inter language operability, but basically it is possible to interact with code written in another language from within one language in many ways. They often speak of Python bindings to the wx toolkit, or Java bindings to the XYZ language, meaning with those bindings you can call methods created and compiled with the XYZ language. JNI also has something to do with it, and COM is also a technology on Windows for interoperability.

And now my ignorance is probably starting to show way too much :-)

C# brings in some extra confusion, with structs that can have methods.... But don't worry about that, you are learning Java.
BTW, what's the point of structures with methods?

Hope that was useful.


On 2/24/2011 4:26 PM, Homme, James wrote:
I have so many holes in my programming knowledge. This idea of wrapping things 
also came up in my Java book yesterday, and they didn't satisfy my curiosity. I 
may not be re-phrasing it exactly the way they did, but it went something like 

The Int class is a wrapper for the int primitive type.

I immediately went to the Java documentation and looked up the Int class. When 
I did that, it left me with more questions than answers.

Here are my uneducated impressions to this point. Are they anywhere in the 

The int primitive type is somewhere inside the Int class. That's why it's 
called a wrapper. Are they trying to say that the thing called int.value 
actually is a primitive type? Int.value is inside the Int class.

When you use the term wrap in the context of this original message, how are you able 
to get one programming language to understand that it can use a piece of code and do 
something in another language? Can you put this in terms a 10 year old can 

Why is a primitive type not a class? What does it need to make it a class? Is 
there some advantage to it being a primitive type as opposed to being a class? 
I can conceive of having a class with only data and no methods. Is that 
something that happens very often? I would think that a class like that should 
have setters and getters for the pieces of data that it wants to let other 
classes use.

Thanks for your indulgence.


-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Andreas Stefik
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2011 8:46 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: MAGic and COM


Yes, that's what we've been building, is a C-wrapper to screen readers
that you can connect to through Java. We haven't publicly released yet
our JAR wrapper libraries, but the current build is used in the
Sodbeans 2.0 trunk build. For example, to connect using our libraries,
on windows, mac, or linux, using either JAWS, NVDA, Voice Over
(Carbon), ORCA with Speech Dispatcher, Apple Say, or Microsoft SAPI,
requires the following Java code:

TextToSpeech speech = TextToSpeechFactory.getDefaultTextToSpeech();
speech.speak("Hello, World!");

You can also request, from Java, a particular speech engine. For
example, you can request that you connect to JAWS, etc.

We're planning on releasing that publicly in July or so, although the
trunk build is actually pretty stable. For now, we're working to add
pitch shifting of the TTS, better priority support for complicated
streams of auditory cues (as we have on the Sodbeans project), and
we're doing lots and lots of testing.


On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 8:23 PM, Haden Pike<haden.pike@xxxxxxxxx>  wrote:
That's what I was referring too. It's under the MIT license. Correct me if
I'm wrong, but if this library was written in C, could you write a wrapper
to call it in java?

On 2/23/2011 4:54 PM, Andreas Stefik wrote:
Interesting, our libraries work very similar to accessible_output (it
appears), and for that matter, SayTools, as well, although we all seem
to support slightly different systems (our tools allow call-downs from
Java and our language, Hop).

I assume this is what you are referring to:

What License are you under?

And yaa, I will have to look into screen magnifiers as well.


On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 3:40 PM, Haden Pike<haden.pike@xxxxxxxxx>    wrote:
That could work. We really need to rewrite at least the core of
accessible_output in C or C++, so we can write bindings for other

I don't know much about magnification myself. That's something I'd have
research prior to writing this.

On 2/23/2011 3:58 PM, Nathaniel Schmidt wrote:

This might not be very useful, but if there is such an API for magic,
it make things easier to include it in a package like accessible_output?
suppose then it would be limited to python, but it would be simple to
the magnification package, magnifier.magnify()? Of course I am writing
knowing not much at all about magnification, just throwing the
out there.


-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:programmingblind-
bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Haden Pike
Sent: Thursday, 24 February 2011 7:09 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: MAGic and COM

Maybe someone could write a cross-platform wrapper for the different
magnifiers.  Magtools, anyone?

I'd do it myself, but it would have to wait until July at the

On 2/23/2011 1:59 PM, Andreas Stefik wrote:

For example, really quick, what we would REALLY like to do is have a
cross-platform bolding, highlighting, and magnification
built into Sodbeans, so that users can magnify certain parts of the
tool and that the magnification flexibly adjusts to whatever the user
is doing (e.g., it follows you as you type, it focses when you hit a
menu). So far as we can tell, so far, however, it seems like we'll
need some kind of complicated wrapper API in C on each system, like
how we connect to screen readers right now (which works, but is

Anyway, maybe that puts our actual goal into context. Who knows,
such an API already exists ...


On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 12:48 PM, Andreas Stefik<stefika@xxxxxxxxx>
I'm not sure. We definitely know about, and have looked at SayTools.
forget, but I think it connects to JAWS, but not MAGic. I'll have to
ask download and look again to make sure.

If anything, what we really want to do is make magnification
easier/better in Sodbeans, as we're finding that Sodbeans is working
great for the kids that are non-sighted, but there are a number of
ways that we think we need to improve for the visually impaired

Another possible route we could take is to bypass MAGic altogether
roll our own magnification system, although I've heard that this is
difficult. Hmm ...


On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM, Homme,
James<james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx>       wrote:
Hi Stefik,
I wish that wasn't the case. Do you think that maybe SayTools or
the other thing whose name I forget that Jamal created would help you
at all?


-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Andreas
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 11:08 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: MAGic and COM

Kind of sort of, and I appreciate it. This is basically what we do
to connect to JAWS, but because there is basically no
documentation, I
was hoping folks knew of a library out there that we could just
"connect" to, instead of figuring it all out again for this
set of DLLs.

Sounds like we'll just have to slog through it, though.


On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 5:51 AM, Homme,
James<james.homme@xxxxxxxxxxxx>       wrote:
Hi Stefik,
This is just a guess. I'm thinking that Magic has a dll like JAWS
does. It may even use a copy of that dll to talk. Are you also talking
about enlargement? I'm also thinking that you can get a demo of Magic
to find out what's in it. I know that it uses the same scripting
language JAWS does. That language can do some stuff like get at other
applications like IE, Word, Excel, and so on.
Does any of this rambling help?



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
-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Andreas
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 4:56 PM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: MAGic and COM

Hey folks,

Anyone have any experience connecting to Freedom scientific's
either through Java or COM? Any existing libraries out there to
this easy?

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

"There are only two kinds of programming languages in the world; those everyone 
complains about, and those nobody uses."

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