Re: The top three big problems

  • From: "Octavian Rasnita" <orasnita@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 20:14:00 +0300

Hi Andy,

My first 3 important things that could be improved from the perspective of a blind programmer are:

1. The accessibility of some parts of the environment.

In some programs like Eclipse, the main edit area is accessible, but not entirely. For example, on the left border it appears sometimes some indications about some errors in some lines of code, and we cannot access those information, and it is also pretty hard to click on them.

More important, it is very hard to reach in some parts of the environment. A sighted user can just click with the mouse, but the blind programmers need to use hotkeys. Well, there are not hotkeys defined for jumping to every view or perspective with a single hotkey, and it is not a pleasure to need going to the Windows menu and choosing something from there, or using a combination of more hotkeys. Those hotkeys should be also redefinable by the user.

In other environment, like for example, some controls are not standard, like the list of controls that can be placed in a form. This is not a problem of the environment, but a problem of the screen readers, but it is a problem. For example, in a list, any kind of list, I want to hear something like:
"Radio button, one of 120".
... when I press insert+tab (in Jaws).

Also the lists should be accessible using up and down arrow, but home, end, page up and page down also, not like the list of installed programs in Control Panel/Add - remove programs (In Win XP).

And there are many other problems regarding the accessibility...

2. The usability.

A programming environment should be made thinking to the blind programmers needs also, and a blind programmer should be able to configure the environment as he wants.

For example, what does a sighted programmer after he runs a program in Eclipse or and it gives an error?
I think that he looks too se what was the error.
So, for the sighted programmer is easy to take a look in the wanted pane, but a blind programmer should be able to configure the application so after it runs the program and gives the error, the focus to be automaticly placed in the errors pane. And he should be able to move the focus to the code pane immediately.

The blind users should be able to use the programs just like a sighted user. It is not a pleasure to use a program which is not accessible but which can speak a message with some information which should help the blind user I prefer to be able to read all the text that a sighted person can see, using the PC cursor, character by character if needed. English is not my native language and sometimes this is important. Hearing just a sinthesized text without beeing able to read it using the PC or Jaws cursor is not good at all.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Andreas Stefik" <stefika@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2007 7:43 PM
Subject: The top three big problems

Hey folks, I'm working nowadays on writing tools that tightly
integrate speech based audio into all sorts of areas in the compiler.
Being a sighted user, however, I'm pretty naive about what the real
needs and problems the blind programmer community has when interacting
with programming environments. If you folks had to choose the top 3
most vexing problems you have, in your own personal experience, when
programming, what would they be? What about when you are trying to
find bugs, what are the three biggest issues then?

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