Re: iPhone development

  • From: Jamal Mazrui <empower@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2010 07:27:37 -0400

I think debate about UI code design is a separate matter from the fruit basket issue here. The person was using it as a reason not to code an FB program, as if that was one of the criteria. It is not, and a reading of the site would make that clear.


On 10/11/2010 10:32 PM, Tyler Littlefield wrote:
Hash: SHA1

I love the response below, and Ido hope there is no attempt to "set the
professor straight," as it'll just make whoever is attempting to do the
setting straight look kind of dumb.
You don't usually bundle gui code with the main logic of a program; they
should be separate, with the gui code interfacing to the program's logic.

On 10/11/2010 8:16 PM, Sina Bahram wrote:
Wait a minute. Set him straight on what? Since when is mixing UI and code in 
one amorphis blob, good design?

It can be find for showing how to do controls and such, but don't get upset 
when its called out.

Take care,

-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of The Elf
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 5:35 PM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: iPhone development

gimme a way to contact this "professor", I'll set the bollix straight

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris Hofstader"<cdh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Jamal Mazrui"<empower@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 12:55 PM
Subject: Re: iPhone development

The student understood what the FB projects were all about but the
professor, not one who knows anything about accessibility, refused to let
her use the existing ones as the basis for her assignments in her computer
languages class. I doubt the professor looked for or, for that matter, cared
about the reason FB exists at all.

This is life in an International mob of volunteer hackers. The landscape is
always shifting and well intentioned individuals find that they cannot meet
commitments due to forces outside of their control.

So, I continue to search for someone who can bring FB to GTK and the Gnome
Accessibility API and went as far as to sweeten the deal by throwing in a
free computer that runs the Vinux distro of GNU/Linux really well.

I'll go back to my cave now...

On Oct 11, 2010, at 12:35 PM, Jamal Mazrui wrote:

It sounds to me like whoever that person is, he or she has not been truly
serious about contributing a fruit basket program.  On the present web
site of the project

the purpose of the project is explained and there is a link to the
specific criteria for a fruit basket program.  For even easier reference,
I am pasting the text of that file below.

While the current organization of the page may not be optimal, it is not
difficult to follow.  There are clearly program samples that do not use
the unified code approach, and as mentioned, the criteria (pasted below)
makes no mention of code structure.


[F[From the link entitled "Fruit Basket Demo criteria,

hello friends,

On the Blind Programming list (, we developed
specifications for a sample program with a graphical user interface (GUI)
that could be implemented in various languages.  It became known as a
fruit basket program.  The purpose is to help teach people how to code a
GUI program in a particular language.  Someone considering the language
can examine the code and evaluate the syntax and other development steps
involved based on his or her own knowledge, skills, and preferences.  By
running the program, one can also make observations as an end-user,
evaluating such aspects as the size, speed, and accessibility of the

The specifications for a fruit basket program are as follows:
1. The program is a GUI interface, or the equivalent with at least an edit
box, list box, and two buttons.
2. The user can type the name of a fruit, e.g., apple, in the edit box.
3. When the Add button is activated, the fruit is copied into the list box
and the edit box is cleared to be ready for another entry.
4. When the Delete button is activated, the currently focused fruit in the
list box, or basket, is removed.
5. For accessibility, static labels should be associated with the edit box
and list box, since these controls do not have captions like buttons.
6. Keyboard users will also appreciate a unique hot key for each control.
7. Making Add the default button allows a fruit to be added by simply
pressing Enter after typing its name.
8. An error message alerts the user if Add is pressed without a fruit in
the edit box or Delete is pressed without a fruit in the list box.

** Important** please! annotate your program files, make text copies if
there not readable as such in there native format, add notes on easy to
find and use applications for compiling the project if you can and include
the text files, project files, and an compiled executable for your version
of the Fruit Basket Demo Project, in a zipped file for uploading to the

thank you, Inthaneelf, Jamal Mazrui, James Homme, Eunice Clicker, and
everyone else who have contributed to the fruit basket demo project.

On 10/11/2010 10:21 AM, Chris Hofstader wrote:
Jamal et al,

I did not say that the single source file approach to some of the Fruit
Basket programs is essential to their value, I'm just a little frustrated
trying to find someone to port the baskets to a GNU/Linux, Gnome based
system. We have a call for volunteers out in all of our international
locales and in the US asking for help in this porting but we've no takers
and the one person we did have was stopped by her professor because he
found the code to be oddly organized.

If someone can write up a few paragraphs describing in general terms what
FB is and why it is important, I'll get it up onto the FSF web site as
soon as I can. If you don't look at much, you won't,
therefore, be able to see how rapidly we are improving it and an
accessibility section is under way but, except for our original
statement, still not there but will be soon. Anyone who wants to write
articles about FLOSS at on GNU/Linux platforms (it's ok if they also run
on Windows or Mac but they must also work as well on free operating
systems) should write to me off-line to discuss topics of interest and
how best to present them.

If anyone out there wants to help port FB to a Gnome desktop, I can send
them a pretty good  computer that they can keep as their own once they
complete some subsection of FB in  Gnome desktop.

Currently, from Gnome Foundation, Linux Foundation, FSF and elsewhere,
the absolute highest priority is that we work with Gnome 3 as soon as it
ships. This requires that we make a major change to DBus which means that
it's really "under-the-hood" system hacking and lots of regression
testing to make sure that Orca and other AT for Gnome weren't broken by
one of these new changes.

Again, any help would be greatly appreciated. Getting a free computer in
the bargain should also alleviate fears of damaging one's main machine by
polluting it with a GNU/Linux distro.

Lastly, I will pay for shipping out of pocket for the computer in the US
but I need to ask that anyone outside the country pay for shipping and
whatever customs charges come with taking receipt of a desktop computer.


PS: The computer cannot be shipped until 10/25 or so as it is in my house
in Florida and no one will be there until the twenty-fifth of this month.

On Oct 11, 2010, at 9:27 AM, Jamal Mazrui wrote:

There is absolutely nothing in the criteria for a fruit basket program
that says UI and other code need to be mixed.  That is a design choice
that some have made, but there are other samples, e.g., Visual Studio
projects, where UI and other code is separated.  So, those folks should
be encouraged to submit programs that meet the criteria and separate the
code and files however they think is best.  The criteria specify how the
dialog should behave, not how the underlying code should be structured.


On 10/10/2010 2:30 PM, Chris Hofstader wrote:
Thanks Ken.

I hadn't heard of Appcelerator but I'll look around for it and see what
I may be able to learn about it. It would certainly be convenient to
iPhone and Android all in one project. How accessible is it?

I know that Fruit Basket is intended to show blind people how to do UI
without sighted help. I was just mentioning that I don't do a lot of UI
stuff as my UI ideas tend to suck and someone always needs to jump in
and help me out before shipping a program.

The problem with our friends in Venezuela didn't object to a blind
person writing UI code, they didn't like the entire program being
in a single source file as that would make for a lot of difficulty
working on multi-hacker projects and generally more difficult to find
any specific item.

Blind people should learn how to make GUI code but I am still willing
bet that the marketing department will want things rearranged as this
the issue even with sighted hackers. Personally, I think emacs has the
greatest UI in the world so the average man on the street thinks I am
probably seriously mentally ill.

I would like to see FB for Gnome and for the Apple operating systems
no volunteers have come forward yet.

On Oct 10, 2010, at 1:39 PM, Ken Perry wrote:

Actually you can also use Appcelerator and when using it under Mac you
can actually code for IPhone and Android both at the same time.
Remember though the fruit basket was originally designed to show how
to make UI for blind people. Using a sited person to do it really
doesn't count. That is why I have not done one already.
*From:* programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] *On Behalf Of *Chris
*Sent:* Sunday, October 10, 2010 1:09 PM
*To:* programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
*Subject:* Re: iPhone development
To develop iPhone apps you are almost forced to use the xcode
development system that ships with every Macintosh. I know a few blind
people who use it with pretty good success. The hardest part, of
course, is arranging controls in your UI as there is no accessible way
to do this.
When coding for iPhone, I use emacspeak as my editor and xcode as an
IDE and get help from a sightie for layout issues.
I thought of trying to find someone to help make a "fruit basket" for
OSX and iOS but haven't had any takers so far. I'm not even sure that
OSX or iOS permit putting all of the UI code in the same file as the
rest of the program which is how many of the Fruit Basket programs are
designed. Also, while it's possible to write iOS code in C or C++, for
all intents and purposes, you are forced to use Objective C, an odd
language that only Apple supports as far as I can tell. So, a fruit
basket program for a single language (Objective C is preferred for OSX
as well) might be something we can find someone to do. Of course, if
you embed a WebKit control in your iOS program, you then need to
follow the WCAG guidelines for the content you expose using it so
JavaScript and some other things become important but doing an FB
program would be silly as it is all described nicely in the WCAG and
other W3C standards documents.
I had thought I had a student in Venezuela who was going to make Fruit
Basket ports for GNU/Linux systems running the Gnome desktop. She is
taking a class called "Computer Languages" which, when I took it back
in 1980 or so, taught us 13 languages in 13 weeks and, as I saw it, it
was a pretty major waste of time and, to this day, I've never seen
anyone ask for Snobol/V, Wafter, Spitbol and a few of the others we
had to learn back in the dark ages. Our Venezuelan student's professor
liked the idea of the Fruit Basket for Gnome until he found files that
contained the UI and the rest of the program as he thinks it is bad
software engineering practice. Our student friend is doing all console
programs instead and we're still looking for a volunteer to do the FB
I do not find asking for sighted help on UI layout to be a problem for
me. When I could see perfectly well, I made sucky user interfaces that
someone would need to rearrange in a manner that the marketing people
approved of. So, as far as I go, UI layout always required asking for
help and I can usually find someone to spiff up my programs pretty
On Oct 9, 2010, at 4:48 PM, Michael Taboada (AI5HF) wrote:

I was wondering if anyone knew of an accessible way to develop for the
I could use apple's software, or I could use a third party software
I am running windows.
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