Blind OpenBSD users

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Blind OpenBSD users

Aaron Bieber-2
Hi misc@!

I am looking to understand / enhance the OpenBSD experience for blind users.

Do we have any blind users reading misc that can offer any insight into their
usecases / pain points / work flows / wants? I am sure OpenBSD is lacking on
this front, so use cases in *nix would also be helpful.

Cheers,
Aaron

--
PGP: 0x1F81112D62A9ADCE / 3586 3350 BFEA C101 DB1A  4AF0 1F81 112D 62A9 ADCE

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Re: Blind OpenBSD users

Dumitru Moldovan-2
On Fri, May 10, 2019 at 08:05:08AM -0600, Aaron Bieber wrote:
>Hi misc@!
>
>I am looking to understand / enhance the OpenBSD experience for blind users.
>
>Do we have any blind users reading misc that can offer any insight into their
>usecases / pain points / work flows / wants? I am sure OpenBSD is lacking on
>this front, so use cases in *nix would also be helpful.

I've worked for the GNOME project as a translator some years ago.  I
know from the strings I've translated that they worked hard on a11y
(accessibility).  I don't use GNOME anymore (except through its most
basic libs, such as GTK+), but I think it's usable under OpenBSD.

A couple of links to get you going:
  * https://help.gnome.org/users/gnome-help/stable/a11y.html.en
  * https://wiki.gnome.org/Accessibility

KDE has a similar a11y initiative, but it seems less entrenched than
GNOME's one: https://userbase.kde.org/System_Settings/Accessibility.
Even their tutorial suggests using the KDE apps under a GNOME desktop
when using a screen reader:
https://techbase.kde.org/Development/Tutorials/Accessibility/Screen_Reader_Setup#Screen_Readers

Another interesting link I've found, touching on both GNOME and KDE,
but also listing alternatives to GNOME's Orca screen reader:
https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Accessibility/.

Hope that helps!  Not a blind user here...  Also, was hoping someone
more knowledgeable would step in to answer.  As far as I can tell,
there is no a11y support in OpenBSD's native console, so it seems blind
users can only use graphical applications under OpenBSD.

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Re: Blind OpenBSD users

Aaron Bieber-2
On Mon, 13 May 2019 at 11:24:57 +0300, Dumitru Moldovan wrote:

> On Fri, May 10, 2019 at 08:05:08AM -0600, Aaron Bieber wrote:
> > Hi misc@!
> >
> > I am looking to understand / enhance the OpenBSD experience for blind users.
> >
> > Do we have any blind users reading misc that can offer any insight into their
> > usecases / pain points / work flows / wants? I am sure OpenBSD is lacking on
> > this front, so use cases in *nix would also be helpful.
>
> I've worked for the GNOME project as a translator some years ago.  I
> know from the strings I've translated that they worked hard on a11y
> (accessibility).  I don't use GNOME anymore (except through its most
> basic libs, such as GTK+), but I think it's usable under OpenBSD.
>
> A couple of links to get you going:
>  * https://help.gnome.org/users/gnome-help/stable/a11y.html.en
>  * https://wiki.gnome.org/Accessibility
>
> KDE has a similar a11y initiative, but it seems less entrenched than
> GNOME's one: https://userbase.kde.org/System_Settings/Accessibility.
> Even their tutorial suggests using the KDE apps under a GNOME desktop
> when using a screen reader:
> https://techbase.kde.org/Development/Tutorials/Accessibility/Screen_Reader_Setup#Screen_Readers
>
> Another interesting link I've found, touching on both GNOME and KDE,
> but also listing alternatives to GNOME's Orca screen reader:
> https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Accessibility/.
>
> Hope that helps!  Not a blind user here...  Also, was hoping someone
> more knowledgeable would step in to answer.  As far as I can tell,
> there is no a11y support in OpenBSD's native console, so it seems blind
> users can only use graphical applications under OpenBSD.

Thanks for the info!

>

--
PGP: 0x1F81112D62A9ADCE / 3586 3350 BFEA C101 DB1A  4AF0 1F81 112D 62A9 ADCE

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Re: Blind OpenBSD users

Nemo Nusquam
On 05/13/19 08:49, Aaron Bieber wrote:

> On Mon, 13 May 2019 at 11:24:57 +0300, Dumitru Moldovan wrote:
>> On Fri, May 10, 2019 at 08:05:08AM -0600, Aaron Bieber wrote:
>>> Hi misc@!
>>>
>>> I am looking to understand / enhance the OpenBSD experience for blind users.
>>>
>>> Do we have any blind users reading misc that can offer any insight into their
>>> usecases / pain points / work flows / wants? I am sure OpenBSD is lacking on
>>> this front, so use cases in *nix would also be helpful.
>>> [...]
>>>
>>> Hope that helps!  Not a blind user here...  Also, was hoping someone
>>> more knowledgeable would step in to answer.  As far as I can tell,
>>> there is no a11y support in OpenBSD's native console, so it seems blind
>>> users can only use graphical applications under OpenBSD.
> Thanks for the info!
>
I am not blind but until recent surgery, I was severely visually
handicaped and I offer one piece of advice from my experience: Ensure
that every piece of text can be increased in size (or the underlying
fonts increased).  It was very frustrating to have to reach for my
magnifying glasses when informative/error messages came up much smaller
that my default setting.

N.

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Re: Blind OpenBSD users

Marc Espie-2
In reply to this post by Dumitru Moldovan-2
As far as I know, the only software we have for blind people
(and not just people with very poor eye sight)
is misc/brltty.

misc/screen  also has support in the form of the shm flavor,
which hooks to misc/brltty

The main issue for this kind of thing is of course testing.

This was done over 10 years ago.  I have zero idea if this
still works, or if there are better tools these days.


We also have (had?) a speech synthesis system in
audio/festival

Unfortunately, this is research code that predates the C++
standard by years, and thus is thoroughly rotten through.

I don't think we have any other speech synthesis open source
software in the ports tree.

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Re: Blind OpenBSD users

STeve Andre'-2

On 5/14/19 5:02 AM, Marc Espie wrote:

> As far as I know, the only software we have for blind people
> (and not just people with very poor eye sight)
> is misc/brltty.
>
> misc/screen  also has support in the form of the shm flavor,
> which hooks to misc/brltty
>
> The main issue for this kind of thing is of course testing.
>
> This was done over 10 years ago.  I have zero idea if this
> still works, or if there are better tools these days.
>
>
> We also have (had?) a speech synthesis system in
> audio/festival
>
> Unfortunately, this is research code that predates the C++
> standard by years, and thus is thoroughly rotten through.
>
> I don't think we have any other speech synthesis open source
> software in the ports tree.


There isĀ  fliteĀ  which works but isn't great.


--STeve Andre'


>
>

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Re: Blind OpenBSD users

Christian Weisgerber
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
On 2019-05-14, Marc Espie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> We also have (had?) a speech synthesis system in
> audio/festival

We deleted that.  Somebody would need to create a new port for a
more recent release.

> I don't think we have any other speech synthesis open source
> software in the ports tree.

There's audio/espeak, but I can't comment on it.

--
Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                          [hidden email]

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Re: Blind OpenBSD users

Marcus MERIGHI
In reply to this post by Aaron Bieber-2
[hidden email] (Aaron Bieber), 2019.05.10 (Fri) 16:05 (CEST):
> I am looking to understand / enhance the OpenBSD experience for blind
> users.

:flan_thumbsup:

> Do we have any blind users reading misc that can offer any insight
> into their usecases / pain points / work flows / wants?

I vaguely remembered the thread and even found it, somewhat dated
(2013-07-07):
https://marc.info/?l=openbsd-misc&m=137316509908904

and parts of (search for "oyen"):
https://marc.info/?t=137299672600001

and finally:
https://marc.info/?w=2&r=1&s=eric+oyen&q=a
 
Marcus

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Re: Blind OpenBSD users

Stuart Henderson
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
On 2019-05-14, Marc Espie <[hidden email]> wrote:

> As far as I know, the only software we have for blind people
> (and not just people with very poor eye sight)
> is misc/brltty.
>
> misc/screen  also has support in the form of the shm flavor,
> which hooks to misc/brltty
>
> The main issue for this kind of thing is of course testing.
>
> This was done over 10 years ago.  I have zero idea if this
> still works, or if there are better tools these days.

On Linux brltty works with the console driver to read the standard
system console, on OpenBSD we don't have that support so brltty is
only usable with the version of screen with the shared-memory
patches (shm flavour).

If I build brltty with X support I can see that it does still work
with the version of screen in the ports tree. (I wasn't able to get
it to work with updated screen however; it's probably worth adding a
new screen-shm port so that we can update the main screen port without
affecting this).


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Re: Blind OpenBSD users

Dumitru Moldovan-2
In reply to this post by Marc Espie-2
On Tue, May 14, 2019 at 11:02:47AM +0200, Marc Espie wrote:
>As far as I know, the only software we have for blind people
>(and not just people with very poor eye sight)
>is misc/brltty.

The above might be true only for console applications.

GNOME has support both for low vision users and blind users (which
should install Orca for reading the screen aloud or in Braille.)
More at https://help.gnome.org/users/gnome-help/stable/a11y.html.en

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Re: Blind OpenBSD users

Tim Chase-5
In reply to this post by Aaron Bieber-2
(sorry, out of thread; copying from the marc.info post so
References/In-Reply-To aren't set)

> I am looking to understand / enhance the OpenBSD experience for
> blind users.

While not blind, I occasionally attempt to do some screenless testing
with accessibility-tech on OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and Linux.  I also hang
out in the blinux mailing list for blind Linux users, so am
interested in making the BSDs more accessible.

> Do we have any blind users reading misc that can offer any insight
> into their usecases / pain points / work flows / wants?
> I am sure OpenBSD is lacking on this front, so use cases in *nix
> would also be helpful.

From some recent experiences:

- using a serial port or SSH has proven the best/most-reliable.  For
  some the machine would be attached to an external serial-driven
  synth or Braille device.  For others, it's a serial program on
  another machine that is accessible, or accessing via SSH from that
  other machine.  However, as powerful as the CLI is, it doesn't grant
  access to GUI tools like a real browser.

- yasr isn't available as a package (it's my go-to console
  screen-reader) but can be installed from source.  It does have a
  sample config file but needs a bunch of work to get set up,
  including getting speech-dispatcher to listen via an inet socket
  rather than a unix socket, then pointing yasr at speech-dispatcher,
  and making sure that it is configured properly. Also,
  speech-dispatcher times out after 5-seconds with no connection, so
  you have to know to start yasr within that window of time.

- attempting to `pip install fenrir-screenreader` fails because it
  uses some linux-specific headers

Getting Orca set up is a bit of a bear.  Doable, but it already
assumes you have access to the system.  But roughly involves
installing Gnome (plus configuring GDM which is mostly following the
docs, but it's certainly not out-of-the-box easy), Orca, eflite,
etc.  While GDM comes up with options to turn on text-to-speech, you
have to know the Alt+Super+S shortcut to enable, and you have to know
how to *use* Orca to navigate it.  All of that   All of that is pretty
difficult to do if you're blind and on your own.

Additionally, latency in Orca is pretty horrible on my test machine
here, even under light usage (in this context, running Gnome and the
Orca settings panel; no extra programs or non-default OBSD services
running).  It's not a powerhouse machine (3GB of RAM, dual-core 2GHZ)
but it's also not unreasonable specs for an older machine.

So in the end, using ssh/serial from a remote machine or using yasr +
speech-dispatcher locally was the most usable solution I've been able
to get working.  It would be nice to get Orca working usably so I
could test with a GUI browser.

As for things that could be improved, a couple ideas:

- adding yasr to the package repos

- perhaps some meta-package or a tutorial on getting
  speech-dispatcher + yasr + flite/festival/espeak/whatever working
  together

- tweak Gnome or whatever launches Orca so that it comes up with a
  tutorial mode and/or settings on first-run.

I'd be glad to test other configurations if needed.

-tkc
(@gumnos)


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Re: Blind OpenBSD users

Aaron Bieber-2
On Fri, 17 May 2019 at 14:14:25 -0500, Tim Chase wrote:

> (sorry, out of thread; copying from the marc.info post so
> References/In-Reply-To aren't set)
>
> > I am looking to understand / enhance the OpenBSD experience for
> > blind users.
>
> While not blind, I occasionally attempt to do some screenless testing
> with accessibility-tech on OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and Linux.  I also hang
> out in the blinux mailing list for blind Linux users, so am
> interested in making the BSDs more accessible.
>
> > Do we have any blind users reading misc that can offer any insight
> > into their usecases / pain points / work flows / wants?
> > I am sure OpenBSD is lacking on this front, so use cases in *nix
> > would also be helpful.
>
> From some recent experiences:
>
> - using a serial port or SSH has proven the best/most-reliable.  For
>   some the machine would be attached to an external serial-driven
>   synth or Braille device.  For others, it's a serial program on
>   another machine that is accessible, or accessing via SSH from that
>   other machine.  However, as powerful as the CLI is, it doesn't grant
>   access to GUI tools like a real browser.
>
> - yasr isn't available as a package (it's my go-to console
>   screen-reader) but can be installed from source.  It does have a
>   sample config file but needs a bunch of work to get set up,
>   including getting speech-dispatcher to listen via an inet socket
>   rather than a unix socket, then pointing yasr at speech-dispatcher,
>   and making sure that it is configured properly. Also,
>   speech-dispatcher times out after 5-seconds with no connection, so
>   you have to know to start yasr within that window of time.
>
> - attempting to `pip install fenrir-screenreader` fails because it
>   uses some linux-specific headers
>
> Getting Orca set up is a bit of a bear.  Doable, but it already
> assumes you have access to the system.  But roughly involves
> installing Gnome (plus configuring GDM which is mostly following the
> docs, but it's certainly not out-of-the-box easy), Orca, eflite,
> etc.  While GDM comes up with options to turn on text-to-speech, you
> have to know the Alt+Super+S shortcut to enable, and you have to know
> how to *use* Orca to navigate it.  All of that   All of that is pretty
> difficult to do if you're blind and on your own.
>
> Additionally, latency in Orca is pretty horrible on my test machine
> here, even under light usage (in this context, running Gnome and the
> Orca settings panel; no extra programs or non-default OBSD services
> running).  It's not a powerhouse machine (3GB of RAM, dual-core 2GHZ)
> but it's also not unreasonable specs for an older machine.
>
> So in the end, using ssh/serial from a remote machine or using yasr +
> speech-dispatcher locally was the most usable solution I've been able
> to get working.  It would be nice to get Orca working usably so I
> could test with a GUI browser.
>
> As for things that could be improved, a couple ideas:
>
> - adding yasr to the package repos
>
> - perhaps some meta-package or a tutorial on getting
>   speech-dispatcher + yasr + flite/festival/espeak/whatever working
>   together
>
> - tweak Gnome or whatever launches Orca so that it comes up with a
>   tutorial mode and/or settings on first-run.
>
> I'd be glad to test other configurations if needed.

This is great info! Thank you!

I have added a WIP port for yasr here:
  https://github.com/jasperla/openbsd-wip/tree/master/sysutils/yasr

Using this + speech-dispatcher + espeak + edbrowse (recently imported) I can
browse sites pretty well with no visual feedback!

I will look into the other projects you mentioned!

Thanks again!

>
> -tkc
> (@gumnos)
>
>

--
PGP: 0x1F81112D62A9ADCE / 3586 3350 BFEA C101 DB1A  4AF0 1F81 112D 62A9 ADCE