[Grml] How are blind grml users handling current web technologies?

Michael Whapples mwhapples at aim.com
Wed Nov 2 22:31:01 CET 2011

This is sad news. Generally I have found things with accessibility in 
GRML just working and have had little to really report. Normally any 
issues have been upsteam issues (eg. this speakup one I think is an 
upstream one). Also may be GRML has a strange place with me, I don't use 
it that frequently as I mainly use it for system rescue, may be my 
current installation of ArchLinux is just too stable...

Now addressing some specific points raised in this thread.

* Including non-standard things. What is the situation of speakup as I 
understand it speakup is now part of the standard kernel sources. Will 
speakup still be included even if other things go?
* Work needed to include it. OK, I think I agree that the scripts, while 
nice may be not really needed and I could live without them. May be if 
removing them may be just some sort of beep or sound when the system 
finishes booting may help us. Also certainly in the case of BRLTTY, I 
don't think I've ever had an issue where it doesn't work fine, it always 
seems to work on about whatever distribution I try. Aren't the brltty 
package in GRML just the standard debian ones, so the only work is to 
include that package.
* The space issue. This is possibly the hardest, its hard always to 
decide what should go. May those of us who use accessibility could 
decide what really is not needed and so help free some space. As an 
example, when using speakup I probably would only use espeakup, 
therefore speech-dispatcher need not be on the CD. Probably if pushed to 
it, brltty may be could go, however I really would need to be pushed to 
it as I find it useful should the sound card fail to be unmuted. I would 
though in such a pushed situation say brltty over speakup as probably 
more people would use speakup (particularly with espeak) than would own 
a Braille display and so use brltty. Also I certainly would not mind 
seeing the helper scripts for accessibility go, although I doubt that 
would free much space.

An alternative to the last one for freeing space, would it be possible 
for there to be a GRML_accessible? May be this option does not sound 
great as it might be adding to the work, however here are some of my 
thoughts. As certainly in the past GRML has included X, well unless orca 
is included and a desktop based on GTK (eg. XFCE or LXDE) then X is 
useless to blind users. May be there could be a configuration for 
building a LiveCD without X but with accessibility. To save on the work, 
this CD would receive little attention from developers (building it 
would simply be the main task) and only testing would be from users (IE. 
users must report issues for them to be looked at).

Anyone have thoughts on this?

Michael Whapples
On -10/01/37 20:59, Michael Prokop wrote:
> * Doug Smith [Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 03:35:49AM +0100]:
>> , everyone on the list. I am writing this to see how blind grml users
>> are handling current web technologies such as flash and javascript.
> [...]
> A good moment to jump in for me, on behalf of the Grml team: I want
> to mention that the upcoming releases of Grml will no longer provide
> the accessibility features we used to ship so far.
> Please let me explain:
> The reason for dropping accessibility support within Grml is that we
> can't keep it up any longer. None of us Grml developers use any of
> those features on our own nor do we have people using it in our
> surroundings.
> When problems with kernel modules, user space software and/or their
> integration within Grml show up we have to work in this area. But
> we're lacking manpower in the Grml team and the present manpower
> is needed in other areas to keep the project up and running.
> Troughout the last ~8 years - since the beginnings of Grml - the
> feedback and help in this area was pretty limited overall, both by
> developers as well as users. The feedback when asking for testing of
> accessibility features in release candidates was close to zero.
> In the meanwhile Debian itself became better and better with regards
> to accessibility, thanks to great efforts by people like Samuel
> Thibault and Mario Lang. AFAIK the debian-installer provides espeak
> support nowadays, orca seems to be well established, etc.
> Since we don't want to get known for half baken solutions we'll be
> dropping the accessibility features from Grml starting with the
> upcoming stable release.
> If you are interested in accessibility support within Debian and its
> derivatives we encourage you to check out the Debian-Accessibility
> project (see http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-accessibility/ for
> further details) and join their efforts.
> regards,
> -mika- - on behalf of the Grml project

More information about the Grml mailing list