So, a blind person bought a Pinephone, wanting to put Mobian on it. Since Debian has given such good accessibility features on desktop, it should give just as much accessibility on mobile. Debian on mobile should have blind users' backs. Right?
Wrong. This is just what I've been saying for the past year or so. And now, for this person who has spent their hard-earned money on a Pinephone, it's too late. Now all they have is an expensive paperweight. There is an issue created for this, though.
@devinprater I wanna push back a bit here to defend the Debian project. Mobian is its own project and is not formally affiliated with Debian. While becoming part of Debian is a goal, it's not expected to come about until the next stable release, so in a couple years.
That said, I'm extremely disappointed more effort isn't being put in to bring mobile Linux to at least the kinda crappy level of accessibility desktop Linux has.
@devinprater well the pine phone is also by no means end user ready. I am not blind and I still use my de googled android in parallel even without any fancy apps because I am not ok with random crashes when I depend on the phone e.g. as an alarm clock or the screen or apps not working properly. The pinephone is to support linux phones in general and it will in comparison to android devices improve over time. The blindness support will come I am sure. Maybe donate?
@devinprater All respect to this, but mobian devs, posh devs, gnome devs, and so on and so forth are doing their best in order to deliver a product that is not ready to replace an android device yet, they don't have the resources that android devs have, they're not backed by google.
So if you want to improve this situation, donate if you have money and send the message. Probably a crowdfunding campaign would help.
@lorabe This is but a symptom of a systematic issue of inaccessibility in FOSS. People can toss around blame all they want. I didn't even blame Pine for this. And yeah, users should read about stuff they're about to spend money on. But this user trusted the Debian, and thus, Mobian community. But whatever. I'm stepping back from FOSS for the most part. I'll comment on it, but I'm not about to do more work when I'm basically alone in doing it.
@devinprater You are in your right to complain, but that doesn't solve the problem, it prevents understanding.
It's quite easy to complain when you take the availability of funds and hired people for granted, but programmers are spending their free time in good faith and people don't seem to care or acknowledge their contributions.
I guess in this case i will side with the devs, but the best solution to all of this is to coordinate and collect money in order to actually fund development.
@lorabe Sure. As a blind person, I’ve tried putting myself out there, so that developers can work with me and otheR blind Linux users. But sure. I’m just yet anotheR damn user taking advantage of poor developers that are just trying to enjoy something that isn’t their day job. Never mind that companies like System 76 and the Gnome Foundation work on this fulltime. But whatever. I won’t bother the developer gods with such lowly issues as the most disadvantaged group of people ever not being able to use their software which they publish to the world.
@devinprater you have already made your mind on this and i am not going to convince you otherwise, but some of these tools are decades old and just the maintenance takes resources.
I understand your position, but if i was a developer giving away my time for this just to see this kind of attitude, i would certainly stop contributing.
@lorabe @devinprater The thing is that you’re describing exactly Devin’s experience. I’ve been following him for a while and he is constantly out there trying to contribute, raise awareness, opening issues, talking with devs etc.
And time after time when he attempts to contribute I see people rebuff him and tell him accessibility requests are not important enough.
After hearing it over and over again, he’s burnt on contributing.
Someone working so hard to help others deserves gratitude too.
Phosh is mainly developed by Purism, not by Mobian, Debian and especially not by Pine. The pinephone costs a fraction of the Librem 5, for the most part because they don't create the software for it. I paid 4 times as much hard earned money for an L5 as you, so that we can have that in the future.
Funding as well as volunteering are needed there.
@devinprater @danielst @lorabe @storm
A big problem is that libre devs seem to just not want to learn about accessibility.
If you spend hours ricing your setup or arguing about languages, you can't claim to not have time to read up on accessibility.
Accessibility is also not something you add as an afterthought, just like security, you consider it from day 0, so you don't have to rebuild things from the ground up when it turns out your initial assumptions are incompatible with accessibility.
Also a fixed character grid is a pointless waste of screen space.
Also I haven't seen any TUI besides maybe Kakoune where I could visually select text in a column. Weechat is a notable example of an app that fails this.
@csepp @storm @lorabe @danielst @devinprater I was recently trying to find resources for this, and failed. As a generally-abled developer of stuff that is usually TUI-based, I have no idea how to ensure that my stuff is accessible.
Is there an idiot's guide to TUI accessibility best practices, like there are for web design?
I haven't learned to build any GUI things competently yet, but I'd _hope_ that Gnome would have decent docs for how to use GTK accessibly...
When there is a problem, there are usually two ways. 1. Find someone to blame for the issue, which is very easy. 2. Find a solution to the problem, which is very hard. When the solution requires collective action, it needs a lot of patience to work with others and then the solution may take a long time to build. So a lot of people chose option 1.
@devinprater @danielst @lorabe @storm
Good point. Although in theory there already supposed be organizations where accessibility dev is an explicit goal, like GNOME. Maybe a new organization would help move things along faster, but I really really hope that GNOME gets its accessibility act together.
@devinprater @danielst @lorabe @storm
Yes, starting an informal group can be an initial step. So start with a brief note on what you want to achieve and then ask people interested to join you. It can be any group, like a mailing list, matrix/xmpp/irc or a discussion forum. Once you are clear about the goals, you can think about ways to achieve it. There may be existing options like Purism fund your app campaign which you can leverage. Ask people to propose accessibility as one item.
@devinprater @danielst @lorabe @storm
@praveen @csepp @danielst @lorabe @storm I mean there's already @storm and there was linux-a11y.org. There's already an IRC group, irc.linux-a11y.org. But it's so loose, and Billy seems to just work on stuff like Audiogame Manager, which will be great... once more blind people join Linux. I just don't know how to get a group started on reaching out to projects though, because we can't build a desktop ourselves. I mean we don't even have a list of great, accessible apps. Then again maybe even I can do that, and others can add to it. Because again, I can't do this alone.
@devinprater @csepp @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm GTK4 has pretty much a full revamp of the accessibility system (taking out ATK, to use AT-SPI2 directly). It probably seems like bikeshedding, but it's actually them training a team who actually know about accessibility on Debian; all that knowledge was lost during a failed inter-organisation migration when the funding disappeared.
@devinprater @csepp @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm Also, AT-SPI2 doesn't work: nothing implements it properly (not even the GNOME apps), and it will hang bits of your computer when you try to use it.
I don't know how *anyone* uses screen-readers on Debian, honestly. (Orca's great, given what little I know about the chaotic mess it's dealing with, but I can't tolerate using it.)
@wizzwizz4 @devinprater @csepp @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm I recall a thread where someone recounted some history behind all this, that there were several projects funded by the (American Council for the Blind?) to improve accessibility, but each time Microsoft (a big ACB funder) threatened to pull funding unless they dropped the projects.
And the reason appears to be: governments require accessibility in their software, so MS et al didn't want any threats to their monopoly over government contracts.
So to accuse OSS community of simply not caring enough to bother isn't really accurate - there is deliberate monopolism at play here. MS and Apple might appear to "care more" but only when it gets them access to tenders, and excludes the communal software from the competition.
Are they smaller than they should be? Yes. But I have a feeling that dev burnout particularly affects people working in areas like this. Especially when some of the best of them may have seen several cycles of monopoly-death after getting their hopes up.
I do think it's a responsibility to make accessibility a first-class requirement for any serious project. Like documentation, it should be drilled into budding devs that this isn't optional. And so things like Phosh failing to take it seriously from day 1 does bother me. Do it badly if that's all you can do. But fucking do it.
@wizzwizz4 @devinprater @csepp @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm Testing latest GTK 4 on arch linux with gtk4-demo and orca, the experience is rather unintuitive as compared to GTK 3.
Orca can't flat review, can't intercept keypresses, roles and states are not wired.
Looking at GTK gitlab I can only find some stale a11y related issues.
@storm @lorabe @danielst @devinprater @wizzwizz4 @csepp @pvagner I just donated 50 USD to https://puri.sm/fund-your-app/ to fund "Software Optimizations: Accessibility support/screen reader support with phosh/gtk4" @purism I think we need to find ways to fund a11y support in gtk4, sticking with older unsupported versions is not going to be sustainable for long term.
@storm @lorabe @danielst @devinprater @wizzwizz4 @csepp @pvagner @purism I just talked to someone at Purism and they are positive about supporting it as it aligns with their goals. They are asking me for a list of priorities. I suggested screen reader, but if you all, who needs this more than me, can create a prioritized list of accessibility features, then I can share it with them.
@praveen @storm @lorabe @danielst @devinprater @wizzwizz4 @csepp In relation to @purism #librem5 The most prominent and difficult to implement feature would be #accessibility aware touch input support. In order to be productive we need to be able to explore the screen content before activating touch controls.
@pvagner @praveen @storm @lorabe @danielst @devinprater @csepp @purism What would the UI for that be like? "Single tap reads, double tap activates"? (Would there be a clicking noise when you tap something, or does it just read straight away?)
From what I can tell, the stuff I've described wouldn't be that hard to implement, assuming a correct AT-SPI2 implementation in the application. In Firefox, you'd be able to "see through walls" (be told about things in hidden tabs) until that bug is fixed.
@wizzwizz4 @praveen @storm @lorabe @danielst @devinprater @csepp @purism Single tap / touch / hover would read what's under the finger if there is enough text / accessibility support within the underlying control. Double tap should activate. There should be also a way to assign other touch gestures to screen reader actions such as text review commands
Being the only person who care about an issue is hard. But only solution to that is actively seek people who also care about the same issue and build an organization. I do understand the frustration as many times I'm the only person who want to do something, yes, it may not be something as basic as accessibility support, but there are other things which are also important like privacy.
@devinprater @lorabe in Australia it’s straight up illegal to release inaccessible software, whether it’s free or not. by this software even being available in australia they’re breaching international consumer law.
and this is no laughing matter either- the australian government enforces the fuck out of consumer law. everyone from apple to garage project kickstarters have been bitten by australia.
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