Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

So, let's give Linux another try. I usually didn't have any issues with Ubuntu Mate. In fact, it was the distro where accessibility worked best right out of the box. I'm happy to announce that they've seen the way, and now it just doesn't. Took me forever to actually get the screen reader to talk. The standard keystroke of Super+S (or super+alt+s) didn't work. I knew ctrl alt T opened a terminal, hoped it still did, and tried to launch Orca from there. Welp, it kinda did. It says frame over and over, I very rarely get told what the focus is actually on, and yeah... let's try something else, since the installer window just straight up does not read at all. I really don't know what's up here, this is a big regression. This used to work just fine. Which makes me question if this is me doing something wrong or if it's actually broken.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

I believe normal Ubuntu did start up, at least my phone's text recognition told me so, but once again, Super+S as well as alt+super+s did nothing. Except this time I also couldn't seem to bring up a terminal to launch Orca. Anyway, at some point the screen went dark and now I'm really not sure what's happening.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

This used to work! At some point I remember I was able to at least install these things without problems. I'm starting to feel more and more like I'm doing something wrong. But I have no idea what. This can't have regressed this much right? Welp, onto another distro, I suppose.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

Wait. While I was downloading another distro I heard a jingle. Tried to press keys, nothing seemed to happen. It was a nice enough sounding jingle though, so there's that!

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

Hmm. OK, my phone OCR tells me some kind of error happened. Not sure what since it can't really make out the text very well. OK, I don't think this is working. Let's try something else.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

I feel like I should be clear here, I'm not trying to prove that this is bad. In fact I would be very happy if one of these distros actually worked and accessibility was great. We'd all win. These are just the issues I'm running into right now. Yup, I've installed several operating systems on this computer before, including Ubuntu, so I'm pretty confident that it should work. And Ubuntu Mate did indeed start, it just...wasn't very accessible. Normal ubuntu gave up on me, so let's try another one.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

Actually, let's make sure it's not the drive I was using. Just in case.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

Ah, you know what, it possibly was. I got the jingle, and the keystroke worked! The speech is very loud, but I'd rather have it loud than not working. Fantastic! Let's see if I can install.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

So far, so good. There are a few buttons in the installer that don't have a label, also I just selected "Berlin" for something... maybe timezone? I'm not sure. Also... I feel like the screen reader should automatically assume a laptop keyboard. The desktop layouts require you to have an insert key, as well as a numpad. But the laptop keyboard layout does not require you to have those. Since every keyboard that does have those also has the non numpad keys, the laptop layout works just fine on a desktop keyboard, whereas the desktop layout does not work on a laptop. So if one layout works 100% of the time, but the other one only works if you're not on a laptop, does it not make sense to choose the one that works everywhere as a default?

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

The reason I bring this up is because I do now have to connect an external keyboard to use the screen reader's review commands to read what it's doing, since I am installing on a laptop and it doesn't have a numpad or insert key.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

Anyway, it installed! It started reading some random command line output while it was going, and it wouldn't stop talking about how process XXXXX is successfully owned by XXXXX, but it's now booting. Oh look at that, it even remembered I had the screen reader on while installing and brought it up on the login screen. Nice!

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

Ah, and Gnome 3 is still almost completely inaccessible. This is why I wanted Mate. I have no idea what it means when it says "@ 00;BDHF frame", and the desktop doesn't read, the... er... start menu? whatever that's called? Doesn't read either. The software updater just came up and it does read though, so yay!

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

Wait, I take that back. This might actually work. It's completely unintuitive, but I believe I'm getting the hang of this. So pressing super opens some menu. Press and hold ctrl and alt. Tab moves you between different... er... views? Like applications, windows, etc. If you keep holding ctrl and alt, you can also use the arrows after you pressed tab. So anyway, then you press enter on applications, all while still holding down ctrl and alt. You'll get dropped in the list, then you can let go of ctrl and alt, and use the arrows to search around the applications, windows, or whatever else you were looking for.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

Oh no, I opened the Orca preferences, then decided "nah, you know what, I think I'm good", pressed cancel and now it stopped talking and alt super S doesn't get me speech back halp

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

OK, that ctrl alt trick with that weird super menu isn't working very well for everything, and especially the "top menu" which I assume is literally what it's name implies gets really mad when I try to get to it this way. I tried using Orca's review commands and clicking on things, but when I tell it to find the item in review and click, it takes 10 seconds and then proclaims that it can't find it. Kinda like me if I had sight, I guess, so that's a neat way to emulate that bit.

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Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

Debian, oh Debian. It's nice that you have an "install with speech synthesizer" option, but that option requires you to be able to use a computer without one to even select it. My phone tells me it's there, somewhere, but where? How... how did you expect this to work?

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

OK, continuing where we left off. I installed Linux Mint, and so far, most things are working. However I closed the laptop over night, and it didn't seem to turn off or go to sleep. Maybe this is a setting somewhere.
I was surprised to find out that even Electron apps now seem to just work out of the box. This was definitely not the case when I tried this last. So things like VS Codium, Discord, etc. work. There are still some issues with this, for example it doesn't always read properly and I sometimes have to restart Orca or the app in questino for it to continue reading, but the fact that it works at all is rather nice.
What isn't so nice however is the fact that it can sometimes be really sluggish. Also, every now and then, Orca just says "alright give me a minute to catch my breath" and during those seconds, which can sometimes last up to half a minute, I don't get any speech and I'm left wondering if it crashed or if it's just stuck on something. I can see that the screen is still updating though, things are definitely happening, but Orca doesn't tell me that until a little bit later.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

I was surprised that I could just buy my preferred speech synth for Linux. So, I'm sorry, but I almost immediately tainted my install with some non-free software. It was only 4.20 euros though and I'm so used to the thing that there's no way I wouldn't go for it. But it did work and I'm happy about that. There also doesn't seem to be any DRM, so that's a definite plus!

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

And hi from Linux. Pinafore works fine. One thing I noticed is that Chromium browser accessibility seems to be more performant than FireFox. That is unfortunate! Especially given that FireFox was accessible long, long before Chromium browsers were. I'm getting quite a bit of crackle, but maybe it's the built-in sound card not being supported very well. Maybe I can fix this somehow.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

Somehow, it happens quite a lot that I'll close some app, and then almost no keyboard controls work. I can still click with the mouse, Orca still talks, but I can't press anything to actually use the computer.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

So I've been playing around with this some more and my biggest issue so far is that things very often feel very sluggish. It doesn't take very much for the screen reader to stumble, and then I have to wait seconds, sometimes minutes, for things to slowly recover. I'm not entire sure how to debug this, so not sure if this is Orca or ATSPI or what, but it's definitely a problem at least using Ubuntu Mate on the newest Linux Mint.
This should definitely not happen. Combine this with the fact that it does still love to crash at times, and I'm not sure whether I'm just supposed to wait or whether things have actually crashed. Neither are good. That said, QT, Electron, GTK, all seem to actually have accessibility support. What doesn't work though is clicking. If an app has controls that can only be accessed with the mouse, or Orca's flat review, very often if I tell it to click the item under the flat review cursor it will just click somewhere completely random instead. More often than not this either activates a button I didn't want, or takes me out of the window entirely.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

@talon IBM ViaVoice/Eloquence, I imagine?

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

@modulux You're exactly right! :drgn_thumbsup:

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

@talon If you find what the problem is, I'm really interested!

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

@talon Linux often feels like that. It seems to be getting better though.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

@talon I wonder if it's something to do with Mate. I don't have anywhere near that many problems with Xfce on Arch.

Linux, Accessibility, may include occasional sarcasm 

@j_hsw I shall try that, then.

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