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Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms

From: Eric S. Johansson
Subject: Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2010 09:32:08 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100713 Thunderbird/3.1.1

 On 7/28/2010 5:28 AM, Jason White wrote:
Willem van der Walt<address@hidden>  wrote:
I think that those of us who are serious about a11y on none-proprietary
platforms and also understand the four freedoms as stated by the FSF will
end up working together anyway.
I agree, and I welcome the FSF's decision to take a leadership role in this

I support the development of free (as in freedom) accessibility-related
software for free operating systems, as well as improvements in the
accessibility of free programs. I think this essentially captures the ambit of
this forum; it is concerned with the intersection of free software and
accessibility for people with disabilities. It is not concerned with
proprietary software or the development of libraries and tools that
are designed to interoperate with it.

1) free software also affects the ability for disabled people to be part of our modern society

if you prevent them using a nonfree component through implicit or explicit actions when there is no free replacement, then you effectively deny them accessibility tools.

Another analogy I came up with last night might illustrate the problem. I'm not sure it works but I think it fits.

If a doctor has a multidrug solution that cures his patients but one essential drug is encumbered is application by drug company, is the Dr. right to deny his patients relief until the encumbered component has been freed? how ethical is the Dr.'s stand if the delay is a short time versus a long time?

Yes, I see the issue of making an accessible *system* as critical as providing medical relief.

2) free components and a free system

I believe the description of what I and a few others want to do, is make a collection of library and tools that will be central to the solution of the totally free environment. Unfortunately, we cannot test them until the entire system exists. We can't do usability tests until the entire system exists. Yeah, broken record I know. If we used the totally free dragonfly library as the base, we could make progress in parallel or even in advance of the free software recognizer and then plug-in the new recognizer when it's done.

3) project scope

Even though the Sphinx systems are inadequate, using them and the size of Julius or Simon can give you a feel for the scope of what you're trying to do.

it out every once in a while when you're ranting about things because of what you've learned, you stumble across something that says you might have been wrong but you're not sure because you haven't had time to research it.

At the very least, this sonic research paper given below give you really good feel for the scope of what you're trying to do. at the very best, it's a core for starting the project. The license is probably not acceptable, at first glance it looked like a dual license with a BSD-ish slant. In any case, it looks like the project is effectively abandon ware so maybe there's a chance of relicensing. I have no idea where it sits Technically in comparison to Julius except development seems to be continuing with Julius

a couple of interesting papers that apply. It's really weird. Most of the papers on large vocabulary continuous speech recognition seems to stop roughly circa 2004. It's like the community decided en masse that the problem couldn't be solved to their satisfaction with what we know today and there is no money for deep research to fix the knowledge problem.

--- eric

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