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[Accessibility] Accessibility Status: Swamped
[Accessibility] Accessibility Status: Swamped
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 08:59:50 -0400
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:188.8.131.52) Gecko/20100527 Thunderbird/3.0.5
I was off line for more than a week due to some peculiar issues on this
computer and I'm just now digging out of the pile of things on which I
had fallen behind. For all intents and purposes, I am swamped with
little tasks and could use help in many ways so if someone wants to
volunteer to help out with some administrative stuff, please write to or
call me directly and we can talk about ways you can help.
1. Development Priorities
Right now, regarding programming, projects, I am prioritizing orca and
other highly visible accessibility bug fixes above all else. Our friends
Joanie and Bill Cox will likely do the specific assignments (correct me
if I am wrong folks) to try to get as many high priority bugs,
performance problems and features that aren't quite right remediated.
2. Volunteer Hackers
Krishnakant has four students in Mumbai who are apparently ready to
start hacking soon. I will coordinate with him on how and to whom these
young hackers should be assigned. I haven't met any of these people via
email, phone or in any other way so we'll see how they work out in the
near term future.
A Brazilian professor whom I met while working on a project for the U.
Florida RERC on Technology and Successful Aging, and I will be talking
on the phone this morning. He has what he describes as a "lot of
students" and substantial funding to work on FLOSS access technology.
Sometime next week, we will have a better idea of how many resources we
have in Brazil next week and I'll send an update when I have a better
feel for who they are and what they will be doing.
I have some emails from people telling me that they also have students
and/or other hackers who they want to assign to our projects and work in
partnership. They are all dedicated to free software and my level of
contact with each is somewhere along the introductorypart of the curve
so I can't say with any probability what we will have in the near term
future. Based upon conversations with the various people offering to
help us find hackers, though, I would estimate that we might have as
many as 10 people by the end of the month and no fewer than six or seven.
Quite obviously, anyone who knows of anyone or group of people who want
to volunteer in accessibility roles should please forward them to me.
3. Major New Initiatives
I say above that we currently want to focus on fixing the accessibility
problems that already exist but we are also pursuing some new initiatives.
Our new friend, Speedy Don Marang has agreed to turn his pretty cool
"Speedy OCR" program over to us as an official GNU package. I discussed
this over email with rms and we all seem to be happy with this idea.
We are starting off on the path to making a free speech recognition tool
with a variety of different user experiences with different grammars for
different applications. A couple of people have already signed up for
our speech recognition mailing list (address@hidden, put
subscribe in the subject field). We need many more to really get this
going. One of the biggest early tasks is to do research on what may
already be out there in the free software world and help build a
collection of links to various tools which may prove helpful. For now,
I've nicknamed this project "Greco" for GNU Recognition but I'm not the
marketing guy so a better name will be accepted.
Related to the speech recognition project, we are about to kick off an
initiative to get as many people to help improve the VoxForge corpus by
sending recordings of themselves reading a particular bit of text.
Recently, Nuance, the proprietary vendor of Naturally Speaking, told the
world that it was able to improve its recognition by 15% by using
millions of samples from people who used their no-cost iPhone
application. I doubt that we can get millions of volunteer readers but
we can use as many as possible. Virtually everyone can do this as
virtually every computer sold in the past decade or so has some sort of
audio recording software and many have microphones built in.
The GNU Accessibility Initiative has no formal web presence. I've been
wanting to get to this for months but find that I never seem to have the
time for it. I would really appreciate a volunteer who can work with rms
and I on the text for an accessibility home page, some starter wiki
items and a blog entry to say we are here.
4. Some of My Immediate Needs
I have been using Thunderbird as my mail client as I want to get a feel
for all major office type applications with orca. Thunderbird is usable
but has so many problems that I find that I will either send an email
where the text got messed up if I'm in a hurry and do not stop to reread
or that I need to do a lot of editing as odd problems with my text show
up all over the place. I am told that the open office mail client,
evolution, works very well but I cannot figure out how to configure it
to receive mail from my GNU account, I can send mail but I cannot figure
out the settings for receiving. Anyone who can help me, please write
privately or call me as I'd like to start experimenting with evolution
so I can report on how accessibile it is. For expediency sake, I may
start using emacspeak for email as it just plain works and I haven't a
lot of spare time to fiddle around with Mozilla's accessibility bugs.
As I mention above in a couple of places, I really need help from
someone who is good at researching and finding things online. The speech
recognition project alone has a ton of effort needed in this area but we
have lots of other tasks that could be helped a lot if we could gather
Director of Access Technology
GNU's Not Unix!
[Accessibility] Re: Accessibility Status: Swamped, John Sullivan, 2010/08/11
- [Accessibility] Accessibility Status: Swamped,
Christian Hofstader <=