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lynx-dev re: blind users and options

From: Al Gilman
Subject: lynx-dev re: blind users and options
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 22:48:51 -0400 (EDT)

>So what's needed?  Numbered fields are a step forward.  Show_cursor is
>wanted.  I believe there's a preference for select_popups off?  And now,
>recently, we've added a flag to comment "(LINK)" after links -- is that
>desirable even with numbered fields?
>What else can we do to make the user experience better for blind users?
>I'm thinking along these lines:
>  - Add a "-blind" flag, as previously suggested; it turns on all the
>    things we think are desirable for sight-impaired users (including
>    any new ones we later invent).  Individual pieces of that could be
>    overridden (lynx -blind -popups=on), so it wouldn't be overly
>    prescriptive;
>  - Whenever .lynxrc DOES NOT EXIST, i.e. for a new user of Lynx, output
>    a message about it during startup; something like:
>      If you are blind or visually impaired, you may want to use Lynx's
>      -blind flag, which activates several assistive measures.
>This would be ongoing, post-2.8.1 development work.

I agree that this should be later.  I think we should vary the
usual decision process just a bit to take a little extra time and
solicit people like Lloyd, Gregory, and Kelly Ford who are in the
position of helping others over user problems.  Sometimes it is
not clear to you and me what actually makes this or that an
obstacle for those early on the learning curve.

One thing I would like people to think about.  This is a switch
vs. a sample file.  When Gregory did this with 2.7.1 it was a
lynx.cfg file because that is what you needed to get to all the
defaults that wanted to default differently.  A switch has to be
embedded in an alias to make it automatic.  That puts you back
on the hairy edge of what the newbie will cope with.

There needs to be a very low risk path to getting Lynx set so it
wakes up with show_cursor and maybe one or two other _essential_
mode options set.  That is what I like about the .lynxrc
strategy: you just put this file in your home directory, start
lynx and you are set.  There are really only a few of these
settings that are vital.  The others can be fiddled by the normal
channels after this key bootstrapping step has been done.

I think.  When we are ready to take this question up, we should
take a minute to consult those that know.


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