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Re: lynx-dev re: blind users and options

From: Klaus Peter Wegge
Subject: Re: lynx-dev re: blind users and options
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 11:40:21 +0200 (MET DST)

> >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;
I'm not so happy with the idea for a general "-blind" flag, because
the needs of the blind user are directly dependend on the method
they access the PC: Synthetic Voice and/or Brailledisplay.
Here in europe the usage of a brailledisplay is prefferred.
One reason for this may be the possible mixture of languages,
which make synthesizers mad. That's why I prefer a brailledisplay.
And there are a lot of very different Screenreaders for DOS,
WIN95/NT, Linux and OS/2 on the market which use hotkeys,
sometimes they are the same as for lynx.
Therefore we should specify a group of options, possible needed
for blind users. Some of them will be good for synthesizer X with
screenreader Y, other settings will support brailledisplays better.

For example I tested a lot of color settings of lyynx for visual
impaired persons.
I played arround with some screen magnifiers, zooming the lynx screen.

I have three suggestions/ideas for lynx developement:
1. we should try to get mouse-support for DOS. It sounds a little
   bit silly, but it achieves the possibility of Cursorrouting for
   users of brailledisplays. (touch on a button above the currently
   read letter, and the mouse will go there.)
2. As far I know, most PC videocards support a Textmode with letters
   doulble size in hight and width. We should try this for the
   lynx screen. OK, it will look a little bit funny, but I.m
   sure, a lot of visually impaired persons can work in that
   mode very perfectly (perhaps choosing very contrusting colors).
   I tried this for a small editor, and it was very helpful for some
   In that case, they need no zoom programm, which is an additional
   layer (with special handling) between lynx and the user.
3. Add three additional color settings for the three kinds of:
   Messages, Warnings and Errors. For my own DJGPP version, I
   compiled in different sounds for this three cases. I'll sent the
   patch to the list next week.

> 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.

what's about the following idea:
Use the lynx itself for configuring.
Start lynx on the local host in a mode, all people can live with.
Start it on an html-File, containing topics and explainations
for all settings. The real configuration can be done via
exec-URL's or perhaps via CGI-scripts. (DOS?) The method may be
extended to setup dialers etc.



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