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Re: [Accessibility] resident evil

From: Bill Cox
Subject: Re: [Accessibility] resident evil
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 12:37:02 -0400

I've just missed the deadline... I wont be mad if this gets censored
on lists.

Anyway, I agree with Eric that we should find a home for
programming-by-voice development, and that it should put accessibility
first, and software freedom second, with a goal to work towards free
software versions of the entire accessibility stack.  I also think we
should have a free software version, in addition to a Naturally
Speaking interface, right from the beginning.  This will allow
developers who do put software freedom first to participate, and it
will help reach the goal of a high-performance free software stack
sooner.  However, Eric is right, Naturally Speaking is not just a
little more productive, it's way ahead of even other commercial
offerings.  Our contributors will be more efficient using it, probably
for a couple of years, maybe more.

I disagree that we should work to make a functional replacement of
Naturally Speaking.  Instead, we should work towards competitive
free-software continuous large-vocabulary speech recognition, in
parallel with developing/enhancing speech-enabled application
interfaces.  However, let's not duplicate Naturally Speaking's
limitations, and let's keep it focused on the needs of people who
can't type.


On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM, Eric S. Johansson <address@hidden> wrote:
>  On 7/30/2010 9:38 AM, Chris Hofstader wrote:
>> All,
>> I think that everyone on both sides of the free software priorities debate
>> has had the opportunity to participate and express their views. I think that
>> all points of view have been adequately represented and that we are seeing
>> nothing more than repetition and argument for the sake of argument.
>> Therefore, if anyone posts to this list on either side of the debate
>> (excepting rms who is my boss and can over-rule me <smile>) after noon EST,
>> I will change the list to a moderated status and start rejecting messages on
>> this subject.
> good thing I read my messages this morning. :-) I have to file comments
> about how to move forward. They're consistent with free software principles
> of nonfree software exclusion. I'm trying to think outside the box and find
> ways of accommodating accessibility needs first, free software second.
> Resident evil I:
> Build/find a new home for developers willing to build speech driven user
> environments and, under the principle that accessibility comes first and
> nonfree components are acceptable as interim solution while the
> accessibility apartment is under construction. At the soonest possible
> moment, nonfree components will be replaced with free components.
> from a practical perspective, this means using NaturallySpeaking and
> integrating it with free software tools such as Emacs so that disabled
> developers can contribute to the project or even make a living.
> Resident evil II:
> Jonathan Swift inspired me to suggest this. Build accessibility framework
> complete with integration with NaturallySpeaking but keep it completely
> nonfree until the day that the free software foundation releases a
> functional equivalent to NaturallySpeaking. We would put in writing the
> pledge that on that day our software will become free in every way the free
> software foundation considers important.
> I find this idea attractive because it may be a way that we can give
> disabled developers sufficient work that they can live and have a decent
> life. We could fund a support center. We could fund training seminars across
> the country. We could make it possible to spread the word and give injured
> people some measure of control back in their lives.
> I'm sure this modest proposal might get some people upset and they might
> react to it like we are eating babies but I assure you that  parts of it are
> tongue-in-cheek. I am serious about why I find accessibility attractive. A
> separate home does make sense so that both important principles of
> supporting the disabled now and making incremental progress to a completely
> free future.
> *thank you Chris* and finished with eight minutes to spare
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