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Mac Version of NaturallySpeaking Launched

esj at harvee Re:tabs just don't understand (176 comments)

What would be their motivation for doing this?

I think a significant hint lies in your use of the word "motivation". In order to be motivated to do something, you have to have conscious thought and a sense that there is something wrong happening. When it comes to accessibility and software development, accessibility issues doesn't even enter the mind of most software developers and if it does, it's overruled by most managers as irrelevant to the majority of the customer base. interesting calculation would be to see if it's cheaper to warehouse disabled people than it would be to make the world accessible to them. from people's actions, I would say that their intuitive sense is that it would be cheaper to warehouse. I'm not saying that's what they think but that's what they demonstrate in their actions.

  Maybe I'm just a know-nothing 'tab', but I think your disability has twisted your mind a little bit.

the fact that you raise this question at all shows that you are more aware than 99.9% of all software developers. as for twisted mind, please consider that I'm posting on Slashdot. A little more seriously however try living in a world where applications can degrade the accuracy of your input device. For example, Thunderbird, Firefox, open office, chatzilla, aim, emacs, ulipad, jedit, nvu and others I can't remember right now all cause serious degradation in recognition accuracy. Other applications massively fail with minimal correction techniques (i.e. natural text). For example, tools like pyscripter which uses Smart IDE type technology, fail because if you try to correct a misrecognition, the wrong text is selected, deleted, and overwritten with the correction. then you have applications like VM Ware workstation which doesn't accept any textual input from NaturallySpeaking which means in order to gain access, ssh in, use X11 forwarding to bring up a window to display on your XP X11 server. Then, maybe then you can dictate into an application. But even if you get the application to accept input from speech recognition, you have the problem that the built-in macros for cutting and pasting follow Windows conventions and can't be changed. As you probably can guess, any application without Windows style cut and paste doesn't work very well. A major shortcoming is you can't use the NaturallySpeaking Select-and-Say feature which is an absolute godsend for hands-free editing. Without it, you burn a significant amount of hand time just getting the cursor to the right place and changing the right text. smart completion text boxes are another barrier. For example, in Firefox the search engine bar will drop down when the focus is in that window. If the drop-down is present, you can't dictate into that window. Many JavaScript editors will destroy your text if you try to correct a misrecognition. If focus shifts in the middle of a recognition output, it's effectively like typing random keys on the keyboard and commanding your application to do God knows what. I'm always forgetting recognition is turned on when I'm in Thunderbird. And I'm always losing messages because of many characters shoved into Thunderbird. I could go on with more examples but I hope you get the idea of what you would bump into within the first day of use.

You do not need to take my word on all the failings I've described above. You can verify them for yourself. Pick up a copy of NaturallySpeaking, purchase a real microphone instead of the piece of crap in the box, install, train, use after throwing away your keyboard. Then you'll get a very clear example of just how inaccessible your working set of applications are. Then you get to make a choice about whether you are going to do something to make systems more accessible to speech recognition users or not.

more than 6 years ago

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