Re: Development priorities (was Re: forwarded message from Jason White)

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Sorry I have not made myself more clear.  The truth is I agree that I
should have to learn some interface.  I like to use ASAP as an example of
what a screen access program should be like.  So many people have raved
about Emacspeak and how it only talks what it should when it should Let me
first tell you why I have a problem with this sometimes and why both
Emacspeak and a Screen program like Speakup and or SvlPro or the other one
that is in development are both needed.

I just went to install Matthew Campbels new Rmoo Client for Emacs.  I will
say now that I ahve it working it works realy well.  It still has some
problems but I think they are workable problems.  The problem with emacs
reading what it thinks you want to know is what about the stuff that it
has no idea you need to know?  When I installed the Rmoo package it didn't
work.  I thought I had followed the install procedure perfectly.  It turns
out that I put one line before another that should be reversed.  This
caused Emacs to spit out a nasty error message as it started up and
emacspeak failed to read it.  I am sure there is some way I can go around
and find that error message after emacs is all running but I have no idea
how to do that because I don't know emacs as well as I need to to be able
to get emacspeak to be as powerful as it can be.

In the case of Asap I was a new user to Msdos in 1990.  In fact I had no
computer base behind me I was a Electronics technichian in the Air Force
when I lost my sight and they put me in a rehab program to learn
computers.  ASAP is designed so you don't ahve to pay as much attention to
the speech software so you are more able to learn your aplications first.
The keys are designed on the number pad so you only need to know 10 keys
first use the speech software.  With those 10 keys I was able to learn
Word Perfect, Lotus123, Qmodem, database 3.  It was only later when I
started down loading large amounts of share ware did I learn the true
power of asap.  When ever I installed a new package Asap would speak way
to much and I would have to take around 30 minutes to tune it to the way I
liked the speech package.  I have friends that also use Asap and their
likes and dislikes are different from mine some of their software speaks
more than I could handle and some don't speak except when they type.  The
point is Asap starts out letting you know what is on the screen
everywhere.  If you ahve not used emacspeak through a ethernet connection
with Asap you will not totally understand what I mean.  The way I fixed
that Rmoo problem I was having is I telneted into my laptop from my MSDOS
machine and had Asap read the screen for me as emacs and emacspeak booted
up.  there on the screen was the error messages I couldnt' get to earlier.
As I said I am sure there is a way I can switch to the error messages but
the point is I don't want to have to learn how to switch  to the error
messages till I have to at what point I would be ready to shut the error
messages up.

What I am saying is when you take a new person that has never used screen
access  and throw them into emacspeak the information given is not enough
to know what is going on on the screen.  It might be enough if you are an
accomplished emacs user but I am not nore is many users that will come to
the Linux environment and to say to them and me read the emacs howto and
the help etc. etc.. and expect them to learn it all in one sitting to be
able to even get mail or to be able to browse the web is a nightmare I
know I have worked as an instructor at the Salt Lake Communitty college
for students with visual imparements and if I had to teach some of the
students I have delt with this it would be more work teaching them to use
emacspeak and emacs.  Than actually learning how to use the linux system.

My argument is simple the speech software should be simple enough to use
to get started learning linux and when the user is read for allt he
specials that emacspeak and even the program like Asap has with its
Artificial Intelegence then the user can dig into it.  If the user never
gets to the point were that power is needed it shouldn't be forced on them
any more than word is forced on someone who only needs notepad.  

Ken /whistler On Thu,
18 Mar 1999, Lar Kaufman wrote:

> I'd like a concise description from Whistler <whistler@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
> why he believes it is too much to ask of a user confined to a character-based
> interface to learn basic interface commands to master its use.  It seems to
> me that the notion that the user can reasonably be expected to learn a few
> elemental commands necessary to interact with the computer, whether they are
> emacs, ed, vi, or some other scheme.  To assume otherwise is to create a
> barrier to providing a solution that I truly do not believe exists.  Back
> in the early 80s the debate between proponents of different shells (csh 
> vs. ksh as replacement for sh) argued about superiority of one system over
> another, but it would never have occurred to any of the parties to argue
> that the user couldn't or shouldn't have to learn *some* interface system.
> Whether or not it is true that GUI systems have allowed naive users to 
> access computers effectively without knowing any fundamentals (and I still
> have more frustration working with MacOS than I ever had learning CP/M, 
> DOS, VMS, RMS, TOPS, Windows or X Windows) I believe we should accept that
> it must be within the grasp of our users to learn the basics of a necessary
> method of providing computer access via the command line.  Is this argument
> really about that, or is it instead a rejection of emacs per se?  
> A strong argument toward the emacs system is that the next step beyond the
> command line, that is, the applications interface, is a significant hurdle.
> A user who learns basic emacs commands has an advantage in learning to use
> emacs itself, and only emacs currently offers an integrated environment for
> major computer uses that is non-proprietary.  If there were any other mode
> of interaction with the OS that would similarly facilitate further computer
> accessibility through a textual interface, I'd certainly consider it.  Does
> anyone have such an interface to offer?
>  -lar
> "The sum of all we drive at is that every man may enjoy the same rights that
> are granted to others." -- John Locke, 1689, A Letter Concerning Toleration
> -- 
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