Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (533 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] So noone can help?
  • From: Eberhard Moenkeberg <emoenke@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 02:07:19 +0200 (CEST)
  • Message-id: <alpine.LNX.2.00.1004150118440.22731@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

On Wed, 14 Apr 2010, Bryen M. Yunashko wrote:
On Wed, 2010-04-14 at 23:57 +0200, Eberhard Moenkeberg wrote:
On Wed, 14 Apr 2010, Karsten König wrote:
Am Mittwoch, 14. April 2010 23:13:10 schrieb Christian:

OK, this is my last message to this list and noone seems to be willing to
help. This is so simple for you opensuse user's. If logged out from Gnome,
how many times should one press the tab key in order to get to the login
button or is there some keyboard command for enabling this button? And
finally, where can I post suggestions so that they will be implemented in
some future release of the OS? This is important, at least to me when it
comes to accessibility.
Many thanks,

I am downloading the gnome image right now, it's 11 pm here and every student
seems to be awake in the dorm downloading something, so I can only try again
tomorrow, it will take hours to download now =(

Try directly. 500 MBit bandwidth reserve currently. You would
not get it all, but the filesystem has reserve currently too.

I am normally no GNOME user but KDE so I can't just test it.

Still you found the blinux list already, it seems dead though, I cc'ed bryen,
afaik he is also visually impaired and works on gnome a11y from time to time.

It was a no-good decision by Novell/SUSE some long time ago to release
their only one "truly" blind worker.
I have an almost blind collegue, and he states that since that point,
blinux support at Novell/SUSE got slowly steadily rotten.

Not completely true.

Maybe. I tried to point out a special aspect. Let's see what you say in detail. It can't be much, you should know.

Actually, there were two blind users who were let go. But there is one that still exists on the mono-a11y team.

OK, but the most "general" one got released. With the consequences I have described from the view of my almost-blind collegue.

Things got rotten since then, a fact if you believe the regarded users.
A fact for me.

And he attempts to use openSUSE when he can, but does run into some difficulties compared to other distros out there. This is regrettable. Neither of the two that were let go were directly involved in openSUSE, nor is the one currently employed.

Aren't you stating here my much more rugger words above?

The problem, for me personally, is I don't want to completely rely on
him, nor any other Novell employee to be the authoritative answer on
solving accessibility issues. Reasons are:

1. Not all accessibility issues are the fault of Novell/SUSE. There
are some real changes going on in GNOME, especially in preparing for the
upcoming GNOME 3.0, affecting accessibility (or a11y). And that's an
impact for *all* distros, not just openSUSE. The GNOME-A11y team, of
which I am a part of, is trying very hard to meet these issues but
without good funding, we are unable to ensure complete perfection by 3.0

Formerly we had splendid "overall" support - guided by personal experience of the handicapped themselves.

This is gone, "The SUSE Experts" have fallen down with this.
You can't (and I guess you won't) argue against this statement.

2. I would never want to completely rely on any one person for their
expertise of accessibility because it is truly a lot of work to put on a
single person

Not "one person" is the aspect, but "at least one expert". The best expert got "set free", no doubt. A very bad decision long ago.

3. It is a misnomer of accessibility to say that to have a "truly
blind" person would cover the issues of accessibility. Accessibility is
a very BROAD area that covers MANY MANY types of impairments. What we
want and need is a body of people that can participate in testing and
providing guidance in effective openSUSE accessibility. For me, as a
Deaf-Blind user, I pose unique challenges as my vision continues to
deteriorate and my ability to read my screen gets harder each month. I
can't use some of the traditional tools that other blind users use, like
screenreaders that speak out the text on screen.

OK, but any "broadness" aspects of the current accessibility problems with Novell/SUSE can't lead to the aspect that the originally SUSE "sharpness" was no good. It was proven good (my collegue was all the old time able to fulfill his tasks under SUSE Linux or SLES or SLED, and it is worse since Novell did let that aspect fall. My almost-blind lost his autonomy with using SLED or OpenSUSE - which he has had with SUSE before. Guess which operating system is his first choice today - no SUSE in name.

It is education, not just actual existing impairments, that will help
openSUSE move forward as an accessible distro.

It _WAS_ it most of the former time!

The move you have in mind was gained formerly already and lost again and is still lost.

As an example, at the recent GNOME A11y Hackfest in California, out of the 15 people present, only two were visually impaired, and of that, only one is a developer. :-) But the rest of the team... WOW... sharp guys who really understood the needs and developed accordingly. Because they were educated as such.

Maybe a new beginning, at a lower starting point we already were.
Re-contracting the "old" expert would be best, I guess, if Novell/SUSE still can win him after the pain he has received.

As we move forward into a stronger and self-sustaining openSUSE
community, we must do away with the thinking that "Oh, Novell needs to
hire more a11y users." Actually, yes, I'd love to see more a11y users
be employed. :-) But the point I'm making here is, if we want to be a
successfully accessible distro, we need not only skilled developers, but
also community members and users to come forth and discuss their issues
in a more prominent way.

Come on. "SUSE - The Linux Experts" has to overvive, regardless how big the role of the community ever will get.

To see this importance, you can try to search the bugzillas of all Linux distributions with special keywords (any, but should be somehow special).
You will see questions at all bugzillas, but solutions very, very mostly only at

This is actually difficult at this time because we haven't really seen
that many speak up or make themselves known as accessibility users in
whatever form.

Yes, Novell's decision to fire "the handicapped" was initially false and at least now falls back, with a huge quality-downing to see even for the deciders who did.

This is actually a very timely topic as those of us with openSUSE who
were involved with the recent Hackfest had our own meeting to try to
address how to move forward on this issue. And last night I spent a
couple of hours just mulling on this topic and what to do to choose our
next step.

I hope this starts a long and invigorating discussion that instates
openSUSE as an accessible distro (which sadly at the Hackfest/A11y
Conference, it was deemed to be an inaccessible distro compared to

My hope is with you, but I guess it is not enough.

Best would be to grab the "original" deciders for this current lack of potential and work which were formerly present and show them how much down they had decided - but I guess fluctuation at the management plane has left nothing/noone to grab, and the current management plane has no clue.

Best wishes if you still "think positive" with the acessability aspect for handicapped - I can't currently, but would love my wishes to you could fulfill.

SUSE - The Linux Experts - has "set free" their only "blinux expert" who
was expert by own patience - the best expert one can think of, sorry, but
true and proven.

I hope there is a chance to regain expert status at this field back, and
my almost-blind collegue even more than me, I guess.

Suggestions can be posted to with a novell
account, I don't know how accessible the opensuse pages are, if you need help
just write to the list or me and I'll forward your suggestions.

I remember SuSE beeing very proud about a11y for visually impaired users, but
I can't judge about the current state =(

"Was". "Is" would be a self-illusioning statement by non-blind deciders
which would vote it blindly. But expert status for the biological, not the
real blindness would be a better gain.

You asked if brttly includes USB support in the current release, sadly it's
not even included in 11.2 but only in vuntz (Vincent Untz) personal home
project, so if you add his repository you can download and install it.

Also I suggest mailing to opensuse-gnome as well, maybe some of them are not
subscribed to this list.

Community is not the solution against melting down "own" experts. See the bugzillas.

Viele Gruesse
Eberhard Moenkeberg (emoenke@xxxxxxx, em@xxxxxxx)

Eberhard Moenkeberg
Arbeitsgruppe IT-Infrastruktur
E-Mail: emoenke@xxxxxxx Tel.: +49 (0)551 201-1551
Gesellschaft fuer wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung mbH Goettingen (GWDG)
Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Goettingen
URL: E-Mail: gwdg@xxxxxxx
Tel.: +49 (0)551 201-1510 Fax: +49 (0)551 201-2150
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