So, a blind person bought a Pinephone, wanting to put Mobian on it. Since Debian has given such good accessibility features on desktop, it should give just as much accessibility on mobile. Debian on mobile should have blind users' backs. Right?

Wrong. This is just what I've been saying for the past year or so. And now, for this person who has spent their hard-earned money on a Pinephone, it's too late. Now all they have is an expensive paperweight. There is an issue created for this, though.

#a11y #debian #mobian #mobile #foss #accessibility

@devinprater All respect to this, but mobian devs, posh devs, gnome devs, and so on and so forth are doing their best in order to deliver a product that is not ready to replace an android device yet, they don't have the resources that android devs have, they're not backed by google.

So if you want to improve this situation, donate if you have money and send the message. Probably a crowdfunding campaign would help.

@lorabe This is but a symptom of a systematic issue of inaccessibility in FOSS. People can toss around blame all they want. I didn't even blame Pine for this. And yeah, users should read about stuff they're about to spend money on. But this user trusted the Debian, and thus, Mobian community. But whatever. I'm stepping back from FOSS for the most part. I'll comment on it, but I'm not about to do more work when I'm basically alone in doing it.

@devinprater You are in your right to complain, but that doesn't solve the problem, it prevents understanding.

It's quite easy to complain when you take the availability of funds and hired people for granted, but programmers are spending their free time in good faith and people don't seem to care or acknowledge their contributions.

I guess in this case i will side with the devs, but the best solution to all of this is to coordinate and collect money in order to actually fund development.

@lorabe Sure. As a blind person, I’ve tried putting myself out there, so that developers can work with me and otheR blind Linux users. But sure. I’m just yet anotheR damn user taking advantage of poor developers that are just trying to enjoy something that isn’t their day job. Never mind that companies like System 76 and the Gnome Foundation work on this fulltime. But whatever. I won’t bother the developer gods with such lowly issues as the most disadvantaged group of people ever not being able to use their software which they publish to the world.


@devinprater @lorabe
Phosh is mainly developed by Purism, not by Mobian, Debian and especially not by Pine. The pinephone costs a fraction of the Librem 5, for the most part because they don't create the software for it. I paid 4 times as much hard earned money for an L5 as you, so that we can have that in the future.
Funding as well as volunteering are needed there.

@danielst @lorabe I’ll fund whoever will work on accessibility. Right now, that's just @storm and the Stormux team.

@devinprater @danielst @lorabe @storm
A big problem is that libre devs seem to just not want to learn about accessibility.
If you spend hours ricing your setup or arguing about languages, you can't claim to not have time to read up on accessibility.

Accessibility is also not something you add as an afterthought, just like security, you consider it from day 0, so you don't have to rebuild things from the ground up when it turns out your initial assumptions are incompatible with accessibility.

@devinprater @danielst @lorabe @storm

Btw this is my regular foss callout post:
if you are thinking of writing another fucking ncurses app you had better have a damn good reason for mimicking a proper GUI toolkit extremely poorly. UNIX fetishism is not such a reason.

@devinprater @danielst @lorabe @storm
I'm saying this as someone who contributes to Guix and experiments with Plan 9: (some) Linux fans need to get their priorities in order.

See we don't have to depend on people who don't care about accessibility. We can create organizations that care about accessibility and fund people to work on accessibility.
@devinprater @danielst @lorabe @storm

When there is a problem, there are usually two ways. 1. Find someone to blame for the issue, which is very easy. 2. Find a solution to the problem, which is very hard. When the solution requires collective action, it needs a lot of patience to work with others and then the solution may take a long time to build. So a lot of people chose option 1.
@devinprater @danielst @lorabe @storm

Good point. Although in theory there already supposed be organizations where accessibility dev is an explicit goal, like GNOME. Maybe a new organization would help move things along faster, but I really really hope that GNOME gets its accessibility act together.
@devinprater @danielst @lorabe @storm

@csepp @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm I kinda feel like they’ve forgotten about accessibility, but that's just me being synical. But I wouldn't know how to even start an organization.

It shouldn't be too difficult to start an informal one, but I don't have much experience either. Maybe ask the Gnu Assembly folks for advice? these folks.

@praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm

Yes, starting an informal group can be an initial step. So start with a brief note on what you want to achieve and then ask people interested to join you. It can be any group, like a mailing list, matrix/xmpp/irc or a discussion forum. Once you are clear about the goals, you can think about ways to achieve it. There may be existing options like Purism fund your app campaign which you can leverage. Ask people to propose accessibility as one item.
@devinprater @danielst @lorabe @storm

@praveen @csepp @danielst @lorabe @storm I mean there's already @storm and there was There's already an IRC group, But it's so loose, and Billy seems to just work on stuff like Audiogame Manager, which will be great... once more blind people join Linux. I just don't know how to get a group started on reaching out to projects though, because we can't build a desktop ourselves. I mean we don't even have a list of great, accessible apps. Then again maybe even I can do that, and others can add to it. Because again, I can't do this alone.

Yeah, something like that "are we accessible yet" site I mentioned a few threads ago would be a good step forward and it would help track progress.
@praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm

There may be more people interested to do this, so first task is to ask people to join a group. If there is an existing group that works as well. Create broad goals first and then it can be broken down to specific apps and problems.
@csepp @danielst @lorabe @storm

@devinprater @csepp @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm GTK4 has pretty much a full revamp of the accessibility system (taking out ATK, to use AT-SPI2 directly). It probably seems like bikeshedding, but it's actually them training a team who actually know about accessibility on Debian; all that knowledge was lost during a failed inter-organisation migration when the funding disappeared.

@devinprater @csepp @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm Also, AT-SPI2 doesn't work: nothing implements it properly (not even the GNOME apps), and it will hang bits of your computer when you try to use it.

I don't know how *anyone* uses screen-readers on Debian, honestly. (Orca's great, given what little I know about the chaotic mess it's dealing with, but I can't tolerate using it.)

@wizzwizz4 @devinprater @csepp @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm I recall a thread where someone recounted some history behind all this, that there were several projects funded by the (American Council for the Blind?) to improve accessibility, but each time Microsoft (a big ACB funder) threatened to pull funding unless they dropped the projects.

And the reason appears to be: governments require accessibility in their software, so MS et al didn't want any threats to their monopoly over government contracts.

So to accuse OSS community of simply not caring enough to bother isn't really accurate - there is deliberate monopolism at play here. MS and Apple might appear to "care more" but only when it gets them access to tenders, and excludes the communal software from the competition.

@seachaint @wizzwizz4 @csepp @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm Sure, but that hasn't been the case since, oh maybe 2006 or so. So FOSS has had a decade to improve.

Also there are notable foss subcultures that fully disregard accessibility. /me looking at all the suckless fans.
@seachaint @wizzwizz4 @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm

@csepp @devinprater @wizzwizz4 @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm Oh goodness yes, but all communities are full of terrible people. The people who care cluster in caring communities.

Are they smaller than they should be? Yes. But I have a feeling that dev burnout particularly affects people working in areas like this. Especially when some of the best of them may have seen several cycles of monopoly-death after getting their hopes up.

I do think it's a responsibility to make accessibility a first-class requirement for any serious project. Like documentation, it should be drilled into budding devs that this isn't optional. And so things like Phosh failing to take it seriously from day 1 does bother me. Do it badly if that's all you can do. But fucking do it.

@wizzwizz4 @devinprater @csepp @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm Testing latest GTK 4 on arch linux with gtk4-demo and orca, the experience is rather unintuitive as compared to GTK 3.
Orca can't flat review, can't intercept keypresses, roles and states are not wired.
Looking at GTK gitlab I can only find some stale a11y related issues.

@wizzwizz4 @devinprater @csepp @praveen @danielst @lorabe @storm Looking at other gnome apps I see some of them are transitioning to GTK 4. If nothing radical happens by the time gnome 42 gets released we will feel a11y experience is rapidly degrading I'm afraid.

Purism has a fund your app campaign You could propose Accessibility support as a priority. Apparently no one thought about it yet. So you could propose that as a priority to Purism and fund it too. @purism
@danielst @lorabe @storm

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