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Fwd: Lubuntu and Accessibility
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rob Whyte <fudge@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, May 24, 2011 at 8:24 AM
Subject: Re: Lubuntu and Accessibility
To: Phill Whiteside <phillw@xxxxxxxxxx>
in my own efforts to get orca better with LXDE I conversed with Klaus
Knopper the author of Knoppix.
I have put his notes below..
I also tried with nto much success to try and figure out why orca did not
work with thunar though it claims to have great gtk support.
Please find notes below and hope it is helpful.
export SAL_USE_VCLPLUGIN="gtk" GTK_MODULES="gail:atk-bridge"
before starting a GTK program makes it aware of orca as screenreader.
You need to start orca as well, of course.
The panel containing the menu (lxpanel in our case) will send the
"highlighted" menu item to orca automatically if the two variables
mentioned before are set before starting lxpanel. The tricky part is to
pop up the menu without the mouse. Unfortunately, lxpanel does not have a
"hotkey" for this on its own, but the command "lxpanelctl menu" will
notify lxpanel to show the menu. Now you add this command to the window
managers hotkey list (which is different in compiz-fusion and metacity),
and you are there. Once the hotkey (Alt-F1 in Knoppix) is pressed,
lxpanelctl menu will be called, and the menu pops up.
I did not find a way yet to browse through the dock icons in lxpanel,
though it must be possible somehow, since using the mouse will focus the
icons and lets orca speak them. Maybe, just the internal link between
icons and a hotkey for selecting them is missing.
pcmanfm works quite well with orca, though the "desktop background"
version of it is not very talkative. If you start the windowed version
of pcmanfm, you can switch between canvases with eithger TAB or the
cursor keys (sometimes it's not very intuitive to understand which one
It should be possible, yet I'm unsure how to make the desktop manager
part of pcmanfm put the focus on the first icon on the desktop. Once one
item has the focus, you can browse through the desktop icons with the
could need some accessibility enhancements concerning hotkeys and their
in regards to accessing the panel,
The only way I found so far is the "lxpanelctl" command which is to be
called by the window manager. Alt-F1 pops up the menu in Knoppix.
The hotkey modifications for compiz-fusion and metacity concerning the
lxpanel menu is present in /etc/X11/Xsession.d/45knoppix. Here is an
case "$STARTUP" in
*lxde|lx*) # Need to change Alt_F1 and Alt_F2 hotkeys in order to make LXDE
sed -i -e 's/as_main_menu_key *=.*$/as_main_menu_key = Disabled/g' \
-e 's/as_run_command0_key *=.*$/as_run_command0_key = <AltF1/g' \
-e 's/as_command0 *=.*$/as_command0 = lxpanelctl menu/g' \
gconftool --type string \
--set /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/panel_main_menu disabled
--set /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/panel_run_dialog disabled
--set /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/run_command_1 '<AltF1' \
--set /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/run_command_2 '<AltF2' \
--set /apps/metacity/keybinding_commands/command_1 'lxpanelctl
--set /apps/metacity/keybinding_commands/command_2 'lxpanelctl
*) # Change Alt-F1 back when not running lxde
sed -i -e 's/as_main_menu_key *=.*$/as_main_menu_key = <AltF1/g' \
gconftool --type string \
--set /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/panel_main_menu '<AltF1'
--set /apps/metacity/global_keybindings/panel_run_dialog '<AltF2'
Of course this can also be set manually in gconf-editor (metacity/gnome) or
On 23/05/11 19:58, Phill Whiteside wrote:
> much has happened recently, including lubuntu getting clearance for full
> adoption at 11.10 by Canonical. Whilst I have quietly pushed
> accessibility (well, maybe not so quietly) as a part of lubuntu, we now
> need a bit of help off this team.
> Our specification of the minimal hardware it will run on cannot be
> broken, nor can our commitment to pre i686 processors.
> From a general chat to our head of development on lubuntu, he is of the
> opinion that if the code is really (and I mean really) tight, that it
> would be possible to include within the very tight constraints that we
> are committed to be able to uphold the inclusion of accessibility and
> has agreed that we should really strive to attain this.
> We are short of devs who can dedicate resources to this task, so I ask
> that any of you who can assist do so. I'd really like to see lubuntu
> 11.10 come out with as much accessibility as is possible on " A Pentium
> II or Celeron system with 128 MiB of RAM is probably a bottom-line
> configuration that may yield slow yet usable system with Lubuntu"
> So, once you've all had your heart attacks and say it cannot be done...
> the ones who go "hmmm, that is actually possible.." Please make your
> selves known.