Re: A very damn well written article promoting NVDA

Tony Ballou


I read the article and though we as Gene and Travis said cannot allow ourselves to go stark raving mad against any group and compare it to the dregs of the computing world, and send it down the flaming lava pit of the nearest active volcano, Chris did make a number of valid points. The point that stuck with me most was what we as a group can do.  As a community we have lots of juice, let's continue to use it.  Through the continuing support of the project by all of us here, talking it up, promoting it, souping it up, to be the best of the screen reading lot, and make it the best piece of adaptive software on the market.  The more we keep our hands in it as visually impaired users whether it be through programming, instructing, writing tips, tricks, and manuals for users, blogging, and even posting on social media to spread the word about it overtime should move anything that's thrown our way aside. Just my take.


On 5/24/2017 1:26 PM, Gene wrote:
The article makes interesting points but it's really overdone.  Here is most of a message I sent to another list on the subject.  I have added more comments. 
The assertion that a screen-reader can make a great piece of spyware sounds plausible to me, someone without in depth technical knowledge.  I suspect that it is technically true but I hardly think that VFO would risk the reputation of JAWS by doing so.  It would be illegal on its face, I would think and it would certainly be illegal if it weren't spelled out in the user agreement.  JAWS is very heavily dependent on business use for its revenue.  As one example of liability, if JAWS collected information, anyone business or individual doing medical work in The United States where a person's name is ever used, could prosecute VFO for violating the patient privacy act.  And that's just one example that comes to mind.  Are there blind psychiatrists or psychologists or social workers or people who work for them who use JAWS to keep patient records?  Another case of devastating liability for JAWS.  How about lawyers?  The idea that the owners of JAWS would turn it into spyware is just not credible.  To paraphrase the late Justice Scalia, it should strain the credulity of the credulous.  People may criticize JAWS and its developers for various reasons but it makes no sense to believe that the company is suicidal. 
And what is the risk when compared to the benefits?  The blind user base isn't large enough nore affluent enough to even begin to justify such risks, even if the company were suicidal. 
I'd have to read the article again to see if I disagree with other assertions, but that was the one I really remember.  There is no question that NVDA is a necessary program and that it fills a vital need in many peoples' lives.  And over time, JAWS will, I would think, lose an increasing amount of market share in the personal market.  It may lose some business market share over time as well.  But when assessing the need for NVDA and its future, paranoia about the irrationality of the major competitor is not a good basis to build a good deal of the argument. 
If you make such assertions, you lose credibility for your assertions that are well based.  And even here, one assertion I recall is possible but highly improbable at this time.  The assertion that JAWS is more likely to disappear may be correct, but its highly improbable unless things change dramatically and it should be regarded more as a remote possibility and largely academic at this time. 
There are lots of compelling arguments to support and use NVDA.  But such arguments as make up much of this article, while interesting and provocative, are so far-fetched, even though possible, that they are not a good basis to form much of such arguments.  They may gain support for NVDA among some people but they may needlessly erode support among some JAWS users, making NVDA appear more like a project supported by paranoid fanatics than what it actually is, a project that is hard-headed and realistic in its development and outlook.
----- Original Message -----
From: The Wolf
Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 11:11 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] A very damn well written article promoting NVDA

I have to agree

lets tell vfo where to shove it

and get more people to drop jaws and switch to nvda
On 5/24/2017 9:08 AM, Devin Prater wrote:

I agree, this was a great article!


Devin Prater
Assistive Technology in training, World Services for the Blind
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From: Brian's Mail list account
Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 10:34 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] A very damn well written article promoting NVDA


Except that every time someone says Floss to me I think of teeth.





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----- Original Message -----

From: "Mallard" <mallard@...>

To: <>

Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 9:04 AM

Subject: Re: [nvda] A very damn well written article promoting NVDA



> Wow! This is great! I'll forward it to all my friends, blind and

> sighted...

> I usually donate to NVDA each time a new version comes out, but I think I

> won't wait for NVDA 2017.2 to be officially released. This time I'll make

> an early donation to celebrate this great article... (smile).

> Ciao, and thanks Christopher!

> Ollie

> Il 23/05/2017 23:47, Lino Morales ha scritto:

>> Chris Hoffstater wrote a damn good article on his blog about NVDA which

>> you can read here.













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