Re: My thoughts on offensive company names and so on.
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Here is my wisdom!
If you have nothing good to say, say nothing, that would be so much better! If you have a problem with someone, say it to their face, quit being evasive with members on the list, who can do nothing about your gripe. Talk to MS yourself!
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
From: John Isige
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 3:35 AM
Subject: [nvda] My thoughts on offensive company names and so on.
Well for me, I don't care about the offensiveness so much. What I care
about is stuff like:
Last night I was using elocrash with Skum from Microslop and I tried
with the shark and Microslop Notreader and NVDA and nothing was
working"! I'm sorry, l33t (look it up if you don't know/remember) wasn't
cool back in the 80s when it got started, and this stuff that's
essentially an equivalent of it isn't cool either. I know, just like the
l33t k1dz whu t0t3z roxxorz! you think you're terribly terribly clever,
but just as they weren't, really, you're not.
That's my problem, having to parse whatever dumb gibberish people think
is clever this week because all they can do is puns, the lowest form of
humor, on company names that really don't work anyway, instead of coming
up with something that's actually witty and meaningful. You see what I
did there? I actually wrote real words that everybody can understand and
stuff instead of going "shut up, John Isicky"! It also seems really odd
to insult a company you just got done saying did something right, but
maybe that's just that irony all you young people are supposed to be
into nowadays, and I'm just too old to get it. Besides, you will never
beat the pun on HP-UX, which is both obvious and funny, so really,
there's no point to it all anyway. I'll leave the working out of that
pun as an exercise for the reader.
Don't get me wrong, I agree with the offensive part too. While I realize
companies, e.g. Microsoft, have a history to live down, a lot of that
was quite a while ago. Plus, how are they ever going to live it down or
get better if we're not giving them a chance, semi-praising them on the
one hand and insulting them on the other? You think that will make them
want to keep putting in the work for accessibility? Also, what in the
world is up with this "they're playing catch-up" stuff? Ooooo, Apple did
accessibility right, they showed everybody how it's done! OK, and then
you're upset that somebody's copying that? I mean, if Apple's so super
special awesome and all, shouldn't we want everybody and their fifth
cousin to copy them, such that we have proper accessibility on every
conceivable platform? Why are you complaining that other companies are
doing something like that? That should be, as I believe I've said when
it was mentioned that keyboard commands were being changed to be more
like other screen readers, exactly what we want. For example, my wife
bought a used mac for us. I read this article:
Looking at the web section, I see we've got commands to jump by headings
and all, and it seems pretty similar to other screen readers. Great!
That's less time wasted in trying to figure out how to do simple things,
and more time using the mac. Obviously I want to get more familiar with
the mac way of doing things and not just do what I'm doing on Windows,
because maybe mac does something better. But that will happen over time.
If I want to sit down and start checking something out to see what it's
like, the more barriers in my way like "learn an entirely different set
of commands and things just to navigate a web page", the less likely I
am to want to use that thing.
I'm not suggesting that every screen reader should work exactly like
every other screen reader. I'm saying that there should be a base set of
things that are pretty similar, e.g. I can do a lot of the same basic
stuff to get around in Android that I can do to get around in iOS. Sure,
if I really want to use either one, I'm going to have to learn their
specifics, but in general, I can pick up either kind of device with a
screen reader active and start using it to do stuff, no problem. You can
see this with NVDA too. What's the thing most people get hung up on?
That's right, object navigation. I use it a lot more now, particularly
if something isn't reading what I think it should, but it was confusing
for a bit until I got Joseph's tutorial. But you know what? Part of that
was because it was different from other screen readers I'd used, but
part of it was that I didn't have to worry about using it for a long
time, because NVDA does what I'm talking about. If you've used NVDA and
JFW, as I assume most people here have, you know there's a lot of stuff
that's similar between them in how you access Windows, e.g. using the
arrow keys and such.
But maybe you actually find object navigation better than the jaws
cursor. I'll give you an example, on the mac if you're reading a table,
you interact with it. Then you read it like you read any other thing. So
there's only, potentially, one extra command to remember, you have to
interact first. I don't have to try and learn a whole new set of table
navigation keystrokes. I used that example because it's fresh in my mind
and I honestly don't remember enough about how JFW did things to say
what's better or worse between it and NVDA.
Anyway the point to this rambling is that we shouldn't be implying that
other companies are substandard or whatever, because they've got feature
Y that looks a lot like feature X from Company Z's screen reader Lava
Talk, the screen reader that spits fire! We should be going "awesome,
they realized what works already, that's gonna save me a lot of time if
I ever have to learn or use that screen reader, especially if it's on
short notice". We shouldn't be complaining that they're "catching up". I
say, are they doing the work? Great, that means more stuff I can use in
more situations. Any "catching up" being done is nothing but a benefit
to us, pure and simple. Here's one last example. Microsoft now has it so
you can use Narrator in safe mode. How awesome would it be if they had a
key you could hold down while Windows is booting, like the recovery keys
on a mac, that boots you into safe mode automatically? Right now I'm
pretty sure you still have to hit a key and pick from a menu, which
means sighted assistance, if you want to be sure you've got it right.
How cool would it be to hold down, I don't know, Windows-n on boot and
get safe mode with networking, and just waiting a bit and then launching
Narrator and geting speech? I don't know about anybody else, but it
sounds really nice to me, if I ever encounter a problem.
There, I think I'm done. Except to say, again, that we should be
praising companies who are trying to do right, even if we think it took
them long enough, instead of slamming them for that and inventing dumb
insulting names for them. If they're doing right, or trying to do right,
then that's what they're doing, and we should only encourage it. Sure,
if they mess up, tell them so, hopefully constructively. I'm not saying
we should only be nice and say only good things about the stuff
companies make. But by all the gods, have some perspective. Your names
are neither cute nor clever, and we're not twelve any more. I'm pretty
sure I'm like, 14 or something.