Re: Introducing TextNav add-on - a better way to browse Internet

Tony Malykh

I don't see your comments hostile at all. You provide very reasonable
feedback for me, and I really appreciate that, though I don't quite
agree with some of your points.
1. TextNav is indeed supposed to be the easier way. The question is
whether this is good or bad in from the absolute point of view. I
agree it will reduce motivation for people to learn the proper way.
The good thing is it might allow some other people e.g. older people,
to use Internet. This is the trade off I see. Time will decide if it
is good or bad. But again, remember my example with Microsoft Windows?
Exactly the same argument was made, that Windows will make people lazy
and they will not learn the proper way to interact with computer using
command prompt. And then decades went by, and the right way became the
Windows way. So, sometimes, the definition of what's proper can
change. Not today, today as we agree, TextNav is not good enough to
fully replace traditional browse mode commands. But what I'm trying to
say is giv give a chance to the new tools. Give Windows and automatic
transmissions a chance. Nobody would blame you today that you don't
know how to press clutch.
2. You are trying to say that students first should learn Internet the
hard way, and only then try TextNav. I'm not a teacher, but I don't
understand why we cannot reverse the order. We don't learn calculus
before arithmetics. In general this is how education works, we start
with simple things and over the years learn more complicated things.
Why learning screenreaders must be an exception? When you're saying
that students won't learn the traditional browse mode commands because
TextNav is works for them, I can claim that students won't learn
calculus, because they're good enough with 3rd grade arithmetics. I'm
sorry to point that out, I hope you won't consider this to be a sign
of hostility, and I respect your point of view, but I just can't quite
agree with it.
3. I want to promote my add-on. I want more blind people to be aware
of it and at least try it once. I think it is going to be beneficial
for 90% of blind people. But it is very hard to communicate the
message. Last time I tried explainning to people what it really is and
not many people got it. So this time I decided to try marketing
techniques. I do exagerate things, but only a little bit. You might be
right when you want to call it just a reading add-on, but if I call it
a reading add-on, then only two users will actually try it. By calling
it "the new way of browsing Internet" I hope to attract some more
attention. Am I deceptive? Maybe a little bit, but nowhere near as
much as a typical TV commercial.

Please see my comment to Gene about the order of learning things.
I would still defend my 90/90% statement. The example of Amazon you
gave falls into the 10% that's not covered by TextNav - just because
there are form controls there. If a website has buttons and edit
boxes, obviously you cannot navigate it effectively using TextNav.
But let me give you a list of web sites where textNav would greatly
improve your efficiency:
News websites (hundreds of them), forums (thousands of them), blogs
(tens of thouusands, maybe more? whatever), product pages, Wikipedia
and other smaller wiki sites, online documentation sites.
These are just the major categories. Basically all the web sites where
you don't need to interact with form elements and that have some text
on them.

TextNav looks for text written in full sentences that are separated by periods.

On 12/3/18, Shaun Everiss <sm.everiss@...> wrote:
To be honest I won't be getting this, I know how to brouse, to be
honest, even though I was given extensive training for windows and jaws
back in the day, I have a subset of commands I use.

Since I have pulled out of uni and don't have a mainstream job my
commands have dropped.

I need enough to navigate the web, thunderbird, and a few other apps but
I honestly don't use that many comands at all.

On 12/4/2018 6:53 AM, Sarah k Alawami wrote:
I agree with jean. I push my students as well as I was pushed to learn
all of the browse commands and I was a beginner. Then and only then
could I learn other ways other easier ways.

Second, 90 percent out of 90 percent of websites? I don't think so.
Many websites are getting harder to use and more cluttered and full of
gunk that the sighted like and the blind hate. Amazon anyone? So. your
second claim is faulse, or soon might be.

On 3 Dec 2018, at 9:22, Tony Malykh wrote:

It seems to me all your comments imply that I want to replace browse
mode keystrokes with TextNav. I emphasize, that TextNav does not
replace them, but it should be used in addition to them. I agree some
webdsites can be navigated very well with browse mode commands. I
agree that power users should learn all the browse mode commands. But:
1. TextNav is great for new websites. Even for power users, you can
quickly find out the right content without in-depth study of the
layout of this website.
2. TextNav is great for newbies. Instead of pushing students to learn
twenty five browse mode commands, just show them a single TextNav
keystroke, that can let you browse 90% of content on 90% of web sites.
And then, if they feel like learning more powerful techniques, they
can always learn all 25 of browse mode commands. I still remember
myself trying to learn all these browse mode command like five years
ago when I started to learn screenreadres, and it made me very
frustrated - so much stuff to learn. Why don't teach students a single
command on the first day to give them a teste of Internet, and then
move on to more powerful commands?
3. Older people that I know don't use Internet, because "it's too
complicated". I only try to solve this problem.
4. Again, I emphasize, that if you want to figure out the name of the
user on the forum, or the author of an article, you can always jus go
back to traditional browse mode commands. Again, TextNav is not a
replacement and doesn't strive to be one. However, in my daily
routine, 90% of the time I don't care about the author. I suspect many
NVDA users are like me, but I might be wrong here.
5. Automatic reading mode is stil available as NVDA keystroke. It
wouldn't skip over ads though. I might think of having automatic
reading mode with TextNav, but that's a suggestion for the future


On 12/2/18, Gene <gsasner@...> wrote:
I'll discuss some points:
First, something that I can comment on very briefly. You only tried
skip blocks of links command on one site and, evidently, on one
article. I
said that on some sites, one method works better and on others, another
does. The skip blocks of links command is an important and useful

It may be that some people want a very simple way to read articles
on web
pages and might have problems with using more complex ways, as you
say. My
concern is that many people who can learn other ways that would give
far more versatility and who wouldn't have trouble doing so may be
from doing so. So perhaps you should discuss just what this is for
and its
limitations when you promote or describe it. It is a reading add-on
allows you to skip to the start of an article and skip all
interruptions to
the article such as groups of links to related material, advertisements
image descriptions, and perhaps other things I haven't thought of.
I think
that making this clear and saying that those who want to use the
Internet in
a wide variety of ways not involving mainly reading, such as music
sites and
search sites, still need to learn and become profficient in the
other ways
of web navigation NVDA offers. I don't object to the add-on but
there are
many blind people who, because of a lack of knowledge or
severely limit themselves because they don't realize or believe they
do things they can do. I'm not sure just how you would present the
but for a lot of people this would be an important convenience but
you are
extremely limited if you don't know enough about web page navigation
to use
search sites. Even many of the older people you are discussing, I
would want to know how to do basic searches.

When I read a forum, I want to find a solution but what if I don't
have any
idea which might be more likely to work or come from a more
user? Being more knowledgeable doesn't necessarily mean the
information is
better but I consider it to be information to be aware of, whether
is a high ranking member of a list, an employee of Microsoft or some
relevant company or organization, and other information, if
available that
may help me assess his reliability. None of this is heard in the
way the add-on works.

and there are lots of other kinds of forums. Some people like to
hang out
on political forums. they might well want to know who is writing so
can see if the person is worth reading and either skipping,
skimming, or
paying close attention to posts of certain authors.
there are an enormous number of forums. As I said, I don't know if the
add-on can have some sort of forums mode. I don't have the technical
knowledge to know.

also, you didn't respond to what I said about having an automatic
mode. This is an important feature. Many people may use the add-on
to find
the beginning of an article but may not continue to use it to read the
article because they don't want to issue a command every few
sentences while
reading. If there were an automatic read command, this would allow
to read as they would when using the speak to end command. But the
would skip any extraneous material and read the entire article without
interruption or the need to repeatedly issue the read command. .

And while this isn't a forum, consider something like the op-ed
pages of a
newspaper. A bit of information may be provided about guest
columnists that
may be useful to readers. If someone works at a conservative think
his views may be very different than someone who works for a liberal
If the person works for a specific company, I want to know that.
That puts
me on guard that his views may be defending the company for which he
If such information is routinely stripped by the add-on, that is

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

From: Tony Malykh
Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2018 10:56 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Introducing TextNav add-on - a better way to browse

Hi Gene,
Thank you for your feedback, I think these are very reasonable
questions you are raising.
1. I didn't claim that TextNav should replace the traditional way of
browsing internet. It should rather augment it, be an addition to the
standard navigation commands.
2. I see a lot of older blind people, for whom using computer is a
burden. You can claim they should still learn the proper way. Or you
can let them use the simpler way and let them enjoy what they can
enjoy with TextNav. Some of them might never be able to learn the
proper way - when you're 80 your brain doesn't work as well as when
you're 20. It is a question of simpler tools versus more powerful
tools. When cars with automatic transmission just appeared people were
claiming they are bad because the drivers will never learn to use the
clutch. Or when Windows appeared, some were claiming that it makes
people stupid, because they never learn the command-line way of unix.
Think of TextNav as a car with automatic transmission. And if you want
to learn more powerful ways to navigate web pages, NVDA browse mode
commands are always there.
3. I agree I might have slightly exaggerated about 13x speedup. But
when I use TextNav myself, I can browse the web many times faster.
4. I never knew of the N command in browse mode. I just tried it on
one web page and it seems to skip over the first paragraph of the
article. So you would have to press it a few times, try to figure out
if you are inside the article, and then go back up until you find the
beginning. All that compared to a single keystroke of TextNav.
5. Crackling sound can be turned off or made quieter in the settings.
6. Often times I just want to read the article. I don't want to read
the name of the author, date of publication, read the description of
the image. Sometimes the article is interesting, and I might want to
find the name of the author. Again, I can always do it with the
standard browse mode command. But Most of the times I don't care. By
skipping over these fields, you save a few seconds every time, but
this accumulates over the day into a much more efficient browsing
experience. Time will show how many NVDA users are like me not
interested in the name of the author.
7. Same thing on the forum. I come to forums to solve my problems,
like in my example, the problem with bluetooth headphones. I don't
care whatsoever what's the nickname of the guy who asked the question,
and I care much less who answered it.

Best regards

On 12/2/18, Gene <gsasner@...> wrote:
I have some comments on your demo for TextNav. First, it isn't a
for learning the layout and structures of web pages. If you use it
you know these things, you may not learn to deal with other than
reading situations well.

Your claim that TextNav is thirteen times more efficient when
reading the
page you used is not correct. it is thirteen times more efficient
if you
don't know how to work with internet pages for reading something
like an
article well, but you used a very inefficient method for your
You didn't start at the top of the page and use the skip blocks of
command, the letter n. That gets you much much closer to the article
because it skips most of the material on this page before the article
starts. On some pages, move by heading works better. On some,
move by
nnavigation works bettter. on some, move by heading, then using skip
navigation links works better. On some, the find command works
may not find an efficient way to work with a page until you
Once you do, you can use other article pages on that site the same
I want to be clear. I am not saying that the add-on isn't very
useful in
skipping to the first sentence of an article. But you don't hear the
author, you may not hear introductory material you might want to hear,
if the article is more than two or three paragraphs, it would be
tedious to issue the move to next paragraph command repeatedly. For a
somewhat long news article or a somewhat long magazine article, I
imagine you might have to issue the command twenty or thirty or
forty or
more times. The add-on needs an automated mode for straight reading

And finally, your forum example demonstrates a real deficiency in the
add-on. It starts reading the text of the first post and skips all
information about who wrote it or how old it is or any other
that might be of interest such as what rating the person has for
or what his credentials are. Also, as you continue to read and
even if
know when a second post is beginning to be read, you don't know who
it is
from. You can't be sure all the time, I would think, who is
comments for the first time or who is making comments after making
comments. If the add-on is going to really be useful in such an
environment, it needs to do more than just skip through entries by
and not give you any information such as what I described. I don't
this can be done. I don't know if a forums mode can be developed.
f o r u m, as discussion forum, not to be confused with what some
call forms mode in some browsers for filling out forms.

In short, the add-on has potential and I am not attempting to
further development. Critics mmay be your best friends in such
But I think the add-on needs more work and refinement.

and one last thing I forgot to mention earlier:
The crackling sound should be able to be turned on and off. If I'm
I don't necessarily want to hear extraneous sounds that notify me of
something when I am reading an article and am not interested in
other information.

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

From: Tony Malykh
Sent: Sunday, December 02, 2018 6:25 PM
Subject: [nvda] Introducing TextNav add-on - a better way to browse

Hello NVDA users

Today I am introducing TextNav add-on for NVDA - a better way to
Internet for the blind!

Have you ever felt that browsing new pages is frustrating when you
couldn't find the content on the page? Try TextNav - it will find the
right content for you in a single keystroke! TextNav is easy to use.
Listen to a quick demo (7minutes long audio):

Here is the link to download TextNav:

TextNav on github:

TextNav keystrokes:
* Alt+Shift+Down: Find next paragraph with text.
* Alt+Shift+Up: Find previous paragraph with text.

I hope you enjoy it! Any suggestions are welcome!

Tony Malykh


Join to automatically receive all group messages.