Topics

Necessary training to write a screen reader?


Walker, Michael E
 

Hi,

 

When I read about how NVDA was born by a blind developer starting and writing it back in 2006, where do you think he would have even gotten the training to write a screen reader? I know that one would not get this from college alone. College may teach the fundamentals of Computer Science with an introduction to some specialized topics like security and cryptography, image processing, networking, and multimedia, but writing a screen reader has to be a highly complex undertaking. I am not looking to write one, but am intrigued by NVDA’s history.

 

Thanks,

Mike


 

Hi,

At some point we should move this discussion to a more appropriate location, but…

A screen reader is just any other program: filled with variables, loops, conditionals, classes and objects, libraries, API calls and what not. But when it comes to screen readers, some knowledge of accessibility API’s helps, as well as willingness to listen to customers and be part of the community.

If you want, I recommend that you join the devlearning subgroup where I teach people how to write Python code, as well as give talks on NVDA internals for the next few months. Be warned though: the traffic you see in that subgroup isn’t for the faint of heart: in other words, one must show dedication and commitment, and in some cases, it becomes quite technical.

Cheers,

Joseph

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io [mailto:nvda@nvda.groups.io] On Behalf Of Walker, Michael E
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2017 1:30 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: [nvda] Necessary training to write a screen reader?

 

Hi,

 

When I read about how NVDA was born by a blind developer starting and writing it back in 2006, where do you think he would have even gotten the training to write a screen reader? I know that one would not get this from college alone. College may teach the fundamentals of Computer Science with an introduction to some specialized topics like security and cryptography, image processing, networking, and multimedia, but writing a screen reader has to be a highly complex undertaking. I am not looking to write one, but am intrigued by NVDA’s history.

 

Thanks,

Mike


Walker, Michael E
 

Hi,

 

Thank you for pointing out the subgroup. I am still learning how groups.io works. I see the Subgroups link on this group’s homepage, as well as the developer group.

 

Best regards,

Mike

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io [mailto:nvda@nvda.groups.io] On Behalf Of Joseph Lee
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2017 3:35 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: Re: [nvda] Necessary training to write a screen reader?

 

Hi,

At some point we should move this discussion to a more appropriate location, but…

A screen reader is just any other program: filled with variables, loops, conditionals, classes and objects, libraries, API calls and what not. But when it comes to screen readers, some knowledge of accessibility API’s helps, as well as willingness to listen to customers and be part of the community.

If you want, I recommend that you join the devlearning subgroup where I teach people how to write Python code, as well as give talks on NVDA internals for the next few months. Be warned though: the traffic you see in that subgroup isn’t for the faint of heart: in other words, one must show dedication and commitment, and in some cases, it becomes quite technical.

Cheers,

Joseph

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io [mailto:nvda@nvda.groups.io] On Behalf Of Walker, Michael E
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2017 1:30 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: [nvda] Necessary training to write a screen reader?

 

Hi,

 

When I read about how NVDA was born by a blind developer starting and writing it back in 2006, where do you think he would have even gotten the training to write a screen reader? I know that one would not get this from college alone. College may teach the fundamentals of Computer Science with an introduction to some specialized topics like security and cryptography, image processing, networking, and multimedia, but writing a screen reader has to be a highly complex undertaking. I am not looking to write one, but am intrigued by NVDA’s history.

 

Thanks,

Mike


Brian's Mail list account <bglists@...>
 

Well a look at how windows code exposes data for such purposes is probably where you start from then if you know this, making some kind of program to interact with them. I think you need to be able to program in at least one of the well known C compilation front ends and of course this in itself needs to be accessible using another screenreader, maybe Jaws.
Then you need a semi compiled scripting language to join all the bits up and to make decisions about which bits of the API use for what and went etc.
I started far too late in this to be any good at it, but I do also think some people have a natural gift for it, ie they can think in the logic needed to make it work before actually writing it.

I mean back in the 80s I could write basic and small routines in z80 assembler but in no way could I have written a game by hand in those days as some quite obviously did. they had a gift of thinking that way.

Brian

bglists@blueyonder.co.uk
Sent via blueyonder.
Please address personal email to:-
briang1@blueyonder.co.uk, putting 'Brian Gaff'
in the display name field.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Walker, Michael E" <michael.e.walker3@boeing.com>
To: <nvda@nvda.groups.io>
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2017 9:29 PM
Subject: [nvda] Necessary training to write a screen reader?


Hi,

When I read about how NVDA was born by a blind developer starting and writing it back in 2006, where do you think he would have even gotten the training to write a screen reader? I know that one would not get this from college alone. College may teach the fundamentals of Computer Science with an introduction to some specialized topics like security and cryptography, image processing, networking, and multimedia, but writing a screen reader has to be a highly complex undertaking. I am not looking to write one, but am intrigued by NVDA's history.

Thanks,
Mike


Didier Colle
 

Dear Mike,


In this article http://tvraman.github.io/emacspeak/manual/Emacspeak-At-Twenty.html#Emacspeak-At-Twenty you might read a similar story for emacspeak (thus not NVDA).


It appears that he had the very kernel of emacspeak running in only 4 hours.

As mentioned by someone else a screen reader is just another program, that you should be able to develop with the concepts you learn in a cs education.

Diving into accessibility and other APIs is the starting point, then you start with a very small core of the thing that can do basic stuff and from there on you grow it further to a real product (which takes manyfolds of the effort and time that goes in the very basic core of your product).


Kind regards,


Didier


On 29/09/2017 22:29, Walker, Michael E wrote:

Hi,

 

When I read about how NVDA was born by a blind developer starting and writing it back in 2006, where do you think he would have even gotten the training to write a screen reader? I know that one would not get this from college alone. College may teach the fundamentals of Computer Science with an introduction to some specialized topics like security and cryptography, image processing, networking, and multimedia, but writing a screen reader has to be a highly complex undertaking. I am not looking to write one, but am intrigued by NVDA’s history.

 

Thanks,

Mike



Jason White
 

Computer science courses at university teach algorithm analysis, data structures, operating system design, compiler theory, artificial intelligence, programming languages, software design and other specialized topics. With this background in place, a capable graduate can apply their knowledge and skills to specialized areas, including screen readers. That is, the university education provides a foundation of understanding and skill that can then be applied in many ways to many different problems, including screen reader development. A good graduate should be able to pick up the specifics of each problem (e.g., accessibility) in the course of working on it. What the education provides is the ability to analyze and solve problems independently, based on the fundamentals that have already been learned.

 

From: nvda@nvda.groups.io [mailto:nvda@nvda.groups.io] On Behalf Of Walker, Michael E
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2017 4:30 PM
To: nvda@nvda.groups.io
Subject: [nvda] Necessary training to write a screen reader?

 

Hi,

 

When I read about how NVDA was born by a blind developer starting and writing it back in 2006, where do you think he would have even gotten the training to write a screen reader? I know that one would not get this from college alone. College may teach the fundamentals of Computer Science with an introduction to some specialized topics like security and cryptography, image processing, networking, and multimedia, but writing a screen reader has to be a highly complex undertaking. I am not looking to write one, but am intrigued by NVDA’s history.

 

Thanks,

Mike