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Blind user and cocoa

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hi all, i'm a blind computer user on the mac.  I use voice over for my screen reader which is built-in to all macs by pressing command-f5 to activate it and stop it.  When i use lazarus with the screen reader there are many controls that say  unknown and do not function.  I believe this is because lazarus is written in carbon as all cocoa controls are accessible out of the box.  I tried recompiling lazarus with the cocoa option in the lazarus build config screen and it restarted and then crashed.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Which controls exactly work and which ones don't work?

Could you create a simple application with some basic controls like TButton, TEdit, TComboBox. Does it work with your screen reader using LCL-Carbon? And what about when building it for LCL-Cocoa?

About the IDE in Cocoa, LCL-Cocoa is not ready yet to run it.

Hi Filepe, thanks for the quick reply, its very hard for me to tell which controls aren't working as they all say unknown, all of the menus work great, some of the controls work, the most important one that does not work is the source code editor. its say unknown when i tab to it, and if i have voice over interact with it, its does nothing. some of the controls that say unknown do work once you interact with them, an example of this is the form that comes up when you start the die that lets you set the info for lazrus, compiler, and source3 code, all of these items have two unknown fields, but when i interact with the first, i do see a combo box, browse button, and an unknown item that if i interact with it is a text field that does read telling me if the item is setup correctly.  the other unknown item is a button that says start die, and it does work.  another weird problem is once i click on the item using the voice over hot key to click nothing happens until i touch a keyboard key, then it works, for example i click the start die and it sits there like i have not pressed the button, but if i press ctrl-key then  the press takes and the die starts.  i'd be willing to pay $100.00 to get these things fixed.

So it seams that the problem does not have much to do with carbon vs cocoa. The source editor is a custom control, so automatic accessibility would not work with it, we would probably need to start an Accessibility API in Lazarus which can be used for custom controls.

You mentioned many times the word "die", for example "and the die starts" what does that mean?

How can you use such text editors like the source editor with accessibility software? I really wonder how that could work. A detailed description would be interresting, mentioning what is done in each step, how do you know where you are when you move the caret, etc.

About the $100, well, I would say that the work to fix everything would be quite huge, even for only adding accessibility to the source editor it would already be a challange, so I would recommend to scale down the requisites, define them well, and increase the amount. But you can always add it to the wiki in the section for bounties, maybe someone will appear.


Hi Filepe, sorry die should have been IDE :) as for carbon versus cocoa, they say cocoa is accessible out of the box, but here is a doc on how to make carbon and custom controls accessible,  As for how i use the editor well, the speech reads me the entire line when i up or down arrow, and letter by letter when i left or right arrow, there are othe ways to move by word, sentence, paragraph and so on.  A blind program does need a good memory as he can't see whats on the screen at all times.  IDE's make this a bit simpler(if i could find an accessible one :)) by having hot keys to pull up lists of classes, functions, variables and the like in popup menus.  this make it much easier to navigate, i used to put comments like //myfunctionname before a function and then use search and replace to jump around.  Also in the olden days delphi for window had a pretty cool feature which was a hot key to toggle the form from graphics to text and back again, when in text mode it look like whats in your .lfm files no, and i could change object name, x, y, height, width and the like just by editing the text.  I think i can do this in lazarus, its just more tedious, i have to open lazarus, create a project, use the voice over hot key to chow open windows, and choose the form i want to modify, then i use the lazarus view menu and show components, not the pallet, just components, then i use the table view which lists components to add one to the form by pressing enter on the control. then i save the project, exit the IDE with command-q and open the form1.lfm or what ever its called in my smultron editor and modify and save it back. then go back in lazarus and build the project.

hope this helps explain things some what.


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