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Archive for the ‘Accessibility’ Category

Some KDE 4 tips you should know

August 13th, 2009 by

KDE 4 is definitively my daily desktop environment, although it’s not yet mature like the 3.5.x branch i consider it enough stable and usable, but sometime the default settings and the few time available, don’t help us to appreciate it, so let’s resume some little tip for beginners that feel lost with everything new and don’t want waste their time.

(This article is also available for italian users)


Bootloader gets chattier

November 6th, 2008 by

Since openSUSE 11.0. we have some basic speech support in our bootloader. This enables visually impaired people to use the bootloader as there is usually no other output device available at that time (BIOS doesn’t really support braille displays).

It uses the PC-speaker for output (which has the benefit that you don’t need specialized sound drivers for every hardware).

If you didn’t try it yet: press F9 at the boot screen.

I’ve reworked that a good deal in openSUSE 11.1 RC1 (2MB sound samples) and now it reads all menus and dialogs to you and spells all chars you enter in input dialogs (actually it speaks the char left from cursor).

The sound samples are pre-generated with espeak. But you are of course free to replace them with your own voice if you like that more. 😉

How to search more efficiently in Bugzilla with pybugz

June 19th, 2008 by

If you just want to search for bugs in Bugzilla, it’s (a bit?) painful: start the browser, type in the URL, insert your login and password and try to find out where to go. There is an easier way to do: pybugz for commandline lovers!

Thanks to Peter Poeml, get this very useful Python script from here. After you have installed it you need only two steps to configure it:

  1. Create a file ~/.bzuser and insert your Bugzilla login.

  2. Login into Bugzilla and insert your password. This creates the file ~/.bugz_cookie:

    $ /usr/bin/bugz-login

The script knows several subcommands, its interface is similar to CVS or Subversion. You can search, get, post, modify, attach and download an attachment, all with this utility. For example, if you want all bugs about “XML”, regardless of the product or component, you just type:

$ bugz search xml

That gives the following output:

 * Using https://bugzilla.novell.com/
 * Searching for 'XML'
 [ deleted a lot of lines ]

Maybe you want to narrow your search for KDE and specific products? No problem, here is an example:

$ bugz search KDE --product="openSUSE 11.0"
 * Using https://bugzilla.novell.com/
 * Searching for 'KDE' with the following options:
 * product = ['openSUSE 11.0']
113512 kde-maintainers Firefox in KDE - Only Uses GNOME Programs
170055 dmueller Firefox sets desktop background for Gnome under KDE
176179 kde-maintainers User can't edit properties for default notifications under KDE Storage Media and entries disepeared !
203548 sbrabec workrave-kde is an empty applet by default
[... and many more ...]

Of course, if you know the bug number you can retrieve it with:

$ bugz get 378240

and it will list all the details of the bug. Very useful! I haven’t tried the other subcommands yet, but I think they are also very convenient.

There are many more things to discover. So, when was your last time searching for bugs? 🙂

Talking bootloader – heard in Beta2

May 7th, 2008 by

Steffen announced today that as of openSUSE 11.0 beta2, the graphical bootloader (the one on the installation media) supports speech output via the pc-speaker – reading out all menu items, he says:

This feature is mainly there to aid visual impaired people.

It’s still experimental and I’d like to get your feedback whether it works or not on your machine.

To try it, simply press F9. (In the worst case, your machine will freeze at this point.)

I gave it a try and it worked fine. I just missed the German translations! 🙂

Great work, Steffen!