Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Nov 2008 22:14 UTC
OS/2 and eComStation While most people detest Flash for its rather resource intensive operation, and its role in creating really annoying websites where the back and forward buttons don't work, the tool does have an important place on the web. Most internet video players, such as Youtube's, run using Flash, and as such, it's kind of important to be able to run it. eComStation has just taken the first few steps to being able to run the official Flash player - Mensys has received permission from Adobe to distribute the Windows version with eCS, which with a bit of work will work on eCS using ODIN. "This is a first step but the legal block is gone now," Mensys' Roderick Klein writes, "The writing of the code to run the Flash DLL is the next big step!"
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RE[2]: Excellent!
by grfgguvf on Fri 28th Nov 2008 03:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Excellent!"
Member since:

Actually Google does index text in .SWF now; and how exactly do you convey vector graphics and video to blind people? It's not really Adobe's fault that you can't...

That said I hate Flash and I hope YouTube adopts Theora at some point...

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: Excellent!
by darknexus on Fri 28th Nov 2008 11:17 in reply to "RE[2]: Excellent!"
darknexus Member since:

how exactly do you convey vector graphics and video to blind people? It's not really Adobe's fault that you can't...

Actually, that's not what we mean at all. As a blind person, I'm damn well aware that no amount of audio is going to convey a vector graphic to me and further, I really couldn't care about the graphic. But, flash is used for much more than that, usually used where it should not be. How about web site navigation, where the entire nav bar is flash buttons? How about media player controls such as play/pause, forward, and backward? On most web sites, these are implemented in Flash. These controls, and not the vector graphics, are what we mean when we say flash isn't very useable.
For the record, this isn't quite true and hasn't been for a few years, but the site has to be coded correctly in order for accessible Flash to work at all... and guess how many web sites aren't coded according to the standard? ;)
He might have also meant that EComStation isn't useable by blind people, I couldn't tell from his message. In that case, as far as I'm aware, he'd be dead right--most of the major operating systems are accessible--OS X, Windows, *NIX with CLI or Gnome but not KDE ;) --but none of the minor ones really are. It's really a shame, as there's a lot of them out there I'd like to play with--Haiku, SkyOS, EComStation, and MorphOS just to name a few. I'd even lie to play with ReactOS, and this should eventually be at least possible once the required API hooks get implemented into it as they will have to be to achieve their goal of full Windows compatibility. OS X does the job for me just fine, but hey I'm a geek and a geek can never have enough operating systems and/or computers on which to mess around.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[4]: Excellent!
by mmu_man on Fri 28th Nov 2008 18:07 in reply to "RE[3]: Excellent!"
mmu_man Member since:

Indeed, I've still yet to see any accessible flash... besides, the fact that it requires a plugin that is proprietary makes it impossible to use on some platforms, that is it is 100% unaccessible there, regardless the efforts Adobe might have put in it.

So I'm sorry but Adobe might say what they want regarding accessibility, but as a non-blind using BeOS and Haiku it's definitely not accessible for me:
(for those who can't see it's just a browser with a plain white page :p)

Clueless "web" designers putting "skip flash" links inside the flash themselves don't help either...

I found quite strange the website for Unadev (french association for blind and visually impaired) have a big "f" logo as partner...

Yes the "specs" are supposedly open, and there are FOSS implementations but I've yet to see one that works, and is portable. Both gnash and swfdec have an insane amount of dependancies making them totally unportable.

And I don't know which browser you use, but I don't think the flash plugin is usable from lynx or links when used on a braille tty.

I don't think the text indexing google does carries any meaning if they just index the strings found in the binary without trying to interpret it and read them in order... at least it can help.

So for all intend and purpose flash is not interoperable and thus not accessible.

As for eCS I have no idea about how accessible it is.

Gnome ? I noticed several times that some controls are unaccessible by keyboard navigation... (typically the url bar in epiphany... at least TAB can't get me there without the mouse, didn't dig the docs for other shortcuts).

As for Haiku, well, accessibility was't much thought in BeOS. Window Manager actions were not keyboardable (unlike windows' system menu with ALT-space...). OTH, controls should be fully keyboard navigable, those that TAB can't reach are accessible with Win-TAB. It also has a well thought input method system. I've been thinking about possible things to help there, but we should probably have a large discussion on it.
Thanks to the scripting interface, it should be possible to have a daemon monitoring applications and ask them for control text to speak them out loud for ex.
Feel free to come to #haiku and help ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2