Why I can't recommend Arch or Gentoo
jdashiel at panix.com
Fri Oct 2 09:36:04 EDT 2015
Slackware also offers either small cd's or a dvd.
On Fri, 2 Oct 2015, Steve Matzura wrote:
> Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2015 07:23:10
> From: Steve Matzura <sm at noisynotes.com>
> Reply-To: Speakup is a screen review system for Linux.
> <speakup at linux-speakup.org>
> To: Speakup is a screen review system for Linux. <speakup at linux-speakup.org>
> Subject: Re: Why I can't recommend Arch or Gentoo
> On Mon, 21 Sep 2015 04:56:04 -0700, you wrote:
>> I've been following the Talking Arch discussion with great interest. I'm
>> sure what I am about to say will be rather unpopular, but I can only go by
>> my own experiences and what I've read. If these issues can be addressed, I
>> think both distributions have great potential, but as things stand now, I
>> can't recommend them. I'll start with Arch first.
>> I had no problem downloading Arch and burning it to a CD. It fit on a CD
>> without difficulty, but apparently the current release doesn't. That is
>> most unfortunate as not everyone wants to burn a DVD for a command line
>> based distro. You expect it with Fedora and Ubuntu, but even Debian has
>> several small CD images for installation. Hopefully something can be done
>> to get it back to CD sized media.
>> Unlike what Kyle says, I couldn't get speech upon boot. I pressed Enter at
>> least six times, plus other random characters. I've also encountered the
>> problem where speech starts after a few keys, but not in this case. I know
>> where the problem lies. It's because of my sound card, specifically the
>> emu10k1 driver. It has a weird problem with no volume by default. It isn't
>> muted, but the analog switch is toggled. This was fixed a long time ago in
>> Debian and Ubuntu, but obviously didn't make it to Arch. I reported this to
>> the support address and didn't get a reply for about two weeks. There was
>> no interest in fixing the problem, even when I offered to help.
>> Similarly, due to how brltty is configured by default, it locked up my
>> DECtalk Express. I had to reset it by turning it off and on before it would
>> talk again. Again, in the same email, I reported this to support and there
>> was no interest in fixing it. In looking at the brltty.conf installed with
>> Debian testing, it looks like literally just commenting out a line would fix
>> this. I understand that some people still use serial Braille displays, but
>> USB autodetection is the default and serial devices aren't very common
>> nowadays, so the serial detection can probably be safely disabled. People
>> can still start brltty by hand or edit brltty.conf directly.
>> Finally, due to its unofficial nature, it is not officially supported by the
>> Arch developers, so there isn't a way to file bugs in a public forum, such
>> ... It has the same problem as Vinux (which I also don't
>> recommend) in that there are only two active developers working on it. If
>> one of them gets sick or for some reason can't keep up with the latest
>> releases, so much for Talking whatever. I am strongly against specialized
>> distributions for the blind exactly for this reason. Whatever happened to
>> Oralux? Both Debian and Ubuntu do have accessibility teams and the
>> developers take accessibility issues seriously.
> That being the case, I don't understand why you don't like Vinux,
> which is a modified Ubuntu distro. Is there a way to use Ubuntu (or
> Debian) and get Speakup or some other speech working so it can be
> installed or used accessibly without having to resort to a special
>> much as I don't like Vinux, it does come up with a desktop which you can
>> try. Ubuntu is the best in this regard in my opinion as it plays a sound so
>> you know it actually works.
> Then what's the best alternative?
>> if the Linux community wants the blind Windows community to take Linux
>> seriously, there needs to be a talking GUI which just works. Unless someone
>> really likes DOS, they aren't going to like the command line enough to give
>> it a fair chance. This applies to the sighted community as well.
> Funny you should say that, because I'd prefer a command-line setup
> over a GUI any day in the week. Why? Because it's what I'm used to,
> way back to SCO Xenix and AT&T System V. Give me a talking CLI and I
> can rule my world.
>> What do I recommend? For people who do like the command line and have a
>> strong DOS background, I recommend Debian. It has a talking, menu-driven
>> installer. The command line is there if you want it, but it isn't required.
> Great. How do I start it talking after boot?
>> For most people, I recommend Ubuntu MATE.
> Same question applies.
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