GUIs (was Re: A comment on Slashdot)

Janina Sajka janina at
Tue Apr 11 15:53:55 EDT 2000

Hi, Kirk:

There's one particularly onorous way in which Microsoft has treated the
Windows assistive technology industry. I, for one, am galled that our AT
people have been willing to accept the monstrous task of divining the
inner workings of Windows, just so that they can develop an off screen
model to build speech and braille interfaces on. Strikes me that the OSM
should be M$'s responsibility.

Would video card manufac turer's put up with divining how to get video
resolutions and color depth out of Windows? Would printer manufacturers
settle for divining how it is that M$ apps can be made to print?

Add to that your observation of how frequently M$ changes its mind and
this situation becomes even more unbelievable, imho.

				Janina Sajka, Director
				Information Systems Research & Development
				American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

janina at

On Tue, 11 Apr 2000 cpt.kirk at wrote:

> Janina,
> You put things quite well. One of the things that I found interesting is
> that in Windows 3.1 there were quite a few companies that created less
> graphical oriented shells. But to be honest, I think that MS has done a
> terrible job of opening up Windows. I have a feeling that it was partly to
> keep others from replacing portions of the code.
> Having been through MS supplied training twice, I can ussure you that MS
> changed the way several things worked such that they could no longer be
> easily extended. The stated purpose was not to block extension of the OS,
> but it was the result. But you are right that if access is had at the
> lowest level possible things will be easier to deal with.
> As for sending a picture of text, that is done too much for many reasons.
> Not only does it cause problems for screen readers, it is also a bandwidth
> waste. I also think that those writting books, and programs to creat HTML
> should make alt text more prevelant then they do. It is so simple to add
> that there is no excuse for it not to be employed. Then again, that is one
> more symptom of the laziness that drives many to include a picture of text
> in the first place. They are too lazy to work on their design.
> Kirk Wood
> Cpt.Kirk at
> ------------------
> Why can't you be a non-conformist, like everybody else?
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