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Re: The new text-mode menu and the cursor in -nw mode

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: The new text-mode menu and the cursor in -nw mode
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 19:12:15 +0300

> From: Mario Lang <address@hidden>
> Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 14:21:46 +0200
> The new text mode menu is nice, something I have been waiting for since
> a long time.  However, I have an accessibility issue with it: When I hit
> F10 to go to the menu, the menu pops up and the selected item is
> highlighted with a change of color, but the terminal cursor stays at the
> place in the currently selected buffer.  I can see that this makes sense
> for some use cases (you can still see where point is while navigating
> the menu), but it is quite a problem to (some) blind users of Emacs.

Actually, we turn off the cursor while a menu is active, because
otherwise it can show through the menu, which is ugly.  We turn it
back on only when the menu pops down, i.e. the user either makes a
selection or quits the menu.

> Screen readers on UNIX usually do only track the hardware cursor
> position, but they do not track background color changes.  So my screen
> reader has currently no way to follow the currently selected menu item,
> which makes the menu as such, rather useless because it is very
> time-inefficient for me.
> Similar to my recent request about allowing blink-matching-paren being
> set to 'jump, and therefore getting the old hardware-cursor behaviour
> back, I'd like to ask if there is a way to enhance the new text mode
> menu with a user option to have the terminal cursor jump to the
> currently selected menu item?  

Please tell more, as I don't yet understand the requirements (and
don't have Unix screen readers anywhere near me to try this myself).
E.g., is it OK to have the cursor turned off when the menu is
displayed?  IOW, are you saying that only the cursor coordinates
matter, not whether it is visible or not?

Next, what happens when some sub-menu is selected?  When the user
does this, we redraw large portions of the screen (to remove the old
menu and display the new one), and each screen line that is partially
or fully redrawn causes cursor motion -- will this cause those
portions that are redrawn to be read, and if so, is that OK?

Also, moving to a different menu item will generally display the
corresponding help echo in the echo area -- does it matter whether the
help echo is read before or after the newly highlighted menu item?

Finally, what exactly is read by the screen reader, given a cursor
position?  That is, how does the reader know when to stop reading
stuff off the screen?  I'm asking this because the TTY menus overlay
the buffer text at some arbitrary place, so where the menu item ends,
there's some random text, which typically starts in the middle of a
word.  If the reader will read that, you will hear a terrible


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