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Re: volunteers wanted

From: Alan Mackenzie
Subject: Re: volunteers wanted
Date: Tue, 3 Nov 2009 07:41:23 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: tin/1.6.2-20030910 ("Pabbay") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/4.11-RELEASE (i386))

Josh <> wrote:
> [-- text/plain, encoding quoted-printable, charset: iso-8859-1, 56 lines --]

> Hello,

> due to me having a wife and family and possible job opportunity I
> currently do not have the time to learn c++ programming.

C++ is not a universally loved programming language.  I sometimes wish
that I too hadn't have had the time to learn C++.  ;-)  Unless you've a
particular reason to use it, I would recommend a different language -
almost _any_ other language.

> Nevertheless I have an idea for a project and was wondering if anyone
> on this list could help either program or point me in the direction of
> volunteers.

Sadly, that's not the way free software works.  Unless somebody has a
burning desire to write a piece software, it doesn't get written, no
matter how good an idea it might be.  However, once that somebody has
lifted an embryonic piece software into an at least marginally usable
state, others will often join the project and transform it into very

> For several year now if blind or visually impaired people want to use
> Mobile Phones or Cell Phones they have to pay an extra $300 for a
> screen reader called Talks or $300 for another screen reader called
> MobileSpeak. I would like to bring that cost down to $0.00 by making my
> own screen reader for Symbian phones which uses ESpeak for speech
> output and brltty for braille output.

That is an excellent idea!

> A screen reader is a  software application that attempts to identify
> and interpret what is being displayed on the screen (or, more
> accurately, sent to  standard output, whether a  video monitor is
> present or not). This interpretation is then re-presented to the user
> with  text-to-speech, sound icons, or a  Braille output device.

> Screen readers are a form of  assistive technology (AT) potentially
> useful to people who are  blind, visually impaired, illiterate or
> learning disabled, often in combination with other AT, such as  screen
> magnifiers.

A quick trip to wikipedia,
<>, shows there are
already quite a few free/open source screen readers in existence.  It
would certainly be MUCH easier to adapt one of these for use on a mobile
'phone than starting a new project from scratch.  It could well be that
one or several of these projects already runs on a mobile 'phone.

> If anyone is interested in this project please let me know. Also there
> is a free gps program for blind and visually impaired people called
> loadstone gps at it's free open source software.
> If anyone could use ESpeak to make Loadstone self-voiceing or help with
> this that would be great, and you would be allowing many many more
> blind people to get their hands on this gps technology. Ordinarily for
> a blind person to purchase gps they need the state to invest thousands
> of dollars. By making Loadstone self-voiceing you will be driving down
> the cost to perhaps $200 or less.

> Josh

Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

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