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Re: Open Letter: How the FOSS Community May Help Disabled Users



On Tue, May 02, 2006 00:19:44 AM +0930, Tim
(ignored_mailbox yahoo com au) wrote:

> > The specific problem I've reported in my article, and tried to address
> > with the open letter, is just that:
> > 
> > * many disabled people seem to NOT want any kind of FOSS related
> >   help. They want to NOT use it. They do NOT want to change. 
> 
> This harks back to what I said before, about someone wanting them to do
> something.  You can't insist that they let you help them. You can't
> insist that your way is best.

At this point, I have to admit that I could have found another *title*
for the open letter, especially considering how many reactions seem to
come from having read the title and not the rest. Maybe I will change
it on the wiki.

However, I had already explained in this thread
(https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2006-April/msg06624.html
and
https://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-list/2006-April/msg06651.html)
that what I am actually suggesting is:

"Testing [FOSS] together with/for disabled users", "inviting some
disabled users to test FOSS *together*...to file bug reports, which
would help the developers"

this is not to "insist that they let you help them".

> > to establish links, know each other...
>
> Which is not a disability issue, it's an *everybody* issue

Absolutely right. Did you notice that I said the same thing in the
article:

"Pietrosanti's "actual freedom" reaction is not the one of a person
with special needs. It is the same that most non-geeks would have when
reading the GNU Manifesto"

In other words, disability could also bea good way to make the FOSS
community start thinking about its issues

> and targeting one particular group with why closed is bad and open
> is better, is going about things in a rather bad way.

See above. I have never said, and I don't think, that this opening the
FOSS community to the rest of the world should be limited to
disability: since it carries the legal weight that it carries, it is
what could start a positive avalanche effect.

> > organizing focused install festivals and similar events would be an
> > excellent way to keep public sector doors open for FOSS.
> 
> To be honest, that sort of thing is best aimed at developers.

Here I disagree. The *output* of such things would be aimed at
developers, but the way I propose there would be much more output that
the developers could ever gather, or one single pool of disabled
testers could provide, in person. Until we talk of volunteer
activities, that is.


> > Hell will freeze over if you wait for a disabled user to come to a LUG
> > or a bugzilla page to file similar issues. He'll just keep using
> > windows.  Period. Because it would probably require him many hours of
> > cursing at non accessible installers before he can even start to
> > _encounter_ the problems you mentioned.
> 
> I've got to wonder about that example. Linux has more ways of doing
> things with a text interface than Windows does.

On this particular point I have reported what is my *actual*, personal
experience. I have been contacted by a blind IT student to install
Linux (see article): that is, somebody with higher IT skills than
average, and a strong personal (*) motivation to run Linux at home. He
*had* to ask for external help because:
- he hadn't been able to install himself, despite several trials
- he wasn' familiar with what we call the GNU toolchain (configure-make-
  install...) and with how to set up Yast to download gcc and friends.

Right now this guy *is* doing many things with a Linux text interface,
but only because I went there and set it up for him.

Of course I am not excluding that there can be hardware and distro
combinations that work out of the box. But almost nobody would buy a
new computer only to test something which (as far as job hunting goes)
nobody could force him to use.

(*) as in "not job/money related, he has a part time job where he uses
windows and nobody could legally force him to switch there"

> > would you be available to spend an hour or two next week to test it?
> > We'd take care of all the logistic, provide an already configured
> > computer/laptop...." is a totally different thing.
> 
> That sort of thing is best left to those interested in doing it.

That's why I say "invitation" and "proposal", instead of "your GPL is
revoked unless you...". All my answers in this thread are explanations
of what I actually said, not insisting that everybody *DOES* what I
say.

Ciao,
	Marco


-- 
Marco Fioretti                    mfioretti, at the server mclink.it
Fedora Core 3 for low memory      http://www.rule-project.org/

There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.
					      Ralph Nader


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