RACHEL BUCHANAN: Hello, everyone, and welcome to FSOpenLine, Freedom Scientific’s global call-in show. This is our episode for February of 2021, and I am Rachel.
Before we get into introducing you to my colleagues, let me tell you about those few housekeeping items that you will need to know if you’re new and you’ve never interacted with us during this show before. If you’d like to raise your hand, and you’re using JAWS and Windows, you’ll use the keyboard command ALT+Y, Yankee. If you are on a phone, and you’ve dialed in, you’ll press *9 back to back to raise your hand. And if you’re on the mobile app, you’ll double tap the raise hand button.
If you would like to type your question into the chat, you can use the keyboard command ALT+H to pop out the chat window. Focus will be in the edit box. You can type your question, and then press ENTER. Once you’ve raised your hand, the way it goes is we will call on you by name or phone number and ask you to unmute. You can do that by pressing ALT+A or the spacebar to confirm that you’d like to unmute. And at that point you can ask your question. Until then, we do kindly ask that you stay muted so that everyone can hear the questioners, and everyone can hear the answers.
So with all of that out of the way, now onto my colleagues, who I know we are all dying to hear from: Glen Gordon, Eric Damery, and Matt Ater.
GLEN GORDON: Hey, Rachel. Great to talk to you again.
RACHEL: You, too.
ERIC DAMERY: Yeah, good afternoon.
MATT ATER: Hello, everybody.
ERIC: Hi, Matt.
RACHEL: Hey, Matt.
ERIC: Shall we give a little update on our updates?
GLEN: Yeah, let’s do it.
RACHEL: Go for it.
ERIC: So we came out with a February update, just a week or 10 days ago. Wasn’t too long ago. Time flies when you’re having fun. And a couple of the key points that got into that, one is we introduced some stuff for universal apps to be able to read. And to try that all out, like if you launch the weather app, you should find that by default it just feels like you’re in the virtual cursor, and you can read around and get all the text. And you can try out this new approach in other universal apps, things like the news app and so forth. If you toggle with INSERT+Z, you have an opportunity to try this new virtual cursor approach in UIA apps to read around. And if it works well, you can actually change the configuration for that app.
GLEN: And we see this as being the way forward in the case of many apps. But what we’re trying to do is avoid making anything worse, which is why we started with weather, and we’re sort of introducing this new functionality slowly.
ERIC: And not all apps will need it, either; right? Calculator?
GLEN: Yeah, no, that’s absolutely true. If it’s an app where the app does a really good job of putting you where you need to be based on tabbing or any other kind of hot key, then the virtual buffer approach may actually slow you down. But if there’s a lot of content, and it’s content you can’t typically tab to, then using the virtual buffer and all of the commands that come as part of that may make it much faster. That’s definitely true of the weather app.
ERIC: Got a new simple feature so that if you’re, say, in an email message, and you run across a link to something, somebody sent you a URL, or something is a link, and you want to check out the URL in some detail, you can do an INSERT+F1 now while you’re sitting on the link with your virtual cursor, and it will show you the entire URL right in your results viewer so you can read it in detail and check it out and make sure it’s a safe thing to go to.
GLEN: And something else that’s not directly part of the February update, but just something I wanted to mention, several people have let us know that the AVG and Avast antivirus software weren’t working properly with JAWS when you went to their UI, that they were doing things to block us from gathering data, and essentially the UI was rendered useless. It took us a while. But as with so many cases like this, the hard part is getting to the right people. And if you get to the right people, they’re really eager to help and solve the problem. We did, and they did. Within about three days of getting put in touch with these folks, they have the problem solved. So if you’re using AVG or Avast antivirus, the UI should work much better with JAWS now.
GLEN: So it’s always nice to thank people who jumped in and got stuff done for us.
ERIC: And before I take the first question, I should point out that we do have an update. We’re scheduled, I believe April 6th is our post date. So we’re about – just over five weeks out we’ll have the next one out there. And we’ve got some good stuff coming in April, so pay attention. We’ll sneak some information out as we get closer. So shall we take the first question?
GLEN: Yeah, let’s do it.
ERIC: Danielle, can you unmute yourself? There you are. How are you today?
DANIELLE: Good. I have a question, and I actually emailed you, Eric, on it a few weeks ago. With the Napster website, the buttons do not show with JAWS. They’re silent.
GLEN: And what website is this?
GLEN: I didn’t know Napster was still around. I thought they got put out of business about two decades ago.
DANIELLE: No, it’s still around.
GLEN: Are you in a time warp?
DANIELLE: No. It still works, and they even have an app that works on the computer. But when you’re going through our list of stuff and songs, it has a bunch of numbers before the song. So it’s really obnoxious. So I like using the app, I mean, the website for looking up songs and stuff. But I can’t hit play, pause, and previous.
MATT: I’ll have someone check it with a testing tool to see because they may not be buttons. They may be other types of elements on the page.
GLEN: We will investigate. And Matt’s point is a good one. The first one to look at is, is it an accessibility problem with the site? It sounds like the odds of that are reasonably high. Admittedly, we’re biased in favor of hoping that’s the case, but it does sound like that might be the issue; and, if so, we can provide more details to them. If we can get to the right person. That’s always the trick.
DANIELLE: Yes. And I have emailed them. They do have a case open with Napster. So if we need to, I can be emailing them, too.
ERIC: All right.
DANIELLE: And thank you for you guys’ help.
ERIC: Yup, thank you, Danielle. I made some notes on that one. So why don’t we try Kelly next.
KELLY: Hey, how is everyone today?
ERIC: Good. What can we do for you?
KELLY: Well, I’ve got a couple of questions. I’ll try to keep them short as I can. One thing that I’ve noticed with JAWS is I do a lot of recording in different programs, like audio recording using programs like GoldWave and Reaper. And I notice that JAWS seems to act a little sluggish when doing some keystrokes in those programs. It just seems like there’s a bit of a delay from when a key is pressed to when the action takes place, such as let’s say if I’m going to stop a file, or if I’m doing any editing. And I haven’t noticed this with any other screen editor like Narrator or NVDA. So I just was wondering if there’s anything that can be done to improve the performance of JAWS in that regard.
ERIC: And you’re using it out of the box with our stuff? You didn’t add any third-party stuff in; right?
KELLY: Actually, I do have third-party scripts for both programs, GoldWave and Reaper.
GLEN: Tell me specifically an example of where it’s slow. Is this when you’re using the arrow keys? Or this is just with commands in general?
KELLY: I think it’s with commands in general. Like in GoldWave what I would do is I will set my zoom ratio to, oh, I forget what it is now, but it’s SHIFT+2 if you do it that way on the keyboard. And I use the PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN keys to navigate through the file just to get back to wherever I need to do any editing, that sort of thing. And I find that it just takes a little bit before it starts moving basically to where I want it to go. It’s just, like I say, from the time I press the key to when it takes place just seems like a bit of a delay. And there’s also some issues I’ve had with the arrow keys, as well.
ERIC: Is it worth, Glen, I’m trying to do a key passthrough, press the keystroke, see if it happens faster?
GLEN: I think the problem is that you typically notice these things when you’re trying to move more than one unit at a time. So it’s sort of a cumulative effect; right? Moving once is not going to be a deal. But if you’re trying to move 10 or 20 or 30 times in rapid succession, you’re going to notice that it’s slower. And I don’t know how to do pass key through that quickly to be able to evaluate it.
ERIC: I break my wrist trying to do it.
ERIC: Kelly, maybe if you drop me an email, and then I’ll ask support to open up a ticket on this one.
KELLY: Okay, I can do that.
ERIC: Yeah, firstname.lastname@example.org. Just put something in the subject line about FSOpenLine. That’d be good. And then I’ll get a support ticket opened up so we don’t lose it.
KELLY: Okay. I can sure do that.
GLEN: So I do want to ask, just out of curiosity, so what kind of recording are you doing? Are you doing music? Are you doing podcasts? What’s your thing?
KELLY: I do music and voice work.
GLEN: Voice as in voiceover?
KELLY: Yeah, mm-hmm.
GLEN: Excellent. All right, thanks.
ERIC: Well, thank you, Kelly.
KELLY: You’re welcome.
ERIC: All right. And next up, let’s try Glen.
CALLER GLEN: Eric, can you hear me?
ERIC: I can now. How are you?
CALLER GLEN: All right. I’m doing well. Thanks for taking my question. I have one quick question, and one issue that I’d like to bring up real quickly. But just to follow up on Kelly’s point, before I get to my issue, would it be possible to set up the key passthrough on like an insert layer, so that you press the key pass, and it would give you like 30 seconds of time to pass...
ERIC: As many as you want.
CALLER GLEN: Yeah.
ERIC: Yeah, we’ve thought about this before. I forget why we didn’t do it.
CALLER GLEN: Okay. Just throwing it out there.
ERIC: Technically, Glen, you understand the point. You go into a mode where all keys are passed until you come out of the mode.
GLEN: Yeah. But of course you’re passing the keys through, which means that [crosstalk].
ERIC: Oh, yeah, you can’t get layered.
CALLER GLEN: There’s no way to come out. There’s no way.
MATT: I mean, in reality, if your goal is, you know, on a web page it’s not that hard because you just toggle off the, you know, if your goal is to turn off the nav, the Quick Nav keys and things like that, it’s a little different because you could just toggle off the virtual cursor.
GLEN: I’d far prefer to get to the root of the problems that are causing people to need this.
ERIC: And so your issue was, Glen.
CALLER GLEN: So, yeah. Two concerns. The first is, is there any thought being given to leveling up the parity between Microsoft Word and Google Docs with respect to the functionality in JAWS? So thinking of, for example, the search for objects in the text layer, things like that, that are available in Microsoft Word that we don’t currently have in Google Docs?
GLEN: So it’s a multipart answer. The first part is we are working with Google ongoing to add additional features. Unfortunately, there are not a whole lot of things that we can do independently without their cooperation. The thing that we picked up on really early in Word was what they call the “object model,” and then later UIA. But that provided us with a lot of information that was never intended for accessibility. And we were able to build upon it.
There isn’t that equivalent layer for Google Docs that we can call upon, so that they don’t explicitly expose it for us. We can’t get at most of this. And so that’s why the collaboration with them to try to get some of this stuff done. But it’s, you know, it’s an ongoing task. There are a couple of things in the pipeline that I think will help in this regard. But I can’t give you specifics on some of these other things.
CALLER GLEN: Okay. And the issue that I’m having, which may be related, if you have one of those other screen readers installed on your computer, if you’re in a Google Doc and attempt to use Quick Nav, so you hit the layered INSERT+SPACE+Q and then try to move through headings, it will load that other screen reader, even though the H key has nothing to do with a shortcut that’s been assigned to that product.
GLEN: So let’s get specific. Is this NVDA?
CALLER GLEN: Yeah.
ERIC: What’s the key combination you pressed?
CALLER GLEN: To load NVDA the shortcut is CTRL+ALT+N. The functionality I’m talking about is INSERT+SPACE to get into the secondary keyboard layer, Q to open Quick Nav, and then H to move by headings. And once you hit H, it loads NVDA.
GLEN: And there’s no N in that sequence, is there.
CALLER GLEN: No. That’s what has me completely, you know, at a loss.
MATT: Could you do a video of that, like with Zoom or something, do a recording?
CALLER GLEN: Yeah, I can.
MATT: That would be kind of good to see.
GLEN: I’ll try it. I just wrote down all the steps, too, and I’m going to try this one afterwards myself.
ERIC: I’ve heard this mentioned before, so I think there’s really something going on here.
CALLER GLEN: Thanks so much.
GLEN: Yeah, thanks, Glen.
ERIC: All right. Next up I’ve got an iPhone. And I don’t know what the number is. It just says iPhone. So if you’re on an iPhone, try and unmute.
ERIC: Yes. Oh, different iPhone.
TOMMASO: It’s Tommaso Nonis.
ERIC: There you are.
GLEN: Hey, Tommaso.
TOMMASO: Hey. How are you guys?
GLEN: Good, thanks.
TOMMASO: Here we are, too. We’re good, too, in Italy. But anyway, two suggestions for you about two features that I really, really use all the time, Skim Reader and Text Analyzer. Okay? So Skim Reader. Why couldn’t we make like a keystroke that when you set up a rule of text, for example, I don’t know, I want to search for parts of the text containing this and that and regular expression, I don’t know why. Right now I have to go to the summary that I generate to move to the parts of the text that I’m interested in. Why couldn’t we make a keystroke that just goes to the next text that has the parts, that matches the criteria that I want with just the keystroke, much like WINDOWS+ALT+E on the Text Analyzer.
ERIC: Kind of like a Find Next?
ERIC: Yeah. And I thought it actually did that. Because I thought if you set up a search, it would retain what you had just searched for, and it could apply it on the next one.
ERIC: But you’re saying it doesn’t.
TOMMASO: You have to go to the summary, the top of the summary, and press the link. And you always have to go through the summary. It’s not a big deal if you have just one or two things. But if you use it all the time, it would just be great to have one keystroke, boom, you’ll go to the next one, like F3 or SHIFT+F3 or I don’t know.
MATT: It’s similar to, like, if you were searching for a word using JAWS Find. You know, basically you just keep pressing that command F3, I guess it is.
MATT: To find the next.
ERIC: All right. I’ve got a note on that one.
TOMMASO: And then...
ERIC: And what about Text Analyzer?
TOMMASO: Text Analyzer, okay. Let’s say that I’m going through a document and making my corrections. I do that all the time. But there might be cases when you need exceptions. For example, let’s say the inverted caps one, the one I use all the time because I invert caps a lot. But maybe let’s say I’m writing an article about Apple. And you have iPhone, iPad, iOS, and all that stuff.
ERIC: Set up exception rules, yeah.
TOMMASO: That lowercase “i” is super important. I know that when you designed this feature, maybe, I don’t know, iOS and iPhone were not there.
MATT: There was no iOS.
TOMMASO: But now it is there. And that “i,” that lowercase “i” is super important. It’s there.
ERIC: I wonder if we could make, like, dictionary rules and make the Text Analyzer honor dictionary rules.
TOMMASO: Like the stop word dictionary you have for stop words exception.
GLEN: Yeah, it’s a good idea.
TOMMASO: Okay. That’s all.
ERIC: Just making some notes on that one. Okay, very good. Well, thank you, Tommaso. I hope everything is well there in Italy.
ERIC: And how about Alex’s iPhone next, if I can get – oh, I lost you, Alex. Hold on.
ALEX: Okay. Can you hear me?
ERIC: Yes. Go ahead.
ALEX: Okay, good. Good day. I hope those in Texas have electricity restored, first off.
RACHEL: Yes, thank you.
ALEX: You’re welcome. All right. So I have an issue that I did contact support about, and I don’t think anything’s been done about it. So I thought I would take a moment to ask the experts. So here’s the deal. In 2021 we introduced a very cool feature that I like. I think it’s the INSERT+SPACE, and then I think it’s the grave accent key, I guess it’s called, and it allows you to have notifications for the volume on or off. And like Narrator, I think it’s a great thing. But there is a problem where it sometimes will say, for example, “Volume 22.” But then if I do it again up or down, it’ll say “Volume 22, Volume 24.” “Volume 24, Volume 26.”
GLEN: It’s repeating things more than it should; right?
ALEX: Right, exactly.
GLEN: It repeats the same thing over and over again?
GLEN: We had a developer, Mohammed Laachir, who was on our FSCast podcast a couple of months ago. And he was investigating that exact issue.
ALEX: Oh, really.
GLEN: I can’t tell you exactly when it’s going to hit the product. But the intent is, if we get a notification like this within a certain amount of time of the previous notification with the same thing, that we would suppress it.
GLEN: Am I giving you an answer to a problem of my choosing, or is that actually your problem?
ALEX: I think it’s a little bit of both, actually. I mean, I’m glad that it was noticed and being investigated. So it’s good to know that I’m not the only one that notices it. So that’s good.
MOHAMMED: Glen, Mohammed here.
GLEN: Hi, Mohammed.
MOHAMMED: I was actually listening in. Good to hear you.
ALEX: Glad to hear you, man.
ERIC: Wow, are we good.
GLEN: Very fast, Eric. Very cool.
MOHAMMED: I know. Good news. So I hope you don’t mind me barging in here.
GLEN: No, it’s great.
MOHAMMED: In fact, the thing that Glen was talking about is already in the product. And this is something I noticed, as well, but I have not done anything with yet. But this is a different problem. What you’re saying is basically what JAWS says is the previous volume, followed by the new volume.
ALEX: Correct, yes.
MOHAMMED: Is that correct?
ALEX: Yeah, exactly, yeah.
MOHAMMED: Yes. I have noticed this, too. And I’m still looking at how we can solve this problem. The problem I solved in fact was one where JAWS would keep repeating the same volume over and over again. This is slightly different.
ALEX: Oh, I had that. I had that for a while, too, but that seems not to happen as much now. So, yeah.
MOHAMMED: That should be gone. That should be gone. But this, this one I’m still looking at.
ALEX: All right. Good deal. Good deal.
ERIC: All right. Well, thank you, Alex.
ALEX: Well, thank you.
ERIC: And thank you, Mohammed.
ERIC: Thanks for saving us.
GLEN: Just in the nick of time.
ALEX: Yes. You saved me. Thank you.
ERIC: All right. And we had another Alex’s iPhone. I don’t know if it’s a different one, or if it was a duplicate. But I just tried – there you are.
ALEX: Oh, I’m – am I on?
ERIC: Alex number two.
ALEX: So just two quick suggestions for braille. The first one is I know that you can configure JAWS to mark attributes, either underlined, or there’s the attribute mode. But it’d be great if, when you’re using a UEB, since it has symbols for all of those, for most of those attributes like bold, italic, underline, if you could actually use the UEB symbols. If there was an option to do that, I should say.
GLEN: That is fascinating. And the reason it’s fascinating is because I think you’re the first person who’s suggested this.
ALEX: Oh, really.
ERIC: No, unh-unh. I’ve heard this one. I’ve heard this one, too.
GLEN: Oh, okay. I mean, it’s a great idea. It’s like, why are we not, in the case of UEB.
ALEX: Yeah. And my second one was, when you’re panning the display, so when you’re reading text, if the last letter, if the last character of a word happens to be the last cell to display, and you pan, the space after the word will be shown at the beginning of the display, if that makes sense.
GLEN: It’s done intentionally, perhaps improperly. But the idea was that there are two reasons it could wrap. One is because the word is so long that there’s no way that it could fit, and there’s no way, you know, it’s a 40-cell word, and so it had to get broken somewhere. And the idea of having the space was so you could tell the difference if it was breaking in the middle of a word just because there was no choice, or moving to a new word.
ALEX: I don’t know, I just feel like most of the time you’d be able to infer whether there should be a space there or not.
GLEN: Even as I describe it, my descriptions of when this would happen felt really contrived to me, too. I mean, at a minimum, why not add – what’s one more option amongst friends?
ALEX: Right. Well, I guess it would be two if you add the UEB attributes, as well.
GLEN: Yes. Good point. I was actually thinking that maybe if you were in UEB mode you’d just get UEB attributes.
ALEX: That would make a lot of sense. Actually, that’s how NVDA does it.
ERIC: But then somebody would call the next time. Yeah, somebody would call the next time and say, I like the markings underneath it.
GLEN: Well, it’s guaranteed calls.
ERIC: You’d probably have to give a choice there. Yes. All right. Well, thank you, Alex.
GLEN: Those are great ideas.
ALEX: All right. Thanks a lot.
RACHEL: Great suggestions, thank you.
ERIC: All right. So how about Doug Oliver next. Doug, can you unmute yourself? There you are.
DOUG: Good afternoon, you guys. How are you all doing today?
GLEN: Hi, Doug.
DOUG: My question is this. When using JAWS, because I use Zoom quite a bit, because I use the Zoom cloud meetings quite a bit, what is the difference between the scripts that come with JAWS than the full version of the scripts that Hartgen Consultancy sells? Like is there more features to the tables in some scripts?
ERIC: Yeah. There absolutely is more to what Brian provides. And I can’t tell you exactly what that is right now. But I’m sure he’s got a description of it. We haven’t done a whole lot with it. But his stuff, you know, he’s put a lot of effort and time into them.
GLEN: The one thing I would add on that is I think he really is emphasizing people who are organizing and running meetings as opposed to participating in the meetings.
DOUG: Ah hah. Okay.
GLEN: The scripts that we’re including work, I mean, work really well for people who are participants. But you’ll get some added features if you’re organizing meetings with his.
DOUG: Ah. And one thing I did want to see if this was able to be mentioned. Sometimes I use the Facebook Messenger app for Windows. I’d like to see more universal app support for some of that, like maybe some more scripts for Messenger.
GLEN: You’re fairly sure it’s a UWP app? Did you say that?
DOUG: Yeah. Yes, I did, mm-hmm.
GLEN: Do you have the latest 2021 update?
DOUG: Okay, I’ll check.
GLEN: But my suggestion is to install that, and then run it and do INSERT+Z to toggle on the virtual cursor support. We’ve added the ability to take the contents of UWP apps and represent them similarly to a web page. And it might be worth seeing if it works better for Facebook Messenger than the virtual cursor off, and if some of the quick keys make it a little easier to use.
DOUG: All right.
ERIC: All right.
DOUG: All right, well, thanks, guys, for answering my questions. I appreciate it.
ERIC: Yup. Thank you, Doug.
RACHEL: Thanks, Doug.
ERIC: And let’s see if we can get Deborah Armstrong to join us. Deborah, can you unmute?
DEBORAH: I have two questions, but I think they have fairly broad appeal. The first one is I work at a college, and all our students now are learning online. We’re using Canvas. Canvas is super accessible. It’s so accessible that I as a JAWS user can not only take courses, but I can create my own course in Canvas. JAWS users aren’t having any difficult with Canvas at all. They love it. But my ZoomText users are complaining all the time. Especially they’re having trouble taking exams. My question is, is there any reason that a site that a JAWS user would love would be difficult for a ZoomText user? And what can I say to my ZoomText users to help them?
GLEN: What’s the nature of the ZoomText users’ complaints?
DEBORAH: When you’re trying to, well, a lot of our exams are forms, so they’re standard forms with checkboxes and, you know, combo boxes and list boxes and all that. Radio buttons are common. And they’re often saying, well, I can’t find the next question, or I don’t know how to answer the question.
GLEN: I’m wondering, I’d be curious, are these people where other websites work well for them with ZoomText, and this is a problematic one?
DEBORAH: I think they typically are on other websites to just read. They don’t have to interact.
GLEN: Ah, okay.
DEBORAH: And I think there’s something going on when you try to interact with a website with ZoomText that – I think it’s a training issue. I’m convinced it’s a training issue. But I need to show them where to go. Like go to YouTube, look at this video, it’ll solve your problems. I need to figure out what their problem – what they need in the training department to help them, you know, get up to speed with interacting.
MATT: Are you part of the Facebook group for TVIs using Canvas?
DEBORAH: Well, no, but I could be.
MATT: Yeah, you may want to join it. There’s a big group of folks, TVIs using Canvas. I say “big,” it’s 60-some-odd teachers. So it may be something to join, just because there could be some good collaboration.
MATT: And see if other people have found solutions. And if we can get access to it, then we can have some better options to make some suggestions.
DEBORAH: Good. Well, my other question is much easier. I want to understand a JAWS feature called Enhanced Editing Mode. And I ran across it when I was using a word processor that has kind of a cult following in the blind community called Jarte, J A R T E. And Jarte is JAWS aware. So when you run it, a little box pops up and says, hey, you’re running JAWS. Please turn enhanced editing mode off or on, I don’t remember which. But what the heck is Enhanced Editing Mode, and why do we need it?
GLEN: It’s probably less why do you need it and more why do we have this option. Originally, long back in the dark ages, we gathered all the text that we would read in an editor off the screen using the offscreen model. And then over time we started doing more and more asking the app itself for the text that we wanted to read. There are some apps where you could, at least at one point, have enhanced editing mode on and off. And when it was off we would grab the text off the screen. That was sort of like an exit hatch. That was like, if everything has gone south, you can turn off enhanced editing mode, and things will mostly work. I mean, maybe Jarte is the exception, where turning it off works better.
MATT: If you send us an email, we wrote a tip on using this feature. David Goldfield, I think, wrote the tip, and we posted it on social media in the last, you know, couple months.
GLEN: About Jarte?
MATT: Uh-huh, with JAWS.
RACHEL: If you find that, Matt, I’ll send it on to Debee.
MATT: Okay, yup.
GLEN: And it’s really good to hear how accessible Canvas is.
DEBORAH: Oh, man, I love Canvas. I’m creating a course right now, and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is.
GLEN: Sounds good.
ERIC: Fantastic. Thanks, Deborah. All right. Let’s see if we can get Michael Mote in.
MICHAEL: Hello, sirs. How are you all? And Rachel, I believe is on. So it’s a pleasure to talk with you all again. And I wanted to update Glen on a thing I reported in the last thing we did with respect to the edit boxes in Chrome. It’s still not fixed. And this is the text editor, the rich text editor issue that we’ve got.
GLEN: Jonathan Harper in our TPG group, he found a way to recreate a similar problem having to do with things being placed in an iframe on web pages. We reported it to the Google Chrome development team, were thanked for the very careful and complete steps that Jonathan came up with. They have it fixed in Canary now.
GLEN: The hope is that it’ll be in 89. 89 is releasing early April. If it’s not in the original 89, it’ll be in the 89 update, at least that’s the hope, a couple of weeks later. But it would be really good for you to install Google Canary and make sure that things are working again. Because if it’s not, then this problem hasn’t been solved, and we need to continue pounding on it.
MICHAEL: I will do that. I will do that for you, and I’ll respond back to your email. It’s ggordon?
GLEN: It is, at Vispero.
MICHAEL: Okay. I will send you one. I may send it from my Gmail account this time because I know it won’t get spammed out that way.
GLEN: If you ever find a public-facing site that shows off the problem, especially if Canary doesn’t fix it for you, it’d be great to know because that’s going to be the easiest way to get the Chrome team to see what’s going on and help resolve it.
MICHAEL: So, and I’ll say this in closing, I do have one that I think one of our partners would not mind me showing you because they need help in this area. And they would love your feedback. So that’s something that we could definitely do in the future.
GLEN: Yes. Send me email. Try it with Canary. Let’s see where we end up.
MICHAEL: And I have a real quick question about a braille display issue. I do not use a Focus. I know. Boo, hiss. I use a HIMS QBraille XL.
ERIC: Boo, hiss.
MICHAEL: Yeah, I know, right. They bought it for me. You know, what are you going to do? So my question is, when you have to switch modes and come back, even if you’re in terminal or in Bluetooth, you have to unload JAWS and reload it. I was wondering if that would ever be changed for third-party braille displays that are not yours. Because with Focuses that never happened. Or is that just something that’s a byproduct of the drivers having to be reengaged?
ERIC: It’s on our list. It hasn’t percolated to the top to get addressed yet. But it’s on the list. And it is something we’d like to do. And, you know, I say “boo hiss”; but these companies that make these other braille devices all work hard, too, and they make a good product. They join our braille program, and we work with them to create a driver. And we’ve got to try and make that work. So we take some responsibility for that one.
MICHAEL: Thanks for what you guys do. It’s wonderful. The 2021 is great. And we really appreciate all the hard work you guys do.
ERIC: Great. Thank you, Michael. All right. And how about – and I’m going to pronounce it wrong. I don’t know if it’s Gian or Gian.
GIAN: Hey, it’s John. It’s John. It’s the Italian way. My name’s Giancarlo.
ERIC: Ah, got it, got it.
GIAN: I’m a supervisor with the New York City Department of Education for District 75. We’re a very large provider of vision services here in New York City. I would just like to cast my vote for third-party braille display improvements because, you know, we get a lot of quota funds and the APH products. You know, economically it just makes sense for us; you understand?
GIAN: So it’d just be nice for the kids to have equal access. My wish list, Zoom, since we’re living in Zoom, Zoom just seems a lot more chatty of late, especially when you navigate the participants list. And it would be nice to have a keystroke for Admit or Admit All. It would be so helpful.
GLEN: So you sort of said two different things.
GIAN: Yes, I know I did.
GLEN: So the first one is it’s chattier in the participants list. Can you be more specific?
GIAN: I just, like, I used to be able just to UP and DOWN ARROW through the list, like when I’m having staff meetings, and then just sit on a particular person while I’m talking to them, and then go down to the next person and start talking to them. I can’t do that no more. It seems like just JAWS is a lot more chatty. And it’s been about over the last – probably since New Year’s.
ERIC: Rachel, any ideas on that?
RACHEL: I mean, he’s absolutely right. That participants box refreshes a lot more than it used to. And I imagine that has to do with the extra security that Zoom has added.
RACHEL: But when you’re in there, there’s just no way to keep focus. It just jumps around. And it’s made it more difficult to find the Admit/Admit All button. I mean, I think it’s a great suggestion.
GLEN: I was noticing just using Zoom today, trying to tab through the UI, it kept saying “Close.” I kept ending up on a Close button.
RACHEL: No. That’s because there’s another pop-up that – I was having that same problem, Glen. And that’s – it moves your focus straight to a pop-up that says someone has their hand raised, and you can close or view. And you have to just keep hitting close, keep hitting close. And same if someone’s in the waiting room. So there’s definitely some improvements to work on there.
GIAN: One last thing. And Glen, I have a feeling this is for you. I do DJ work on the side.
GIAN: And we’ve been using a program, for years it was Scratch Live, and now it’s Serato DJ. And they’re a Qt app. And ever since they went to Qt they broke accessibility because when it was Carbon based, the code, everything was fine. And I’m using a version of Serato that’s like five years old. And I’ve been trying to play ball with them, and they keep saying yes, yes, yes. But they keep dragging their feet. But I know that a lot of other people have been having issues with Qt apps. I was just wondering where are we with Qt accessibility, and how’s that going? Is there any luck in that department?
GLEN: So there are two parts to it. One of them is that Qt keeps improving their accessibility infrastructure. So the infrastructure is probably better than it’s ever been before in terms of what they make available. But then the second part is does the app provider and the app author actually take advantage of all of this and bring accessibility up to the standard that it should be.
GIAN: Yeah. I think they’re using Qt 5.1 or something. It’s like an old version that wasn’t as accessible. What’s current?
GLEN: They just revved to Qt 6. So it usually takes a year or so before people actually update.
GIAN: Yeah. But even 5.3 was better. And I was chomping at the bit for them to upgrade to like 5.3 or 5.4, whatever it was, a couple years ago. So all right.
GLEN: You won’t like my suggestion.
GIAN: What is it?
GLEN: But I’m going to make it anyway. Get Station Playlist Studio. You will not be disappointed.
GIAN: Station. But you can’t – but I’m an old-school DJ. I’m using turntables with a mixer and – you know what I mean?
GLEN: Oh, yeah. So you have not moved your collection to digital.
GIAN: I have. It’s all on a laptop. But you use timecode vinyls on turntables or timecode CDs. And it’s as if you’re spinning old-school records.
GLEN: Yeah, okay. Station Playlist Studio, I was really impressed because it does a really good job of auto segueing, or you can queue up the track and press ENTER, and it’ll start it on demand. But I’ve had really good luck with it.
GIAN: Got you. Got you. No, I’m doing it the old-school way. I do like mobile work. I do weddings and Sweet Sixteens and, I mean, before the pandemic that’s what I was doing, anyway, on the side.
GLEN: Well, best of luck with that. I’m sorry to not have a better Qt answer for you.
GIAN: Okay, no, I mean, Qt 6 is out, and that’s good to know. And don’t forget about my Admit button in Zoom, guys.
RACHEL: All right. Thank you.
ERIC: All right. Thanks, Gian. FS Music Line.
RACHEL: We’ve got 14 – 14 minutes.
GLEN: Yeah, we’re talking about audio and DJing and all that stuff today.
ERIC: Yeah. You must be getting worked up over there, Glen.
GLEN: Yeah. Pour some cold water on me, would you, Eric?
ERIC: Okay. How about Mitchell? Mitchell, can you unmute?
MITCHELL: Hey, guys.
ERIC: Hi, there.
MITCHELL: Yeah, I’ve got a suggestion that a lot of blind people here in California have been wanting: FSCast archive feed?
ERIC: FSCast archive feed.
GLEN: Are you talking about the episodes prior to 2018, when we switched to our new system?
MITCHELL: Yup. Bingo.
GLEN: You want a feed to be able to find those old episodes in a podcast player.
RACHEL: That’s adorable.
ERIC: Oh, boy. And just play them simultaneously. You can turn them on at night when you go to bed and just listen to them all night.
GLEN: So do you, I mean, I’m delighted that people are wanting to go back and scan the archives. I wouldn’t have thought that that was a big demand.
MITCHELL: Yeah, it’s a pretty good demand here in California.
MITCHELL: How do you make that app feature that you put in this update permanent? The one where you do the INSERT+Z? How do you make that a permanent setting?
ERIC: I’ll tell you what. I’ll find that one, and I’ll tell you before we’re done here. So just listen. I’ll go look that one up for you. I’ll tell you.
ERIC: All right. Thanks, Mitchell. Amat, can you unmute yourself? There you are.
AMAT: Hello, guys. Can you guys hear me?
ERIC: Yes, we can.
AMAT: Okay, well, thank you for taking my call. I appreciate it. Well, I’m wondering because right now like I’m a student at a university. And we use Blackboard.
ERIC: Oh, okay, good.
AMAT: And I’ve been having issue with Blackboard, in which, basically, if I’m typing in the discussion board, I cannot find the edit field. So basically that’s a question that requires a short response. I’m not able to find the edit box to be able to input anything into the edit box. And I’m just wondering, this also could be maybe inaccessibility of the Blackboard. But is there a way for me to access that portion of the Blackboard to be able to input any answers and such?
RACHEL: You know, Amat, we do have a resident Blackboard expert who taught it for many years using JAWS. So that’s something that we might be able to crack with the training team, if you send us an email to email@example.com and tell us what you’re running into. But Eric and Glen may have more. I don’t know.
MATT: We can also get in contact with the accessibility team at Blackboard. So if we can definitely have you send that in, we can see if they can help provide some support.
AMAT: Thank you, guys.
RACHEL: Thank you.
ERIC: Thank you. And to answer the question from the last gentleman, I believe, it’s in the Settings Center. Search for “virtual,” and it’s “Use virtual PC cursor.”
GLEN: I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s...
ERIC: You don’t think it’s that one?
GLEN: No. We separated the options because we didn’t want turning the virtual PC cursor on on web pages to interfere with the UWP apps. So I think there’s a second option for this.
ERIC: And is this something that’s always there, or only there for UWP apps, do you think?
GLEN: I don’t know.
ERIC: Hmm. Okay. Well, I may have to do a little deeper digging.
GLEN: And I may be wrong on this. I know we went back and forth. But we were concerned that...
ERIC: No, now that you say that, I think you’re right. Okay. Let’s try Mike Ashley again. Mike, can you – oop. I think you’d already gotten unmuted. Can you try it again, Mike? There you go.
MIKE: Okay. Go Indians. Anyway, I was wondering if the Caps Lock key could ever be used as a third modifier in JAWS.
GLEN: You can do that.
RACHEL: Yeah, you can do that.
ERIC: You can turn on Laptop Layout and Caps Lock. And then Caps Lock is your JAWS key. And then you can use things on the home row with your right hand, like J, K, and L and stuff.
MIKE: Oh, okay. Okay. Never thought about that.
GLEN: And does INSERT continue to work as a modifier at that point?
ERIC: It does for most everything. But you will stumble across something like the keystroke for turning on Tandem, I think, will be not working once you’ve turned on laptop mode. You can’t use the INSERT key for that one. But most, yes, most desktop commands will still work, even in Laptop Layout.
MIKE: Okay. I didn’t know that. All right.
GLEN: And to be able to toggle the Caps Lock while you’re in that mode, you tap it twice quickly, and you can still toggle.
MIKE: Tap it twice. So, yeah, okay, okay.
ERIC: All right?
MIKE: All right.
ERIC: Hey, we solved one.
GLEN: Yes, we did, yes. Let’s celebrate.
MATT: Didn’t we post that recently, also, on Facebook? Because I think you’d written that up for me, and I did it.
GLEN: I think I just wrote that up. I don’t know if – did you post it? I don’t know if I did.
MATT: I have to go back and look.
ERIC: Yeah. All right. Well, thanks, Mike.
MIKE: No problem. Go Indians. Go Indians.
RACHEL: Thanks, Mike.
ERIC: Boy, who called Mike and had him throw that softball out there? Let’s try Jessica.
JESSICA: Hey, guys. Am I unmuted?
ERIC: You are.
JESSICA: Okay. So I got accepted to my local community college.
JESSICA: And they sent me some placement tests in PDF form that open in Word. That’s fine, except everything is laid out in columns. So, like, question number two runs into question number nine, so on and so forth, in all three of them. There’s three of them. So what do I do? I mean, they sent me a link to do it online, which is working better. But I don’t know. If they send me stuff like that again, how do I get around it?
GLEN: Have you tried opening it in Acrobat? Is Acrobat any better about reading it?
JESSICA: I have not. That’s actually a good suggestion.
GLEN: I don’t know if it’s a fillable PDF. But you might try opening Acrobat. There are lots of problems with fillable PDFs, unless someone created them with accessibility in mind. Like the fields being in the wrong order and not being linked to the text that describes them. Generally speaking, if you have a choice of online or a PDF form, online is almost always going to be better.
JESSICA: Glen; right?
JESSICA: Glen, part of the thing, too, is the question is also part of the text. It’s not separate. So that makes it difficult, too.
GLEN: Yeah. I would think that would be really, really hard. If, yeah, if online works for you, that’s the best bet. If they insist on giving you a PDF, and that doesn’t work, I would say can they send you the original source document. Because no one creates a PDF directly. You always create it in something like Word, and so the original source document may be easier for you to work with.
JESSICA: Right, I do have a meeting with DSS tomorrow morning to go over this, and hopefully I can remember this and tell them that.
RACHEL: Yeah, Jessica, congratulations, and tell them you need accessible forms.
JESSICA: I will. Thank you so much.
ERIC: Thanks, Jessica. I see Brian Hartgen with his hand up. Let’s see if we can get Brian in here. Hold on, Brian. I’m trying to find you again. I lost you. This participants list jumps all over the place, even for sighted folks.
GLEN: Equal opportunity, Eric.
ERIC: Equal opportunity.
BRIAN: Equal opportunity indeed.
ERIC: Yes. How is everything in the U.K.?
BRIAN: Okay, thank you. How are you?
ERIC: Very good.
RACHEL: Thank you for joining us, Brian.
BRIAN: Thank you very much. I’ll be very quick. Two things. First of all, the Zoom participants list. The reason this occurs is because visually it is changing rapidly, depending upon the number of people who are leaving the room and also entering it, and those that have raised their hands. Now, in our scripts I actually stopped JAWS from reading this information quite some months ago now, when it started happening. So our scripts are being updated all the time, not just for pro users or those hosting meetings, but also for consumers. So I would encourage people to get those if they can.
I wanted to ask a question, probably for Glen, actually, if that’s okay. I was working with a customer the other day, and we were using Google Chrome with an in-house application. And JAWS insisted on going into something called Application Mode, presumably because it thought that it was an application where perhaps the virtual cursor should be turned off. And we had to keep pressing the Numpad plus key twice in order to get it into virtual cursor mode because actually, although it was an application, it was much better suited to virtual cursor browsing. So my question is, how can we get that to consistently be in virtual cursor mode, please?
GLEN: This came up last year. It was some of the SAP...
MATT: Oh, and they totally, yeah, SAP totally does it.
BRIAN: Yes, it does.
GLEN: And so we added an option that can be set in a JCF file. But we never put it in Settings Center or Quick Settings because I thought it was a one-off. And then it was a two-off. And then it was a three-off. And I keep sending the details to individuals. So I’ll send it to you. But additionally we will think about adding this to the UI because it’s clearly something that people need.
ERIC: Yeah, well, at least copy me on this, Glen, and we’ll at least get a TSN out there in the event that we don’t get the UI done.
GLEN: Yeah. But this...
BRIAN: Thank you, that will be very useful.
GLEN: And if you just do a config set for the particular website, and add this option, I can’t say you’ll be a happy camper, but you’ll be happier.
MATT: Well, and I do think that companies and sites are misusing the row equals application quite a bit.
MATT: And that’s what’s happening here, it sounds like.
ERIC: And Brian, if people were interested in getting access to your Zoom scripts, where would they go? What’s the best advice?
BRIAN: Thank you. Best advice, best place to go is www.hartgenconsultancy – that’s H A R T G E N Consultancy – dot com. And there’s a link right there on the home page.
ERIC: Great. Thanks, Brian. And before we wrap up here, someone did finally answer in the chat for us, so I don’t even have to go research it. If you have an app, and you want to make the virtual stay on, you can go into INSERT+6, you can go to the config center, Settings Center, and look for Enable Virtual Cursor for Windows Universal App checkbox, and check that one.
GLEN: That is the one, yes. Excellent.
ERIC: Yeah. Maybe search for “universal” would probably be a good thing to search for, and you’ll find that option.
RACHEL: And we’ll be back on May 27th. So mark it down. We’ll be here. And time, TBD. We’d like to switch it up so we can grab some of those folks like Brian, who are in the U.K., a little earlier in the day. So I don’t know what time we’ll be joining you. But we will have our next FSOpenLine on May 27th, 2021.
ERIC: Hey, can I tell everybody that by the time you get there, I’m hoping that we’ll have something in Sharky and Zoomy – whoops, sorry, everybody. Didn’t mean to pop up your Sharky. But we’ll have something to be able to have you say, “Take me to FSOpenLine,” or something like that, and they’ll take you right onto the page.
ERIC: So watch for that in the next update.