LowBrowse Firefox extension now in AMO sandbox

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LowBrowse Firefox extension now in AMO sandbox

arditi
I've just uploaded a Firefox extension called LowBrowse, that is
intended to enhance web accessibility for users with low vision.  It
is in the addons.mozilla.org sandbox, so it can be downloaded if you
have an account on that site.

Please give it a test drive, and let me know what your experience is.
And please, of course, feel free to leave a review, which I hope will
hasten the approval process for the add-on to become publicly
accessible.

More information is available at lowbrowse.lighthouse.org, and eve
more will be made available on that site in the coming days.

Thanks.

Aries Arditi
Lighthouse International



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Re: LowBrowse Firefox extension now in AMO sandbox

Ken Saunders-2
Hi Aries,
I remember the press release a few months back and now I'm anxious to
finally try LowBrowse.

It would be beneficial for readers of this post and those who visit
the address that you provided (lowbrowse.lighthouse.org) if you would
provide a direct link to the LowBrowse Bundle Pack page on the Firefox
add-ons site and/or a direct link to the LowBrowse XPI on
lowbrowse.lighthouse.org. I'm sure that you can still have potential
users agree to an EULA before downloading/installing LowBrowse.

Another thing that I've noticed is that you have a link on the
lowbrowse.lighthouse.org page that is supposed to lead visitors to a
page or section where they can "download CursorXP and a large cursor"
but the link takes people to the top of the same page that they are
reading.
http://lowbrowse.lighthouse.org/

To sum it up and in my opinion, there is a need for a distinct
navigational system on the lowbrowse.lighthouse.org page, and a need
for a link to that page on the www.lighthouse.org homepage.

After several unsuccessful attempts of trying to find the location to
install LowBrowse through lighthouse.org and lowbrowse.lighthouse.org,
I went to AMO and ran a search for LowBrowse and I was finally able to
get to the LowBrowse installation (download) page.

If I've passed over any links on lighthouse.org that would have taken
me to where I wanted to go then I apologize.

Take care
Ken

LowBrowse Extension page on AMO
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8762
--------------------------

On Sep 4, 3:20 pm, [hidden email] wrote:

> I've just uploaded a Firefox extension called LowBrowse, that is
> intended to enhance web accessibility for users with low vision.  It
> is in the addons.mozilla.org sandbox, so it can be downloaded if you
> have an account on that site.
>
> Please give it a test drive, and let me know what your experience is.
> And please, of course, feel free to leave a review, which I hope will
> hasten the approval process for the add-on to become publicly
> accessible.
>
> More information is available at lowbrowse.lighthouse.org, and eve
> more will be made available on that site in the coming days.
>
> Thanks.
>
> Aries Arditi
> Lighthouse International

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Re: LowBrowse Firefox extension now in AMO sandbox

ariesarditi
On Sep 4, 4:19 pm, Ken Saunders <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Aries,
> I remember the press release a few months back and now I'm anxious to
> finally try LowBrowse.
>
> It would be beneficial for readers of this post and those who visit
> the address that you provided (lowbrowse.lighthouse.org) if you would
> provide a direct link to the LowBrowse Bundle Pack page on the Firefox
> add-ons site and/or a direct link to the LowBrowse XPI on
> lowbrowse.lighthouse.org. I'm sure that you can still have potential
> users agree to an EULA before downloading/installing LowBrowse.
>
> Another thing that I've noticed is that you have a link on the
> lowbrowse.lighthouse.org page that is supposed to lead visitors to a
> page or section where they can "download CursorXP and a large cursor"
> but the link takes people to the top of the same page that they are
> reading.http://lowbrowse.lighthouse.org/
>
> To sum it up and in my opinion, there is a need for a distinct
> navigational system on the lowbrowse.lighthouse.org page, and a need
> for a link to that page on thewww.lighthouse.orghomepage.
>
> After several unsuccessful attempts of trying to find the location to
> install LowBrowse through lighthouse.org and lowbrowse.lighthouse.org,
> I went to AMO and ran a search for LowBrowse and I was finally able to
> get to the LowBrowse installation (download) page.
>
> If I've passed over any links on lighthouse.org that would have taken
> me to where I wanted to go then I apologize.
>
> Take care
> Ken
>
> LowBrowse Extension page on AMOhttps://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8762
> --------------------------
>
> On Sep 4, 3:20 pm, [hidden email] wrote:
>
> > I've just uploaded a Firefox extension called LowBrowse, that is
> > intended to enhance web accessibility for users with low vision.  It
> > is in the addons.mozilla.org sandbox, so it can be downloaded if you
> > have an account on that site.
>
> > Please give it a test drive, and let me know what your experience is.
> > And please, of course, feel free to leave a review, which I hope will
> > hasten the approval process for the add-on to become publicly
> > accessible.
>
> > More information is available at lowbrowse.lighthouse.org, and eve
> > more will be made available on that site in the coming days.
>
> > Thanks.
>
> > Aries Arditi
> > Lighthouse International

Ken, thanks very much for pointing these things out.  I've fixed all
the problems you mentioned on lowbrowse.lighthouse.org and you can
download from there directly.  I also have the direct link to the AMO
site as you suggested.  Finally, the missing cursor software and
cursors are now available.  There will be other improvements in the
coming days, and I'll post here to let you all know as these happen.

Best wishes,

Aries
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Re: LowBrowse Firefox extension now in AMO sandbox

ariesarditi
On Sep 5, 7:10 pm, [hidden email] wrote:

> On Sep 4, 4:19 pm, Ken Saunders <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>
> > Hi Aries,
> > I remember the press release a few months back and now I'm anxious to
> > finally try LowBrowse.
>
> > It would be beneficial for readers of this post and those who visit
> > the address that you provided (lowbrowse.lighthouse.org) if you would
> > provide a direct link to the LowBrowse Bundle Pack page on the Firefox
> > add-ons site and/or a direct link to the LowBrowse XPI on
> > lowbrowse.lighthouse.org. I'm sure that you can still have potential
> > users agree to an EULA before downloading/installing LowBrowse.
>
> > Another thing that I've noticed is that you have a link on the
> > lowbrowse.lighthouse.org page that is supposed to lead visitors to a
> > page or section where they can "download CursorXP and a large cursor"
> > but the link takes people to the top of the same page that they are
> > reading.http://lowbrowse.lighthouse.org/
>
> > To sum it up and in my opinion, there is a need for a distinct
> > navigational system on the lowbrowse.lighthouse.org page, and a need
> > for a link to that page on thewww.lighthouse.orghomepage.
>
> > After several unsuccessful attempts of trying to find the location to
> > install LowBrowse through lighthouse.org and lowbrowse.lighthouse.org,
> > I went to AMO and ran a search for LowBrowse and I was finally able to
> > get to the LowBrowse installation (download) page.
>
> > If I've passed over any links on lighthouse.org that would have taken
> > me to where I wanted to go then I apologize.
>
> > Take care
> > Ken
>
> > LowBrowse Extension page on AMOhttps://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8762
> > --------------------------
>
> > On Sep 4, 3:20 pm, [hidden email] wrote:
>
> > > I've just uploaded a Firefox extension called LowBrowse, that is
> > > intended to enhance web accessibility for users with low vision.  It
> > > is in the addons.mozilla.org sandbox, so it can be downloaded if you
> > > have an account on that site.
>
> > > Please give it a test drive, and let me know what your experience is.
> > > And please, of course, feel free to leave a review, which I hope will
> > > hasten the approval process for the add-on to become publicly
> > > accessible.
>
> > > More information is available at lowbrowse.lighthouse.org, and eve
> > > more will be made available on that site in the coming days.
>
> > > Thanks.
>
> > > Aries Arditi
> > > Lighthouse International
>
> Ken, thanks very much for pointing these things out.  I've fixed all
> the problems you mentioned on lowbrowse.lighthouse.org and you can
> download from there directly.  I also have the direct link to the AMO
> site as you suggested.  Finally, the missing cursor software and
> cursors are now available.  There will be other improvements in the
> coming days, and I'll post here to let you all know as these happen.
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Aries

There is a new version of LowBrowse (with some bug fixes) at

 https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8762

More information including installation and quick start instructions
is at

http://lowbrowse.lighthouse.org

Enjoy!

Aries
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Re: LowBrowse Firefox extension now in AMO sandbox

Aaron Leventhal-3
Hi Aries,

1. How do I get LowBrowse to read the text out loud?
2. When I hovered over the text in the magnification strip, I saw a hand
indicating a link. Clicking did nothing though, and then I noticed
"dummy.lighthouse.org" in my status bar. Seems odd.
3. Ctrl+Alt+H was used by an app on my system so I can't use that key.
The best way to get around this, and make thing discoverable at the same
time, is to add something for LowBrowse to the main menu bar or
toolbars. This is what Accessibar does.
4. Speaking of Accessibar, have you looked at it? From my point of view
they are trying to do some of the same things and it would create the
best solution if the authors worked together. After all, that's what
open source is about.
5. I felt the configuration was a little quirky in that you have to use
+ and -. If you forget that, and forget the keys to get the help, you're
in trouble right? I think that all commands should have not just a
keyboard equivalent, but also something in the UI to remind people and
be "discoverable"
6. I think it would be nice if items hovered over in the UI were
magnified as well -- e.g. titles of tabs or bookmarks that you hover over.
7. Once it's set up, the user experience seems nice and clean
8. Still, I'd like to be able to toggle the magnification bar on and off
easily

I'm not low vision myself, so I'll leave it to other users who really
will benefit from LowBrowser to say more about how well it works for them.

- Aaron

ariesfromparis wrote:

> On Sep 5, 7:10 pm, [hidden email] wrote:
>> On Sep 4, 4:19 pm, Ken Saunders<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>> Hi Aries,
>>> I remember the press release a few months back and now I'm anxious to
>>> finally try LowBrowse.
>>> It would be beneficial for readers of this post and those who visit
>>> the address that you provided (lowbrowse.lighthouse.org) if you would
>>> provide a direct link to the LowBrowse Bundle Pack page on the Firefox
>>> add-ons site and/or a direct link to the LowBrowse XPI on
>>> lowbrowse.lighthouse.org. I'm sure that you can still have potential
>>> users agree to an EULA before downloading/installing LowBrowse.
>>> Another thing that I've noticed is that you have a link on the
>>> lowbrowse.lighthouse.org page that is supposed to lead visitors to a
>>> page or section where they can "download CursorXP and a large cursor"
>>> but the link takes people to the top of the same page that they are
>>> reading.http://lowbrowse.lighthouse.org/
>>> To sum it up and in my opinion, there is a need for a distinct
>>> navigational system on the lowbrowse.lighthouse.org page, and a need
>>> for a link to that page on thewww.lighthouse.orghomepage.
>>> After several unsuccessful attempts of trying to find the location to
>>> install LowBrowse through lighthouse.org and lowbrowse.lighthouse.org,
>>> I went to AMO and ran a search for LowBrowse and I was finally able to
>>> get to the LowBrowse installation (download) page.
>>> If I've passed over any links on lighthouse.org that would have taken
>>> me to where I wanted to go then I apologize.
>>> Take care
>>> Ken
>>> LowBrowse Extension page on AMOhttps://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8762
>>> --------------------------
>>> On Sep 4, 3:20 pm, [hidden email] wrote:
>>>> I've just uploaded a Firefox extension called LowBrowse, that is
>>>> intended to enhance web accessibility for users with low vision.  It
>>>> is in the addons.mozilla.org sandbox, so it can be downloaded if you
>>>> have an account on that site.
>>>> Please give it a test drive, and let me know what your experience is.
>>>> And please, of course, feel free to leave a review, which I hope will
>>>> hasten the approval process for the add-on to become publicly
>>>> accessible.
>>>> More information is available at lowbrowse.lighthouse.org, and eve
>>>> more will be made available on that site in the coming days.
>>>> Thanks.
>>>> Aries Arditi
>>>> Lighthouse International
>> Ken, thanks very much for pointing these things out.  I've fixed all
>> the problems you mentioned on lowbrowse.lighthouse.org and you can
>> download from there directly.  I also have the direct link to the AMO
>> site as you suggested.  Finally, the missing cursor software and
>> cursors are now available.  There will be other improvements in the
>> coming days, and I'll post here to let you all know as these happen.
>>
>> Best wishes,
>>
>> Aries
>
> There is a new version of LowBrowse (with some bug fixes) at
>
>   https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8762
>
> More information including installation and quick start instructions
> is at
>
> http://lowbrowse.lighthouse.org
>
> Enjoy!
>
> Aries

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Re: LowBrowse Firefox extension now in AMO sandbox

ariesarditi
On Sep 8, 9:33 am, Aaron Leventhal <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Aries,
>
> 1. How do I get LowBrowse to read the text out loud?
> 2. When I hovered over the text in the magnification strip, I saw a hand
> indicating a link. Clicking did nothing though, and then I noticed
> "dummy.lighthouse.org" in my status bar. Seems odd.
> 3. Ctrl+Alt+H was used by an app on my system so I can't use that key.
> The best way to get around this, and make thing discoverable at the same
> time, is to add something for LowBrowse to the main menu bar or
> toolbars. This is what Accessibar does.
> 4. Speaking of Accessibar, have you looked at it? From my point of view
> they are trying to do some of the same things and it would create the
> best solution if the authors worked together. After all, that's what
> open source is about.
> 5. I felt the configuration was a little quirky in that you have to use
> + and -. If you forget that, and forget the keys to get the help, you're
> in trouble right? I think that all commands should have not just a
> keyboard equivalent, but also something in the UI to remind people and
> be "discoverable"
> 6. I think it would be nice if items hovered over in the UI were
> magnified as well -- e.g. titles of tabs or bookmarks that you hover over.
> 7. Once it's set up, the user experience seems nice and clean
> 8. Still, I'd like to be able to toggle the magnification bar on and off
> easily
>
> I'm not low vision myself, so I'll leave it to other users who really
> will benefit from LowBrowser to say more about how well it works for them.
>
> - Aaron
>
> ariesfromparis wrote:
> > On Sep 5, 7:10 pm, [hidden email] wrote:
> >> On Sep 4, 4:19 pm, Ken Saunders<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>
> >>> Hi Aries,
> >>> I remember the press release a few months back and now I'm anxious to
> >>> finally try LowBrowse.
> >>> It would be beneficial for readers of this post and those who visit
> >>> the address that you provided (lowbrowse.lighthouse.org) if you would
> >>> provide a direct link to the LowBrowse Bundle Pack page on the Firefox
> >>> add-ons site and/or a direct link to the LowBrowse XPI on
> >>> lowbrowse.lighthouse.org. I'm sure that you can still have potential
> >>> users agree to an EULA before downloading/installing LowBrowse.
> >>> Another thing that I've noticed is that you have a link on the
> >>> lowbrowse.lighthouse.org page that is supposed to lead visitors to a
> >>> page or section where they can "download CursorXP and a large cursor"
> >>> but the link takes people to the top of the same page that they are
> >>> reading.http://lowbrowse.lighthouse.org/
> >>> To sum it up and in my opinion, there is a need for a distinct
> >>> navigational system on the lowbrowse.lighthouse.org page, and a need
> >>> for a link to that page on thewww.lighthouse.orghomepage.
> >>> After several unsuccessful attempts of trying to find the location to
> >>> install LowBrowse through lighthouse.org and lowbrowse.lighthouse.org,
> >>> I went to AMO and ran a search for LowBrowse and I was finally able to
> >>> get to the LowBrowse installation (download) page.
> >>> If I've passed over any links on lighthouse.org that would have taken
> >>> me to where I wanted to go then I apologize.
> >>> Take care
> >>> Ken
> >>> LowBrowse Extension page on AMOhttps://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8762
> >>> --------------------------
> >>> On Sep 4, 3:20 pm, [hidden email] wrote:
> >>>> I've just uploaded a Firefox extension called LowBrowse, that is
> >>>> intended to enhance web accessibility for users with low vision.  It
> >>>> is in the addons.mozilla.org sandbox, so it can be downloaded if you
> >>>> have an account on that site.
> >>>> Please give it a test drive, and let me know what your experience is.
> >>>> And please, of course, feel free to leave a review, which I hope will
> >>>> hasten the approval process for the add-on to become publicly
> >>>> accessible.
> >>>> More information is available at lowbrowse.lighthouse.org, and eve
> >>>> more will be made available on that site in the coming days.
> >>>> Thanks.
> >>>> Aries Arditi
> >>>> Lighthouse International
> >> Ken, thanks very much for pointing these things out.  I've fixed all
> >> the problems you mentioned on lowbrowse.lighthouse.org and you can
> >> download from there directly.  I also have the direct link to the AMO
> >> site as you suggested.  Finally, the missing cursor software and
> >> cursors are now available.  There will be other improvements in the
> >> coming days, and I'll post here to let you all know as these happen.
>
> >> Best wishes,
>
> >> Aries
>
> > There is a new version of LowBrowse (with some bug fixes) at
>
> >  https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8762
>
> > More information including installation and quick start instructions
> > is at
>
> >http://lowbrowse.lighthouse.org
>
> > Enjoy!
>
> > Aries

Hi Aaron,

First, thanks for looking at LowBrowse.  As with many new software
offerings,
there are some small and fairly simply things to add that will greatly
enhance
its functionality.  One of these is a key command mapping function so
key
conflicts can be resolved.  And unfortunately the Ctrl + Alt + H that
you had a
conflict with is the very command that brings up LowBrowse's Quick
Help, so of
course you would not see how to accomplish some of the things you're
inquiring
about.

1. To get the speech working, press (windows, linux) Ctrl + Alt + S
(this is a
toggle).

2. To hide the reading frame (what you called "the magnification
window") press
(windows, linux) Ctrl + Alt + R (also a toggle).

3. To see the step-by-step instructions for the Easy Configuration
procedure
(i.e. prompts for the plus and minus keys you referred to), simply
press
the right (forward) arrow key to see the instructions in the very
example text you
are using to configure LowBrowse. The arrow keys perform, aside from
the mouse,
the most basic LowBrowse functions: thet show the user the rest of the
text that couldn't fit
on the single line of the reading frame.

Regarding Accessibar, I did look at it, and it's quite a nice program,
providing a lot of
flexibility in terms of transforming text and colors on the browser
page.  As such, I think of it as a
kind of a GUI for style sheet switching, which many users with low
vision will appreciate.

However, what LowBrowse is attempting is fundamentally different.  The
main
idea of LowBrowse is to allow the user to view the global page layout
as the
web author intended it, and as most able-sighted folk see it. At the
same time,
the user can read the text in their preferred format, without having
to.
LowBrowse is intended to be configured pretty much once for each user
(assuming
their vision is stable).  Once configured, there's no need to have
buttons to
increase or decrease text size or change colors or any of the other
features
Accessibar.

In fact, LowBrowse is intended to be powerful in terms of its
functionality but
very weak in terms of its feature set. The low vision population is
predominantly older people who don't necessarily need (or want)
software that
has many options.  LowBrowse is betting that what they want is
something that
will give them a simple, consistent interface that is configurable
once (or
seldom) for all their browsing needs, that allows them to communicate
with
their able-sighted peers, and that is cheap (free) and effective.

The main idea of LowBrowse is to allow the user to view the global
page layout
as the web author intended it, and as most able-sighted folk see it.
At the
same time, the user can read the text in their preferred format,
without having
to zoom in and out, or scroll around and try to navigate a greately
enlarged
page.  That's not something that Accessibar, or any other software I'm
aware
of, does, or seeks to do.

Regarding magnification of the UI elements--yes, you're absolutely
right.
We're planning this for a subsequent release, as well as some other
new things.

There's more information about how to use LowBrowse and about how it's
designed at
http://lowbrowse.lighthouse.org.

Aries



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Re: LowBrowse Firefox extension now in AMO sandbox

Steve Lee-3
2008/9/9 ariesfromparis <[hidden email]>:

> In fact, LowBrowse is intended to be powerful in terms of its
> functionality but
> very weak in terms of its feature set. The low vision population is
> predominantly older people who don't necessarily need (or want)
> software that
> has many options.  LowBrowse is betting that what they want is
> something that
> will give them a simple, consistent interface that is configurable
> once (or
> seldom) for all their browsing needs, that allows them to communicate
> with
> their able-sighted peers, and that is cheap (free) and effective.

Aries, I think that bet is a good one and will be very interested in
hearing what feedback you get from older users in particular.

'Less is more' can work well and is also attractive to newcomers. It
is the approach I stuck to with PowerTalk - resisting the desire to
add features, even when they make very good sense. Another example is
I don't often need more features from a music player than my iPod
shuffle has. Even though sometimes operation like locating a specific
track can be more cumbersome than would be available through a more
complex interface, I'm happy with the simplicity. I get something
really unobtrusive as a result of making the trade off.

In fact this morning during the computing introduction course I do for
over 50's with Age Concern, it struck me we really need a simple
reduced feature UI for web browsers and email clients. This would
appeal to older users as well as beginners where the main options
(often customised in 'random' ways on shared PCs) are just confusing
and a distraction from the basics, even thought options start to
become really useful as experience and confidence grows. It should
also appeal to people with learning difficulties demensia and
youngsters (my first browser, anyone).

So I was thinking in terms of creating of a Firefox addon to reduce
the UI to the basics; home, address bar, back, forward, refresh, print
and perhaps somebasic a11y/theme options. A hack of the public domain
r-kiosk add-on would be a quick starting point for FF. For email a
Thunderbird add-on or a greasemonkey script for gmail would work.

> The main idea of LowBrowse is to allow the user to view the global
> page layout
> as the web author intended it, and as most able-sighted folk see it.
> At the
> same time, the user can read the text in their preferred format,
> without having
> to zoom in and out, or scroll around and try to navigate a greately
> enlarged
> page.  That's not something that Accessibar, or any other software I'm
> aware
> of, does, or seeks to do.

Again it will be very interesting to see what people think of it in
practice. Perhaps if it is popular it could be extend to general
document and perhaps desktop magnification.

Innovation happens when we try out such new ideas, even if they fail,
and really makes the most of Open Source....

Nice one.

--
Steve Lee
Open Source Assistive Technology Software and Accessibility
fullmeasure.co.uk
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