Author Topic: New user to OpenMPT who is blind  (Read 1422 times)

Offline sethmhur

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New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« on: July 31, 2017, 18:25:46 »
Hello,
My name is Seth and I'm a new user to MPT. As I said in my subject I am blind. I would like your help getting started. The window I am having the most truble with is the pattern editor. Thank you and God bless. And anyone other help or tips you can give me. I'm using NVDA as my screen reader.

Offline Saga Musix

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2017, 00:06:02 »
Welcome to the OpenMPT forums. I know our "resident blind user" Diamond has helped other people in the past, but I think it was never done publicly. So having a publically viewable list of hints on how to get the maximum out of OpenMPT using screen readers would indeed be great.
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Offline sethmhur

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 09:44:23 »
Yes I think that would be nice. I really love trackers and working with them and this one I found was the most accessible. As far as I know there is know other tracker that is. Well accept qws but that is a midi editor.

Offline Diamond

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 12:58:58 »
Hello Sethmhur,

Welcome to OpenMPT.  OpenMPT can in fact be used with screen readers, but it takes determination and there is a bit of a learning curve.  Please read the thread below which should provide some hints.  If after reading the thread you still have questions, feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer them.
http://forum.openmpt.org/index.php?topic=5296.msg41251#msg41251

Offline sethmhur

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 15:42:56 »
I understand you can copy the pattern and then edit it with notepad but when I did. I couldn't make sence of it.

Offline Diamond

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2017, 15:51:12 »
I've never relied on that feature myself so you'll have to wait for further clarification from someone else.

Offline Saga Musix

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 17:01:58 »
The clipboard follows a structured format describing each pattern cell.
For a complete entry, this may look like this:
"|C-501v03Q11"
Where the | character is used to separate channels from each other, followed by the note (C-5), instrument (01), volume column effect (v03) and effect column effect (Q11). All of this information is identical as to how it would be displayed in the status bar or Note Properties window. An empty cell is filled with dots (...) and a cell that was not copied (e.g. because a channel was only copied partially) is filled with spaces.


I've recently been thinking that maybe we can change the default description sent to screen readers e.g. for the pattern editor. What kind of information would be the most suitable here? Should it read out the location? If yes, what should it include? Order number, pattern number, row and column? Or just row and column? Should it just read out the cell (e.g. C-5) under the cursor, or the complete entry (e.g. C-5 instrument 1 volume 64...)?
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Offline Diamond

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 17:25:35 »
Row number, column name or number, and the data contained in that position.  The problem is, I'm not sure it would be possible to have a screen reader speak that information considering the current bitmap implementation of the pattern editor.  Screen readers can generally retrieve textual data, but not anything represented as part of graphical objects.  Or I should say, many screen readers now do have built-in OCR functionality for retrieving text from graphics, but the results are mixed depending on the source and such functionality is not designed to be used in real-time which makes it useless in this case.  Most of this data is of course already displayed in the status bar which screen readers can read, but without scripting not in real-time.  The problem is that different screen readers implement scripting in different ways, so this doesn't really offer a universal solution.

Offline Saga Musix

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 17:28:03 »
Quote
The problem is, I'm not sure it would be possible to have a screen reader speak that information considering the current bitmap implementation of the pattern editor.
Well, that is exactly what I want to work around? You can give a description of every UI element through Windows' Accessibility API, and currently no such description is given for the pattern bitmap - but it can be added somewhat easily.
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Offline Diamond

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 17:37:35 »
I'm all for it.  As I said, I think row number, either column name or number, and cell data should be enough.  More data such as order number might be useful, but too much data being spoken at once might make it too wordy and would slow down productivity in real-time.

Offline Diamond

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2017, 17:39:46 »
Oh yes, I forgot channel number as well.  That would definitely be useful.

Offline Saga Musix

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2017, 18:37:23 »
Okay, I added an accessible name for the pattern view containing the position in the pattern and the current cell's content. I verified that Windows Narrator can access this information, so hopefully it should also work with other screen readers.
r8677 / OpenMPT 1.27.00.57 should be up on buildbot in a few hours.
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Offline LPChip

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2017, 19:56:47 »
I have no experience with screen readers, but would they not read the pattern full row instead of by channel, which is how the player plays it?

Unless you only copy a channel instead of a full pattern to notepad, of course.
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Offline Saga Musix

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2017, 20:02:10 »
*sigh* Once again, the pattern editor is a bitmap. A screen reader cannot read bitmaps (unless they support OCR). Hence OpenMPT now provides a description text for the pattern editor, which can contain whatever we want. Which, in this case, is the content of a single cell, because reading out the whole row or even pattern would be rather useless.
The idea here is that the user can read out the current cell's content whenever they like, typically through a special keyboard shortcut in their screen reader.
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Offline Diamond

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Re: New user to OpenMPT who is blind
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2017, 20:14:33 »
In Notepad, it would read line by line.  This means that for example all first rows of every channel would be read from the first line as you navigate with the Arrow keys.  While visually it probably gives you a good overview of the pattern data, with a screen reader it is somewhat tedious.  Although it might still be useful in some cases.