Ripping Audio With Mplayer

The first step for creating audio description for movies is to extract the audio content. We can do this quickly using little bit of mplayer command line kung fu.

mplayer -novideo -quiet -vc null -vo null -ao pcm videofile [ OR ] mplayer -novideo -quiet -vc null -vo null -ao pcm:file=audio.wav videofile

You can easily join the extracted audio with the audio description track using the Mencoder (MPlayer's Movie Encoder). Right now I haven't completed audio description for a feature length movie yet. My Gnome accessibility works takes a large chunk of my time. If you are interesting in working something like that, get in touch with me.

Gnome Keyboard Shortcuts

Accelerate your Gnome keyboard navigation with these shortcuts. You should master these if you are orca screen reader user along with Orca keyboard shortcuts.

  • Global Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Alt+F1 Open the Main Applications Menu
  • Alt+F2 Open the Run Application dialog.
  • Print Screen Take a screenshot of the entire screen.
  • Alt+ Print Screen Take a screenshot of the window that currently has focus.
  • F1 If the focused element is an application window or dialog, this keyboard shortcut opens the Help for the application.
  • Ctrl+F1 If the focused element is a panel or application window, this keyboard shortcut switches the display of tooltips for the window or panel objects on and off.
  • Shift+F10 Open a popup menu for the element that has focus (if a popup menu exists for that element).
  • Tab Give focus to the next element or control.
  • Shift+Tab Reverse the navigation direction and give focus to the previous element or control.
  • Ctrl+Tab Give focus to the next element or control if the Tab key has a specific purpose in a control.
  • arrow keys Navigate within an element or control.
  • spacebar Activate the element or control that has focus.For example, if the current control is a button, this action is the equivalent of clicking on the button with a mouse.
  • Esc Close a window, menu, or drawer.
  • F7 Switch to caret navigation mode. Caret navigation mode enables you to use the keyboard to select text.
  • Ctrl+Alt +D Temporarily hide all windows and give focus to the desktop background.
  • Ctrl+Alt +Tab Display a popup window with icons that represent the desktop background and the panels. Press and hold Ctrl+Alt and continue to press Tab to switch the focus between the desktop background and the panels.
  • Navigating Windows
  • Alt+Tab Display a popup window with icons that represent each window.
  • Alt+Esc Raise each window in turn until you reach the window you want.
  • Alt+F6 Cycle between windows belonging to the current application (eg, a multiple document interface application like Text Editor).
  • Alt+ spacebar Open the Window menu.
  • Alt+F4 Close the window.
  • Alt+F9 Minimize the window.
  • Alt+F10 Maximize the window.
  • Alt+F5 Restore a maximized window to its original size.
  • Alt+F7 Start the move operation.
  • arrow keys Move the window 10 pixels at a time in the direction of the arrow key.
  • Ctrl + arrow keys Move the window one pixel at a time in the direction of the arrow key.
  • Shift + arrow keys Move the window in the direction of the arrow key and align it with the edge of the nearest window, panel or screen edge.
  • spacebar Complete the move operation, leaving the window in the current position.
  • Esc Cancel the move operation, restoring the window to its original position.
  • Alt+F8 Start the resize operation.
  • arrow keys Resize the window in the direction of the arrow key.
  • spacebar Complete the resize operation, leaving the window at the current size.
  • Esc Cancel the resize operation, restoring the window to its original size.
  • F6 Give focus to the next pane.The system gives focus to the control that last had focus in the pane.
  • F8 Give focus to the first resize handle in the window.The resize handle is displayed between the panes and enables you to resize the panes.Press F8 again to give focus to the next resize handle.
  • Navigating Applications
  • F10 Open the first menu on the application menubar.
  • Alt + access key Open the menu that is associated with the access key
  • access keys Select the menu item that is associated with the access key.
  • left arrow and right arrow Switch focus between the menus on the menubar.
  • up arrow and down arrow Move focus into a menu.
  • Esc Close the open menu and give focus to the control that had focus before the menubar.
  • Ctrl+O Open the file selector dialog.
  • Ctrl+S Open the Save dialog.
  • Ctrl+L Open a Location dialog, enabling you to type the name of a file that you want to open or save.
  • Ctrl+P Open a Print dialog, if available.
  • Ctrl+C Copy highlighted text to the global, application-spanning clipboard.
  • Ctrl+X Cut highlighted text to the global, application-spanning clipboard.
  • Ctrl+V Paste text from the global, application-spanning clipboard to the current cursor position.
  • Alt+access key Activate or select a control.
  • Tab Give focus to the next control.
  • Ctrl+Page Up Move to the next page/tabbed section of the dialog.
  • Ctrl+Page Down Move to the previous page/tabbed section of the dialog.
  • Esc Cancel/dismiss the dialog.
  • Return Perform the default action for the dialog.
  • Navigating Folders
  • arrow keys Select the next or previous file or folder in the direction of the arrow key.
  • Ctrl + arrow keys Give focus to the next or previous file or folder but do not select the item.
  • spacebar Open the focused file or folder.
  • Ctrl + spacebar Select the item that currently has focus.
  • Home Select the first file or folder within the current folder.
  • End Select the last file or folder within the current folder.
  • backspace Open the current folder's parent folder.
  • Shift-F10 Open a file or folder popup menu.
  • Ctrl-F10 Open the enclosing folder's popup menu (equivalent to right-clicking on the view pane background).
  • F6 Switch focus between the side pane and the view pane.
  • Shift+F10 Open the side pane popup menu.
  • Caret Navigation Mode
  • F7 Switch to caret navigation mode [Yelp-only].
  • left arrow Move one character to the left.
  • right arrow Move one character to the right.
  • up arrow Move up one line.
  • down arrow Move down one line.
  • Ctrl + left arrow Move to the beginning of the previous word.
  • Ctrl + right arrow Move to the end of the next word.
  • Page Up Scroll up one page of content.
  • Page Down Scroll down one page of content.
  • Home Move to the beginning of the current line.
  • End Move to the end of the current line.
  • Shift + arrow keys Move from the current position to the destination position, selecting all text between the two positions.
  • Tab Move focus to the next focusable control.
  • Shift+Tab Move focus to the previous focusable control.
  • Enter Activate a button, link or other control
  • .

I ♥ Free Software

Spent most of the day at the IISE cultural show, managed to sneak back into office to post replies and file new Gnome and Orca bugs discovered this morning. Now I realized that today is Valentines Day!
Let me express my love to my valentine! I love Free Software!

I love Free Software!

Orca Keyboard Shortcuts

Perhaps the most common request from Orca screen reader users is the documentation. Few months ago Orca developers started rewriting most of the existing documentation. The Orca keyboard shortcut cheat sheet is part of this effort, it is now part of new orca man page.

Desktop Mode
       Flat review commands

       Numpad-7 move the flat review cursor to the previous line and read it.

       Numpad-8 read the current line.

       Numpad-9 move the flat review cursor to the next line and read it.

       Numpad-4 move the flat review cursor to the previous word and read it.

       Numpad-5 read the current word.

       Numpad-6 move the flat review cursor to the next word and read it.

       Numpad-1 move the flat review cursor to the previous character and read it.

       Numpad-2 read the current character.

       Numpad-3 move the flat review cursor to the next character and read it.

       Numpad-slash perform a left mouse click at the location of the flat review cursor.

       Numpad-star perform a right mouse click at the location of the flat review cursor.

       Bookmark commands

       Alt+Insert+[1-6] assign a bookmark to a numbered slot. 

       Insert+[1-6] go to the position pointed to by the bookmark bound to this numbered slot.

       Alt+Shift+[1-6]

       Insert+B and Insert+Shift+B move between the given bookmarks for the given application or page.

       Alt+Insert+B save the defined bookmarks for the current application or page.

 Miscellaneous functions

       Numpad+Plus
        'say all' command; reads from the current position of the caret to the end of the document.

       Numpad+Enter 'Where am I' command; speaks information such as the title of the current application 

       Insert+H enter into orca's 'learn mode'; press Escape to exit.

       Insert+Shift+Backslash toggle live regions monitoring on and off.

       Insert+F speak font and attribute information for the current character.

       Insert+Space Launch the orca Configuration dialog.

       Insert+Ctrl+Space  reload user settings and reinitialize services as necessary.
 Also launches the orca Configuration dialog for the current application.

       Insert+S toggle speech on and off.

       Insert+F11 toggle the reading of tables, either by single cell or whole row.

       Insert+Q quit orca.

       Debugging

       Ctrl+Alt+Insert+Home report information on the currently active script.

       Ctrl+Alt+Insert+End print a debug listing of all known applications 
to the console where orca is running.

       Ctrl+Alt+Insert+Page_Up print debug information about the ancestry of the object with focus.

       Ctrl+Alt+Insert+Page_Down print debug information about the hierarchy of the application with focus.

Laptop Mode
       Flat review commands

       Caps_Lock+U move the flat review cursor to the previous line and read it. 
Double-click to move flat review to the top of the current window.

       Caps_Lock+I read the current line. 
Double-click to read the current line along with 
formatting and capitalization details.

       Caps_Lock+O move the flat review cursor to the next line and read it. 
Double-click to move flat review to the bottom of the current window.

       Caps_Lock+J move the flat review cursor to the previous word and read it. 
Double-click to move flat review to the word above the current word.

       Caps_Lock+K read the current word. 
Double-click to spell the word. Triple-click to hear the word spelled phonetically.

       Caps_Lock+L move the flat review cursor to the next word and read it. 
Double-click to move flat review to the word below the current word.

       Caps_Lock+M move the flat review cursor to the previous character and read it.
Double-click to move flat review to the end of the current line.

       Caps_Lock+Comma read the current character. 
Double-click to pronounce the character phonetically if it is a letter.

       Caps_Lock+Period move the flat review cursor to the next character and read it.

       Caps_Lock+7 perform a left mouse click at the location of the flat review cursor.

       Caps_Lock+8 perform a right mouse click at the location of the flat review cursor.

       Caps_Lock+8 perform a right mouse click at the location of the flat review cursor.

       Bookmark commands

       Alt+Caps_Lock+[1-6] add a bookmark to the numbered slot. 
If a bookmark already exists for the slot it will be replaced with the new one.

       Caps_Lock+[1-6] go to the position pointed to by the bookmark bound to this numbered slot.

       Alt+Shift+[1-6]

       Caps_Lock+B and Caps_Lock+Shift+B move between the given bookmarks 
for the given application or page.

       Alt+Caps_Lock+B save the defined bookmarks for the current application or page.

 Miscellaneous functions

       Caps_Lock+Semicolon Caps_Lock+Enter

       Caps_Lock+H enter learn mode (press Escape to exit).

       Caps_Lock+Shift+Backslash toggle live regions monitoring on and off.

       Caps_Lock+F speak font and attribute information for the current character.

       Caps_Lock+Space launch the orca Configuration dialog.

       Caps_Lock+Ctrl+Space reload user settings and reinitialize 
services as necessary; also launches the orca Configuration dialog 
for the current application.

       Caps_Lock+S toggle speech on and off.

       Caps_Lock+F11 toggle the reading of tables, either by single cell or whole row.

       Caps_Lock+Q quit orca.

       Debugging

       Caps_Lock+Alt+Ctrl+Home report information on the currently active script.

       Caps_Lock+Alt+Ctrl+End prints a debug listing of all known applications
to the console where orca is running.

       Caps_Lock+Alt+Ctrl+Page_Up prints debug information about the ancestry 
of the object with focus.

       Caps_Lock+Alt+Ctrl+Page_Down prints debug information about the 
object hierarchy of the application with focus.


My First Radio Play

This week I start a new role as an actor, Professor Arky the affable explorer who discovered a new species of monkeys called 'Marky' in Malaika Islands. It is part of radio shows series for Malaika case study at IISE. Marky was name of Martian from last years Asian talent show, it seems to have stuck a chord with the audience (arky from mars = marky). Prof.Marky's Indian accent is quite popular around here, it does add humour to otherwise serious case study.
You can listen to first show in the series right here or download it from archive.org.

Listen To Malaika Radio Show

State of gnu/Linux Accessibility

Joanie's post sparked more conversations on gnu/Linux Accessibility. Here are some of the views expressed some of members of gnu/linux community.

Over the years, great progress has been made in the accessibility of GNOME. Using Orca, I am able to navigate around GNOME applications and Firefox. This has been made possible through a collaboration between engineers at Sun and dedicated volunteers (or perhaps "a dedicated volunteer" would be more apt). Engineers working on Firefox have also spent significant amounts of time ensuring that Gecko exposes the information that access technologies such as Orca need to represent web pages. This collaboration has been a blessing for the community and has allowed people with disabilities to productively use GNOME. On January 29, however, Will Walker, the lead Orca developer, was laid off by Oracle, and so now there are no more paid Orca developers. This was a continuation of what has been an over-all trend over the last couple of years in which companies have pulled funding from open source accessibility projects. I am concerned about the potential implications for the future if some sort of funding structure is not established.
on the state of open-source accessibility by Mike

As many of you may have heard, from blogs by Eitan, Mike and Joanie, as well as an e-mail to the gnome-foundation-lists by Fernando, the Gnome a11y community is having a tough time.

I have been interacting with the a11y community for over two years now, and in that time the funding situation has never looked good. I do not wish to insult or demean companies that are no-longer involved in funding Gnome a11y. Companies and individuals have their own priorities that they must follow. Work they have done in the past on Gnome is very much appreciated by me, even if they cannot continue that work in-to the future.

Funding Gnome a11y by Mark Doffmans

I have been on the road for the last two weeks. Headed back to Seattle tomorrow after a great FOSDEM in Brussels.

While on the road I have heard all sorts of news regarding GNOME accessibility, none of it good. I am angry, I feel like blaming somebody or something, but I am not sure what. Right now I am directing my frustration towards academics who still have funding to continue various assistive technology research that will probably never see the light of day as a usable application while the real bread and butter of an accessible platform is being taken away. It’s reflexive, I know it. Maybe later I will have a clearer picture of how we move forward.

GNOME accessibility, don’t take it for granted by Eitan

As you all probably know, Oracle recently bought Sun. Sun has been one of the largest contributors to the GNOME project during the last years. Probably is too early to know how this is going to affect GNOME project. However this last week we have seen some relevant events: Oracle laid off two members of the Sun's Accessibility Program Office.
e-mail to the gnome-foundation-lists by Fernando

An Open Letter to Oracle on the Topic Of Accessibility

Dear Oracle: You don't know me, so please permit me a brief introduction: I'm Joanie. By day, I'm an assistive technology specialist working with individuals who are blind or visually impaired. By night, weekend, and holiday for almost four years now, I've been a GNOME community contributor working primarily on the Orca screen reader, a project led by Sun's Accessibility Program Office. Working with the engineers at Sun, both inside and outside of the APO, has been an honor for a variety of reasons, not least of which is our shared common belief: Access isn't a privilege; it's a right. Towards that end, Sun Microsystems strived to ensure that ALL users have access to software and information.
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