Interfacing with Orca to read terminal output

Joanmarie Diggs jdiggs at
Tue Nov 15 17:15:29 CET 2011

Hey Sean, all.

On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 09:22, Sean Normoyle <stn825 at> wrote:
> We were thinking of having a small program that would be executed by its
> corresponding command, which would then parse the terminal history
> (.bash_history?) file in order to organize the text before sending it off to
> Orca.

Organize it how, pray tell? And that's a two-part question:

1. What pre-processing are you proposing and why exactly are you
proposing it? :) In general it is the users who are blind who are in
the best position to know how they would like to interact with the
content of the screen. And it is the job of the screen reader to
present the contents of the screen in the way or ways the users who
are blind wish to access it. We also have a standard accessibility API
ATs such as Orca rely upon to do its job and to provide users who are
blind with a consistent user experience. It sounds like what you are
proposing might be drifting away from these things. Although I may be
totally misunderstanding your suggestion.

2. Just how are you planning to do this? I am guessing that the XFCE
terminal uses VTE.(?) If so, does XFCE's terminal know what command
the user is running? If not, and assuming VTE did, I would think that
you would have to make a change to VTE to accomplish what you are

Getting back to the roadmap: What Orca users wish to be able to do is
access XFCE's terminal like they do gnome-terminal. If the XFCE
terminal is based on VTE, this can be done as Nick stated: An Orca
script. But what would be super is for the XFCE terminal to have a
more unique accessible name so that Orca could reliably identify it.
Has this been done yet?

Thanks and take care.

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