Re: Ubuntu Wine et alUp one level
Linux Journal has a pretty good introductory article on Orca in their March 2008 issue http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9978 . I'm a computer user and programmer not an AT expert though, so I don't know how it compares to other packages.
Steve Lee's comment on using WINE for AT purposes is correct in my opinion. WINE is pretty hit and miss on standard Windows apps and the special characteristics of many AT packages will probably make configuration difficult and sometimes impossible. Also, WINE configuration is not something that average users will be able to tackle (even with the GUI tools), but maybe there would be a possibility of sharing working WINE configurations among the OATS community. I've seen this done with Windows games and it seems to have some merit. The OATS community could work to build a list of configurations that users can try. There are definately problems with the idea (versioning, etc), but I thought I'd throw it out there.
I've tinkered with writing AT software before, but I'm not very experienced in the area. As such, I have a few questions:
Are people trying to run Windows applications on Linux (via WINE) because there are no suitable open source alternatives, or because the Windows versions are more familiar (or both)? Are there other reasons/factors? Is it critical (in your opinions) for Linux to support Windows AT software?
Are there any specific distributions that come set up for AT use right out of the box? If not, would that be something that would be useful? A distro could come with a pre-configured version of WINE that would work with as many common AT apps as possible, and could include all of the Open Source AT apps installed and configured as well. Would that be of interest?
I write for a Linux/Open Source blog http://tillamookrage.blogspot.com/ and I've thought about doing a series of posts on Open Source AT software. If anyone has any requests for AT related posts, please let me know. I can write the article on how to set the software up and the basics of how to use it, but I would need help from the OATS community to test the content and give me feedback. The blog mostly covers Ubuntu derivatives (we use Xubuntu heavily) and Puppy Linux, but we've been known to branch out and use other distributions if the situation calls for it.