New blog post: Writing Richly: why Markdown system wide can improve writing and reading. Boosts appreciated, as I would love it if many people read this.

@devinprater how does markdown work from a reading / listening perspective for blind people?


"For developers, what would it take to add Markdown support to an operating system, or even your writing app?"

I'm writing a chat app, and my main question here is whether to show the markdown as stars and hashes and such or not. Like, would it break screen readers to show *actual italics*? Or maybe there could be a setting to not render it and show the plaintext? What do you think would work best?

@restioson It would not break screen readers, but screen readers would not show the italics either. So maybe show the italics, but have a Markdown mode as well?

@devinprater ah ok. I'll keep that in mind when we add Markdown rendering. I also need to figure out how I'm going to do accessibility full stop lol, because we might switch GUI frameworks, so it will be different

@restioson I'm always glad to test for accessibility and such if you need it.

@devinprater thanks so much!

also: do you know if there's any "built-in"/"default" accessibility in programs just by virtue of having told the system that you have a button there, text there, etc? Or does it all need to be done from scratch?

@restioson In most frameworks, if you add a button with a text label, or sometimes an accessibility label, it should just work. You may need to consult the docs for your framework though.

@devinprater i looked into it for our app which uses GTK:

"GNOME's built-in accessibility support means that applications created using stock GNOME widgets get support for assistive technologies "for free", provided the widgets are not used in unusual ways which conflict with this built-in support."

could i send you a .flatpak bundle for an app sometime in the future to see how far you can get with it, given that it should have "free" accessibility? need to update the server first though

@restioson If it works on ARM, then yes, I'd be glad to try it. :)

@devinprater is this the ARM Arch linux? it's compiled for x86 but i could try get it working for ARM - it's not something I anticipated being needed but I'm sure I could get it working...

Would a windows build be better? I can definitely get a .msi installer for windows. sorry, i just kinda assume that everyone uses linux 😝

@restioson Yeah, its ARM Arch Linux. I'll have to see if GTK is accessible on Windows like it is on Linux.

@restioson I have MacOS, Windows 10, and Arm Arch Linux on a Raspberry Pi 4. And iOS if you plan to dev for that.

@devinprater nah it's just a desktop app for now. we have a template set up for mobile dev but havent done anything on it yet.

@restioson @devinprater Also note that Orca and NVDA are free screen readers that are really easy to install and use and are amazing for testing things.

@devinprater Okay, I compiled the flatpak for arm after some time trying. could you try this when you have a chance?

flatpak install --user vertex.flatpak
flatpak run cf.vertex.gtk

@devinprater oh also I forgot to say, if you manage to, navigate to register, and in the instance IP field put in

@restioson Hey, I just got set up with Vertex, but, how do I find communities?

@devinprater go to add community -> join community -> type the following in the invite code: vg8_V8bf8E4

@devinprater in the latest dev branch there's also a feature where you can go to a link in a browser and then it connects to Vertex and joins that way. would that be more accessible?

@devinprater nah you click the link, it opens in browser, then it redirects to the vertex system URI which then gets opened in the vertex app and joins you to the community

@restioson Okay, it's really accessible up until the message list and edit field for entering a message. The list should be navigated with the arrow keys, not Tab. And why is the message edit field read only?

@devinprater there is a nested list in the message list, so which do you mean? There are groups of messages (by time and author) so do you mean the group list or messages in the group?

Also it's not editable for you? 🤔 This is once you've selected a room, right?

@restioson Ah crap! Flatpack isn't available for ARM7 on Arch. Wow, that's pretty awful. Any other options?

@devinprater oof okay. No prob, we just use flatpak to help install, let it find its resources and (ironically, it seems) for cross-distro compatibility. I can upload a .tar.xz or .zip with the resources included later.

If flatpak doesn't work for ARM, then it looks like I'll need to find another format for some targets then lol.

@devinprater that's strange though, I did check to see if it was supported on ARMv7 specifically. There's a GNOME blog claiming it should... what issues have you encountered with it?

@restioson Okay, so it is in the "alarm" repo... but neither yay nor Pacman are finding it. I'll look around.

@devinprater hmm... i also found this I also just realised that the runtime is quite big (~500mb), which is a big cost to pay if you arent already using flatpak for other things (the principle is to have lots of common libraries in it so each app doesnt have to repackage the .sos for lighter individual binaries). So maybe a .tar.xz would be better anyway?

@restioson Great news! I was misspelling it. Lol, blind problem. :) "flatpack" is different from "Flatpak." So, should I download that source link you gave in that other post for your package, or do that Flatpak command?

@devinprater if the runtime size is okay then download the link i sent, then run the two commands

flatpak install --user vertex.flatpak
flatpak run cf.vertex.gtk

this will install it from the bundle and then run it.

otherwise, here it is in tar.xz format:

Extract, cd in, and do ./vertex_client_gtk

@devinprater oops i didnt see the part where it said that files only stay 12 hours. let me upload as a github release.

@restioson Okay, tried flatpack installing it, but got this:

[devin@stormux ~] $ flatpak install --user vertex.flatpak
error: The application cf.vertex.gtk/arm/master requires the runtime org.freedes
ktop.Platform/arm/19.08 which was not found
1 [devin@stormux ~] $

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