Thread Subject: Re: "closed software"
This archival content is maintained by WebAIM and NCDAE on behalf of TEITAC and the U.S. Access Board . Additional details on the updates to section 508 and section 255 can be found at the Access Board web site.
From: Gregg Vanderheiden
Date: Tue, Dec 19 2006 11:20 AM
- Return to this mailing list's archives
- View all messages in this thread
- Next message in thread: Peter Korn: "Re: "closed software""
- Previous message in thread: Gregg Vanderheiden: "Re: "closed software""
- Messages sorted by: Author | Thread | Date
Some possible examples of closed software.
Maybe some things like: (numbered only to facilitate discussion)
1 - Software that for security reasons does not allow anything to access
what it has on screen and which reads keyboard registers directly to avoid
tampering or 'remote' typing.
2 - Software designed to run on a product without and operating system.
3 - Software that has no API for AT - but instead has built in accessibility
since there is no AT vendor who will work with and support the unique
capability of the software because the market is too small for AT vendors.
4 - Something like Randy pointed to (see just below). The hardware is not
closed since new software can be loaded. But the platform/software is
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Based on my quick perusal, Rock Box is an open source "Jukebox" project that
completely replaces the firmware of many MP3 players, including the iPod.
It can speak menu items, but only if they have been pre-recorded and stored
as MP3 sound files. (In other words, there isn't a TTS engine in Rock Box
itself). If you made up a name of a song, Rock Box would only be able to
read the song's title letter-by-letter. The entire software user interface
of the iPod is replaced by Rock Box. (No wonder Apple didn't mention it...).
It brings up an interesting point - we usually think of assistive technology
software as something that co-operates with the operating system to provide
accessibility. Here is an example where something completely replaces the
operating system, perhaps making the hardware more accessible. But does
that mean Apple can claim the iPod is accessible? Certainly the
Apple-produced software on an iPod still is not. The system is "open"
because someone took a can opener and pried it open... (so to speak). In my
mind, the package as a whole (OEM hardware and software) is still
By the way, in Apple's defense, they have been very open to the idea of
external add-on components that would help make the iPod more accessible.
So, back to 508. Perhaps our definition should include something like this:
A device is considered "Self-Contained" if the original manufacturer has not
provided a way for third-party software and hardware to be added to the
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Jim Tobias
> Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 6:56 AM
> To: 'TEITAC self contained/closed products subcommittee';
> 'TEITAC Web/Software Subcommittee'
> Subject: [teitac-closed] "closed software"
> In the discussion of closed products, we seem to be
> converging on the opinion that "closed" is a characteristic,
> not a category. In this context, software has been mentioned
> as potentially closed. Can someone please give me an
> example, or a further explanation, of what closed software might be?
> Jim Tobias
> Inclusive Technologies
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> +1.732.441.0831 v/tty
> skype jimtobias