python and applications

Tim Peters at
Sat Jul 14 19:56:01 EDT 2001

[Alex Martelli]
> I have modest visual impairment (slowly worsening with age) and I
> agree.  But when and if it gets to blindness, I don't know if Python's
> reliance on whitespace/indentation will be a problem -- normal screen
> readers won't help much, I guess it would require a special one that
> understands the significance of indent and dedent.  Perhaps not too
> big a project, but I'm not aware of any such special readers, which
> would seem to indicate a dearth of blind (as opposed to visually
> impaired) Python programmers -- even pretty serious visual problems
> still leave one able to see the block structure/indentation quite well
> (perhaps with some magnification of course, but less than would be
> needed for, say, braces!) -- but total blindness is another issue.

Three years ago to the day, a blind Python user described an Emacs
python-mode extension he wrote to deal with this issue:

The primary trick appeared to be the code already in pymode that uses the
status line to indicate which block is being closed by a dedent:

    Thus, as I close each block, I hear the block that I am
    closing with utterances of the form
    "closes block while: i<n"
    "closes block def foo: "

I don't know how that could help when just *reading* code, although pymode
has lots of Python-savvy navigation commands ("go to nearest-enclosing def",
etc) that could be hooked to a speech driver.

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