First, please notice how badly your reply
is formatted. Is there any chance of getting you to join the Nineties at least?
our newer readers, Dan is our resident Luddite. I love him like a brother, but
some of the software titles he uses predate the PC! Gack!)
Second, no, I am not going to make Xpress
It another Swiss Army knife. In my opinion, too many other PC-based AAC have
fallen into that bottomless pit. Xpress It excels at communicating verbally with
anyone who understands English in no small part because that’s all it
tries to do. The feature I’m looking at adding is one I could have used. That’s
the deciding factor, you might say. Xpress It has never been intended as a “universal”
solution. Rather, it is meant as part of a broader Windows-based solution set.
(Windows already offers “low vision” tools I couldn’t beat.)
The “FilterKeys” issue is simply one I haven’t seen anyone
else handle to my satisfaction! 😛
Third, when I say “MDA,” I mean
From: DSloan [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2005
To: Scott Royall
Subject: Re: "new"
>> I currently must use Regedit to get the fine-tuning I
need, and that’s not a safe solution for average users. It seems to me
that adding a simple dialog box to allow precision setting of the three
fundamental “FilterKeys” variables, DelayBeforeAccept, RepeatDelay,
and RepeatRate, shouldn’t conflict with Xpress It’s KISS
= I agree wholeheartedly that you should do stuff like this, painful as
it is when you’re 98/02 "there" with the product. My advice is
to watch what other kinds of tweaks you have to make for your first customers
and either document them well or add a dialog box to do the heavy lifting of
In time, you may choose to table drive some of this stuff so the
values are stored on your variables and can be loaded into windows if the
Registry Key names shift or the access method to Registry changes (I know – fat
I know it’s not fun to do the what-ifs, but what-if your
customer has a vision impairment as well as speech? Can you do something
to make the letters and displays bigger if needed .. Just’a thought.
Congrats on making it on to a meeting agenda at MDA.
While I have
everyone’s attention, the current version of Xpress It, 1.2, is once more
available from the website. The URL is http://www.conchbbs.com/xpress_it.shtml.
The included Help is admittedly lagging a little behind. It doesn’t
cover the simple database tools accessible by right-clicking on the right-hand
pane. Fortunately, the tools are the basic Add, Edit, and Delete functions
common to all databases, and the latter two apply to the word or phrase
currently highlighted in that pane.
Also, I will
soon be adding a function to the Options Menu based on input received during
the meeting at MDA. As previously noted, Brad commented that at least EZ-Keys
made it easy to access the Accessibility Options that are built into Windows.
That’s actually not a bad idea as long as you gloss over the fact that
EZ-Keys immediately loaded Accessibility Options with default values that
rendered the keyboard totally unresponsive to me! (Yeah, “oops”
indeed! I was just lucky I still had enough mouse control and know-how to tell
Windows to drop several WMDs on EZ-Keys! J) EZ-Keys’ rudeness aside, neither
it nor the Accessibility Options applet in Control Panel do a good job of
letting the user fine-tune the Options to more precisely meet his needs. For
example, the Control Panel applet will only allow 300 ms adjustments in the
“FilterKeys” setting, “DelayBeforeAccept,” and anything
above about 160 ms feels like am epoch to me. I currently must use Regedit to
get the fine-tuning I need, and that’s not a safe solution for average
users. It seems to me that adding a simple dialog box to allow precision
setting of the three fundamental “FilterKeys” variables,
DelayBeforeAccept, RepeatDelay, and RepeatRate, shouldn’t conflict with
Xpress It’s KISS philosophy.
DJSloan .. Houston, Texas