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README

Orca 0.2.6

Introduction
========================================================================

Orca a scriptable screen reader that is currently under development.
As such it is highly unstable and undergoes frequent changes.  To
read more about Orca, please refer to the Orca documentation series
available in the ./docs/doc-set directory and also the Orca WIKI at
http://live.gnome.org/Orca.


Build Requirements
========================================================================

Orca currently depends upon GNOME 2.14.  Building Orca also requires
the following to be installed:

* Python >= 2.4              - Python platform
* pyorbit >= 2.14.0          - Python bindings for ORBit2
* pygtk >= 2.8.4             - GTK+ Python bindings
* gnome-python >= 2.6.2      - Python bindings for various GNOME libraries
* libspi-1.0 >= 1.7.6        - Python bindings for AT-SPI
* gnome-speech-1.0 >= 0.3.10 - Python bindings for gnome-speech
* gnome-mag-1.0 >= 0.12.5    - Python bindings for gnome-mag (optional) 
* BrlTTY >= 3.7.2            - BrlTTY support for braille (optional)
* BrlAPI >= 0.4.1            - BrlAPI support for braille (optional)

Overview
========================================================================

One of the biggest challenges in screen reading technology is
providing a consistent user experience across multiple applications
which may use objects in different ways, and to allow quick access to
information which may not be easily accessible through an
application's keyboard navigation commands.  Orca explores how to
solve some of these difficulties.  Some common scenarios which Orca's
script-based architecture would be suited to solve:

* An application which displays text of interest to the user in a
  non-focusable object

* Create hot keys to be used in certain applications to collect and
  read various pieces of information

* Cause the Braille display to show status information retrieved from
  status bars or other objects in the application

Orca is written in primarily in Python.  Orca defines a set of default
behaviors (reactions to application events) and key bindings (reaction
to user key presses).  These default behaviors and key bindings can be
overwritten on a per-application basis.  Orca creates a script object
for each running application, which merges both the default behaviors
and key bindings with the application-specific ones.  Orca provides
the infrastructure to activate and deactivate scripts as well as a
host of services accessible from within the scripts.  Some of these
services include:

* A speech module which provides named voices definable by the user

* A braille module which uses BrlTTY to provide high-level
  braille services to scripts - these services include braille
  keyboard callback support, software-based virtual regions for the
  braille display, and scrolling management

* Convenience functions for finding the labels of objects, getting all the
  objects within a given object, etc.


Initial Setup
========================================================================

The first time you run orca using the "orca" command, it will
automatically launch the setup utility.  The setup utility creates a
.orca directory in your home directory.  This directory stores your
user settings as well as any scripts you want use that are not part of
the default Orca installation.  If you wish to rerun the setup
utility, you ccan run orca with the "--setup" or "--text-setup"
options, and you can also press "Insert+Space" when Orca is running to
bring up the GUI setup utility.

You can also bypass the setup utility by running orca with the
"--no-setup" option.  This is useful for running from environments
such as the login screen.
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