We started some private discussion about what the user interface of the software portion should look like, how it should function, where the software should be stored (on a server or locally) and other logistical things. One of the objectives is to make the software as portable as possible across as many platforms as possible. This goal would probably be most easily achieved through a server-side software configuration that can be accessed via a web browser. This would also make our challenges with accessibility a bit easier as well, since any modern screen reader will be able to handle a web interface right out of the box. After all, the web is the future, right? Of course, this does have some security issues we have to keep in mind. For example, who will have access to this service, especially when it’s in its initial stages, and how can we control user access? The first idea that comes to my mind is that we could put this service behind a firewall of some kind, and allow only certain people access through the firewall. On the other hand, let’s say we go with the approach of storing the software locally. We may have some accessibility issues to address. Most screen readers communicate directly with operating system controls to provide the feedback that they do. I reported a while back on this blog about my findings with virtual box, something I didn’t have much success with on a count of it using QT. QT is useful because it makes it easy to make software more portable, but many screen readers will have trouble with it without some kind of modification, as they do not use standard operating system controls. These are some of the design issues we are considering, and obviously there are tradeoffs either way.
the Software InterfaceFebruary 23rd, 2010 by Cory Leave a reply »