This message is long but
the message I am responding to requires a long response
to discuss the issues raised properly. the message
quoted below mine goes into a lot of completely
irrelevant discussion which I will answer because it
deals with my conduct and reputation. I shall also make
as clear as I can that if anyone on this list has any
comments about messages I send during discussion or list
moderation, I encourage such comments. As list owner, I
consider that to be a point that is important to
First, I don't know what
the level of complaints was, but since I did almost no
moderation of the list, they could not have generally
been about my moderation style. the list continued to
run as it had under Joseph and list members kept within
those guidelines and rules and I almost never had to do
anything to get people to follow them. There was not
one communication to me from Niber all the time I
moderated the list, something which I was asked to do, I
didn't ask for, that there were problems. Why was I not
notified? Why was nothing discussed? If there are
legitimate problems, I can't be aware of them without
possible problems being brought to my attention.
Once in a great while,
someone criticizes something I say or the way I say it
on one of the lists I'm on. A little more often, still
rare, someone may make a general complaint. To such
general complaints, I respond to the person that when
they see something specific they object to, they should
let me know. I can't correct a general complaint, such
as you are this or that way. I can consider specific
examples, such as, it would have been better if you had
phrased this better, or the way you stated this may
bother some users, or other specific cases. there are
times when people just disagree about a topic but I'm
not talking about that.
If anyone wants to comment
on what I write to the list or on list moderation, they
are free to write me directly or use the owner's address
in the footers of every message. I almost never receive
any comments but I respond to every one I receive. If I
don't respond, it is because I haven't received it for
I'm very serious about
this. I state my opinions directly but civilly. I
don't want anyone to be hesitant about discussing their
objections to whatever they object to. I may agree,
disagree, or take the comments under consideration but I
will be civil and respectful in my responses.
Regarding the NVDA
situation, because a few list members misunderstood a
message I sent to the list, they complained on list. I
was informed that I was no longer moderator, no
discussion, nothing and the list was simply informed
that I was no longer moderator. I would not have
accepted the position as moderator, which I was asked to
do, had I known I would have been dismissed in such a
way with just a formulaic message to the list that I was
no longer moderator and thanking me. That sort of
message makes it appear that I was being dismissed as a
I haven't discussed this
with Nimer before. Nor did I complain on the NVDA list
or anywhere else. I wasn't moderator for my ego. In
the interests of peace on the list, I let the matter
I'm discussing it here
because Nimer presented his account. It is completely
irrelevant to whether a new list is desirable or whether
the current list is discouraging of new and
inexperienced members to ask questions.
Now, back to what is
relevant. Why I decided to start a new list and why I
believe the current one discourages new and
inexperienced members from asking questions.
I intentionally didn't go
into details about what led me to that conclusion in
previous messages. I didn't think it was necessary.
But I will now because after sseeing the below message,
list members need to know that there is nothing personal
in my decision. I'm not doing it to get back at
anyone. My reasons will make clear that I am doing this
because I believe the current list is not meeting the
needs of new and inexperienced users well and that is
the only reason. The reasons and examples will speak
for themselves, though I will speak as well.
If I thought I could have
influenced how the current list is run, I wouldn't have
started a new one. But there is no prospect of the list
What led me to this
conclusion was the following:
First, Nimer has mentioned
in his message to this list, that he expects people to
look up topics. By which he means in the archives or
with an Internet search engine to find archived entries
or other information about the topic. Anyone who has
spent time on lists like this one, composed largely of
blind members knows that a lot of blind people, for
various reasons such as inadequate or poor training, are
not good Internet users and are not comfortable looking
things up. Yet under the new way of running the NVDA
list, the moderator has repeatedly made it clear that
there is an expectation that people look things up.
That is a serious discouragement for people who are not
good Internet users to ask questions. The list rules
and guidelines also strongly state that this should be
done as a guideline. People aren't disciplined when
they don't do so, but disapproval of not doing so has
been made abundantly clear.
The moderator, when this or
that person has complained, has said that people can
teach anyone who wants to learn how to look up
information and that he would do so or find someone to
do so. He has also said that anyone taking my position
is coddling blind people.
there is a reason that
blind list culture is as it is. Blind people do not
join such lists to learn how to do searches. they join
to get information and discuss problems. Repetition is
expected in blind list culture. the moderator expects
blind people to learn to do these things because they
are expected among sighted people on lists. And I
wonder how many lists do expect it. Lists of reasonable
knowledgeable users may. I haven't been on enough lists
of sighted users to discuss whether most such list
expect this. But I've observed for more than a decade
the problems many people have in using the Internet and
I understand why blind list culture is as it is. Again,
when people join such lists as the NVDA list, they have
no expectation that they will be expected to meet such
standards. They join to learn about NVDA, not to learn
to search archives.
And repetition, also
strenuously objected to by the moderator and Nimer, is
actually useful. It teaches new members of the list and
those who may not follow it particularly carefully,
information they might not know otherwise or they might
know later. It may be really beneficial for them to see
this information when common questions are asked
repeatedly over time. And some people might not even be
aware that what is being asked about exists and can be
One more point. The old
list may have been too permissive in allowing too much
off topic discussion. Most of the excessive traffic
some people complained about could have been eliminated
by making more restrictive what was considered on topic
posts, limiting them much more to NvDA and reasonably
related subjects. Imposing the look it up and no
repetition requirement isn't necessary and if that had
been done, we wouldn't be having this discussion. I
would not have started a new list.
Regarding some off topic
traffic, I believe it keeps a list interesting and
engages people if some off topic discussion is allowed.
Also, you don't use a screen-reader in a vacuum. You
use it to access Windows and Windows programs. It is
natural that questions about how to do this or that in a
program will come up.
Almost all list traffic on
the NVDA list now is among experienced users. That can
objectively be ascertained by anyone who follows the
list for a number of days. That is objective evidence
that the list is discouraging partisipation by new
members. and remember, I started discussing this not on
my own, I started discussing it because someone asked
for a list for beginners and said that the current list
uses too complicated terms and concepts for beginners.
Seeing that caused me to decide to start a new list,
something which I had been considering but not
definitely decided on.
and finally, I consider it
a real disservice that I am not allowed to post an
announcement about the new list on the current list.
That list has over eighteen hundred members. Why
shouldn't they be entitled to know about the new list?
I do not encourage people to leave the old list, which
is clear from what I said in other messages today. The
goal is to serve NVDA users well. If you want to run
the current list as you do, that is your right as list
owner. But members deserve knowledge so they can make
an informed decision about whether they want to join
The point is not to have
lists compete. the point is to allow users information
so they can make informed decisions.
----- Original Message
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2019 10:56 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] NVDA Group
Hello Gene and list,
I am the owner of that other list, the NVDA list
which first existed on freelists and moved to groups.io
. I wanted to take
the time to address this list, to give my viewpoint on
the other list.
1. The NVDA list has over a thousand members, all
from different backgrounds, with different expertise
2. Over the past couple of years, the list has seen
some changes in terms of leadership.
3. The list has also changed from Freelists to groups.io
, as I've already
4. During that time, the list has continued to grow.
5. During Joseph's tenure, I did not receive many
complaints about his moderation style. The few
complaints I did recieive were in regards to the list
membership not wanting the list to turn into a
democracy. Joseph left on his own, and still continues
to be active in the NVDA community, and on the NVDA
6. I sought moderators for the NVDA list, and did not
get many takers. I asked Gene to help, as he has been
known to assist users on the NVDA list for a long time.
Unfortunately, the number of complaints about Gene's
communication style increased dramatically. Users were
speaking of unsubscribing, although there wasn't a great
number of users who did. Many new users were turned off
by the way Gene provided information and engaged in
arguments on the list.
7. Because the list is not a democracy and because of
the problems, I asked Brian V to take the place of Gene
as moderator. He was already known for his moderation
style on the Windows 10 list. At this time, I also
believed that it would be beneficial to attempt to reset
the list culture on the NVDA list. Because I had a
number of complaints, both on and off list, about the
list traffic of such a large list, and indeed, some of
the threads went on for many messages, with users not
bothering to look up information or attempt to, with
many of the same questions being asked sometimes
multiple times a day. So, Brian and I embarked on
resetting the list culture to be more condusive to
learning about NVDA. We also realize that users have
questions outside of the scope of NVDA, so we attempt to
provide resources whenever possible, as well as a chat
sublist where members can discuss any topic whatsoever.
So, today, the purpose of the NVDA list is as it has
always been, except that the topic of NVDA is a bit more
strictly enforced than it has been in the past. We
welcome new users, and urge new users to tell us that
when asking questions. We welcome veteran users. We
welcome questions about NVDA and its features, whether
expert or not. If a topic is not on topic, that topic
will likely be locked. If questions are advanced, a user
will likely receive a message directing them to a more
appropriate place to ask that question.
While I have received some complaints about the
direction of the list, they tend to be from only a
couple of members, with Gene chief among them. I am, and
always have been responsive to the list and its members,
*all* of its members. If I recieve one or two complaints
on an issue, I tend to dismiss those complaints,
especially if those complaints come after a culture
shift, because the new list is an adjustment for
everyone. On the other hand, If I receive many
complaints, I begin to think about what may be the
cause, and what the solution may be.
Having said all of this, any member is welcome to
sign up for any list of their choosing. It is
unfortunate that the NVDA community needs to be divided,
that a few members feel that they cannot ask questions.
If you choose to consider signing up for the NVDA list,
and if you run into problems, you can, of course, email
me, and I am willing to work with you in resolving the
situation. Because the NVDA community on groups.io
already has NVDA
as its topic, I did say that advertising a list similar
in scope is not allowed, and I stick by that. We will
see how things shake out, how many members Gene's list
gets, etc. Hopefully Gene's list becomes a great
resource for many of you. And hopefully you consider
joining, rejoining, or posting your NVDA-related
questions to the existing NVDA list.
On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at
8:18 AM Gene <gsasner@...
The circumstances are
entirely different in this case. I knew there
were other JFW lists and I said that before
starting another one, it would be good to ask
about what is available. I won't go into the
details in this case but the point is that in
recent months, the large NVDA list has, in muuy
and others opinions, become discouraging of new
or inexperienced members to ask questions. if you
look at the responses of others to my statement
that I was considering starting a new list, you
will find until now, unanimous agreement that a
new list is a good idea. You will also find a
message from a former member of the other list
giving reasons similar to mine that he left.
I think it is a good idea for people to be a
member of both lists. The other list may have
more information posted to it about topics like
new training materials and activities of interest
to the community. I don't know if people will
join my list who are active in those areas.
I didn't just criticize someone for starting a new
JAWS list. I said that before doing so, it would
be a good idea to inquire about other lists to
avoid duplication. I didn't say one shouldn't be
started. It depends on if its purpose is
different from already existing lists or if it is
run differently in ways that some people may
Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2019 9:39 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] NVDA Group
Just what we need, another NVDA list. You were
quick to criticize another person for starting a new
JFW users list when one already existed, yet you are
doing the exact same thing, creating a new list
which would be largely redundant and cause
confusion. What makes you think that your NVDA list
would be any better than the one that has been
around for many years?
8/26/2019 8:59 AM, Gene wrote:
To avoid list clutter, I won't respond to
individual messages saying people will join.
I'll thank those now in one message. The list
needs a core of experienced members and I
appreciate all who join.
Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2019 2:38 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] NVDA Group
Count me in too. I'll help all I can. Cheers!
8/26/2019 9:51 AM, Gene wrote:
----- Original Message
Sent: Sunday, August 25, 2019 8:27
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] NVDA Group
me in. I'm not the most expert on NVDA but not a
newbie with things either :)
Also, Brian Gaff (I think that's his name)
probably will be interested on participating as
Sent from a galaxy far, far away.
Are you a Thunderbird user? Then join the Thunderbird
to help and be helped with
all Thunderbird things - questions, features,
add-ons and much more!
I hope that if I set one up, it will
attract enough knowledgeable users to answer
beginners and less experienced users'
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