Re: NVDA Group


Jaffar Sidek
 

I couldn't agree more Anne.  I was keen to install linux and leave windows years ago, but there seems to be this ongoing trend that techies often consider questions by newbees a waste of time and refuse to answer questions simply but in a techy way that puts the newbee off.  It seems to me that people with technical knowledge seem to have this know-it-all attitude and then spurn those who can't have the same knowledge base.  Cheers!

On 8/27/2019 8:18 AM, Ann Parsons wrote:
Hi all,

Nimer, you've just pushed my buttons.  Perhaps this is a cultural thing, I don't know, but I'd like to spend a little time talking about how people learn.  This is important if you are going to help an individual gain the knowledge he needs.  at sometimes folks on lists for technology, either for sighted or blind, tend to be populated with techies.  Techies are great folks, really they are, but many of them do not have training in detecting how students learn.  Since each individual learns in a different way, the ability to detect a learning style is one of the more important of a teacher's skills.

Some students actually do research the question for which they need an answer.  These students come to a list and say, I've been researching X and I need to ask some questions about it.  Yes, it would be excellent if all students would behave in this way.  Then learning could be a shared experience which would teach the student how to fish.

Some students cannot, not will not, but cannot, research anything.  They don't have the skills.  They simply don't have the skills and what's more, they don't know how to obtain the skills.   Research is difficult for them.  Some refuse to ask questions because they do not want to be told to RTFM.   One gets nothing out of a manual if one doesn't understand what one is reading.

I was forced to learn how to read Man Pages when I was on a Linux list. I hated it, but I learned.  Now, I could learn and I did, but some students just can't.  They simply can't.  It's not a bad thing, it's a difference in learning style.

I'll tell you a secret I learned a long time ago.  You can't change people.  Only the individual can change himself.   He has to want to change.

So, the best way I've found for handling questions on a list is to answer the initial question with a simple answer, often listing steps to be taken etc.  Then, at the bottom I will sometimes include a web reference or a link to a manual.   This way,, you help the student, and you also encourage self paced learning.  The list member gets the information, and is encouraged to read more. I find that this method works best.   The RTFM method may work, but it may also cause a list member to become angry because he or she feels that the person writing is brushing him off.  He may become frustrated because if he does go read the fine manual, he may not understand it at all.  Such a student won't ask for clarification because he figures that the list members will just brush him off again.   *That's* not a good way to make friends and influence people.  <smiling>

I know this is long, and I'm sorry for that, but I'd hate to see people go away from your list because they felt they were being brushed off.  NVDA is an excellent screen reader.  Moreover, it is freeware.  Only a donation is suggested.  This means that anyone can use it.  Giving folks access to a screen reader is an amazing experience.  It's a key to a door that leads to wondrous things. Don't withhold that key.

Ann P.



Original message:
First, my understanding is that a moderator, when not acting as a moderator, is treated as any other member. If I'm wrong, list members who know more about such expectations may correct me. If you are correct, I wouldn't have accepted the moderator position in the first place because I think I serve people much better by being able to say what I want, within the bounds of civility and the list rules. And again, during the time I was moderator, not one message discussing this from you. So how could I even know there was a problem?
As far as the look things up expectation is concerned, it is not a part of blind list culture. I've been on Blindtech since the late Nineties. Jonathan Mosen, the founder, had no such expectation. Oh well, I guess he was one of those blind people coddlers.
None of the four or five owners since have had that expectation. No moderator has had it. Blind-l doesn't have it and never did. This list never did. The Blindteky list doesn't have it.
I have a very different philosophy of how such a list should be run than you do. You may run yours however you want. But you are not serving your members by depriving them of information. Don't they have the right to decide if they want to belong to both, or just one, whether mine or yours? People should have the right, and that means have the information to make such decisions. How do you justify not allowing them to have it in the place where they would generally expect to be informed about it? Many may never know, or not for quite sometime about the new list because they won't be on other lists or venues where such information is disseminated. Please explain how depriving people of information benefits them.
Gene
----- Original Message -----
From: Nimer Jaber <mailto:nimerjaber1@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2019 2:40 PM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io <mailto:main@techtalk.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] NVDA Group
Hello,
Your message was very long, and I am not going to address all your points here except to say that when an individual becomes moderator of a list, all messages that individual sends, whether while wearing a moderator hat or not, reflect on the leadership of the list. I would also say that there have been a variety of questions on a variety of topics which have been asked and discussed recently, but again, list members can decide for themselves what is and is not discussed on list. As for list conduct, looking things up and doing a bit of research is encouraged. This is true on most forums out there. Lists exist to help people, but telling people the answer is not always the same as helping people. The expectation is that people try to look things up, and provided steps for what they have tried and haven't tried. Lists are not one's personal Google, and they exist to help people, to teach and instruct people. The NVDA list is not a beginners to Internet usage list. Never has been. If there was such a list, and an NVDA user asked a question on how to use the Internet, then by all means, let's post a message to that individual letting them know of the resource that teaches them how to use the Internet. But when the topic of a new list is NVDA, and the existing list discusses NVDA, I don't find that posting a message to the existing list about the new list which discusses similar topics to be appropriate.
Anyway, this is my last message on this topic. Should anyone have questions about the NVDA list, what is or is not allowed, or suggestions for the NVDA group, or if you feel that you have been wronged, please reach out to nvda+owner@nvda.groups.io <mailto:nvda%2Bowner@nvda.groups.io> or send me an email at my personal address, nimerjaber1@gmail.com <mailto:nimerjaber1@gmail.com>
Thanks.
On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 11:39 AM Gene <gsasner@gmail.com <mailto:gsasner@gmail.com>> wrote:

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 emphasize.
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 some reason.
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 disciplinary action.
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 drop.
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 changing.
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 done.
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 another list.
The point is not to have lists compete. the point is to allow users information so they can make informed decisions.
Gene
----- Original Message -----
From: Nimer Jaber <mailto:nimerjaber1@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2019 10:56 AM
To: main@techtalk.groups.io <mailto:main@techtalk.groups.io>
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 <http://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 levels, etc.
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 <http://groups.io>, as I've already mentioned.
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 list.
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 <http://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.
Thanks.
On Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 8:18 AM Gene <gsasner@gmail.com <mailto:gsasner@gmail.com>> wrote:

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.
Also, 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.
Also, 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 strongly prefer.
Gene
----- Original Message -----
From: Gerald Levy via Groups.Io <mailto:bwaylimited=verizon.net@groups.io>
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2019 9:39 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io <mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io>
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?


Gerald


On 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.
Gene
----- Original Message -----
From: Jaffar Sidek <mailto:jaffar.sidek10@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2019 2:38 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io <mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] NVDA Group

Count me in too. I'll help all I can. Cheers!
On 8/26/2019 9:51 AM, Gene wrote:

Thank you.
Gene
----- Original Message -----
From: Marcio via Groups.Io <mailto:marcinhorj21=yahoo.com.br@groups.io>
Sent: Sunday, August 25, 2019 8:27 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io <mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] NVDA Group
Gene,
Count 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 well.
Cheers,
Marcio <https://tinyurl.com/TlkTM> AKA Starboy

Sent from a galaxy far, far away. --
Are you a Thunderbird user? Then join the Thunderbird mailing list <https://groups.io/g/thunderbird/> to help and be helped with all Thunderbird things - questions, features, add-ons and much more!

Gene wrote:

I hope that if I set one up, it will attract enough knowledgeable users to answer beginners and less experienced users' questions well.
Gene


--
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Nimer Jaber
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--
Best,
Nimer Jaber
The message above is intended for the recipient to whom it was
addressed. If you believe that you are not the intended recipient,
please notify me via reply email and destroy all copies of this
correspondence. Action taken as a result of this email or its contents
by anyone other than the intended recipient(s) may result in civil or
criminal charges. I have checked this email and all corresponding
attachments for security threats. However, security of your machine is
up to you. Thanks.
Registered Linux User 529141.
http://counter.li.org/ <http://counter.li.org/>
To find out about a free and versatile screen reader for windows XP
and above, please click here:
http://www.nvda-project.org <http://www.nvda-project.org>
You can follow @nimerjaber on Twitter for the latest technology news.
To contact me, you can reply to this email or you may call me at (970) (393-4481) and I will do my best to respond to you promptly. Thank
you, and have a great day!

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