Question about VNC keyboard commands...
keithint38 "at" commspeed.net
Fri Sep 24 01:11:01 2004
Dear all on the VNC list.. I remember earlyer righting about screen readers
and the VNC viewer. After confirming with a visionally impaired computer user,
that the viewer either Java or not, is really inaccessible. He said that yes,
typing keyboard events into the viewer will work, but he explained that you
cannot actually read what you are doing. So, he explained to me that he uses a
process known as "keystroke memorization."
He told me that a Blind computer user can access VNC. However, he told me that
in order to do that, I would need to learn how the "VNC Protocol" actually
works, how it is used. Yes, I have seen a visual description of how it
interacts with the viewer's framebuffer or RFB on the VNC site. I know that it
uses pikcels to display that information to the user, however my friend who is
parshally blind explained that the viewer passes keystrokes through. Is that
true? He did tell me it might be possible for me to try interacting with the
VNC viewer. However, he reminded me that I won't be able to read what I'm
doing, because he said that to the screen reader, it will be mostly just this
title bar on the screen. And though screen readers do use picksels for a lot
of it's operations, most applications have been worked on, so that major
screen readers can have application script files ritten for the screen readers
use, that tells it exactly how to act, how to behave. However, you would need
to know if the window you were sitting in was an edit box, etc, because
without that kind of knologe you wouldn't be able to tell the screen reader in
question what the window type was, that this is an edit feeld etc. However, my
friend said that keystrokes will be passed through by the viewer. Does anyone
know exactly how you would control the computer remotely from the keyboard
from wright inside the viewer window itself? My friend said I'll have no
choice but to send my keyboard input directly into that window, but since I'm
not sure how one would like for example pop up the start menu, down arrow to
programs, open that menu, etc on the remote machine, from the keyboard, I have
no idea how I'd make that computer alt-tab into a program window, etc.
For you're information, I will demonstrate the following example in whitch my
completely blind friend who has "learned" the entire VNC protocol, not just
it's visual description, actually knows how to use it, was able to completely
use VNC using a client that he probably rote. He explained that he was
controling my computer without help, and that he had no one sited helping
He said taht if I cannot "learn the vnc protocol" beyond the visual
description of it, that I will never be able to make a client, etc.
Here is the following that he was able to do. He did warn me that since he
"knows" the VNC protocol and has a full complete knologe of how it operates,
that he could have done a lot more to my machine if he had wanted to.
He said he wanted to show me something through VNC. So when I gave him my
password, he logged onto the VNC server.
Then, he started making my computer type text into an IRC client window,
without me touching the keyboard, and forcing my system to remotely press
enter, just as if I had pressed enter manually to send the message.
Then, he did a remote alt+F4, pressed enter, so thatI'd be able to exit the
I thought that once he had done that, that he couldn't continue controling the
No.I was wrong.
Next thing I know, he uses the keyboard to pop up the start menu, open the
programs folder, navigate toa drop down menu press enter on it, and open up
another program window. Then he closes it, exicutes start, shutdown, and then
shut off the computer remotely, and low and behold my computer actually shut
down. He told me that he did it all through the use of the keyboard, through a
process of "keystroke memorization"
He said I'll need to have someone tell me how to perform the same windows
keystrokes that I am used to, to a remote computer even though I won't be able
to see what I am doing. He was more sure of his key presses, regardliss that
you cannot use the viewer. So I'm saying that it's at least possible, even if
some of you might think "Blind people can't use VNC."
If anyone could email me privately explaining how I'd do windows keyboard
tasks to a remote VNC server like a remote press of the windows key or
That would be very heapful.
If someone wouldn't mind explaining how to input those things, that would be a
I wonder if it is possible to experiment on the local machine that the server
is ran on before trying to use the keyboard and send tons of remote enters,
alt-tabs, control-c's, etc to a remote computer system? I don't want to
damnage a computer on accident, wouldn't do that if I could help it.
But if someone doesn't explain how to input events like that through the
keyboard, then I'll probably mess up and screw up something remotely without
realizing that I have just because I'm pressing random keys trying to figure
out how to input keyboard events.
I know how to use the keyboard perfectly well, you understand; it's the making
a remote machine perform the same keystrokes that I could easyly press locally
from my machine. I do not understand how that process is performed, and would
like it very much if someone would not kindly mind explaing this process
privately to me through an email message.
Thank you all at VNC for you're time.
p.s James Weatherall, I'm not sure if you rote VNC, but I believe that a
blind/visionally impared compter user can still send keyboard events to a
remote computer juast as well as it could be done on there own computers, I
would say it's just that you need to be good at using the keyboard, before you
go screwing something up. And I'm quite experienced with how to operate
keyboards with a windows key, and ones without.
Just wanted to make sure that's understood. It is the understanding of how one
would send all of these things remotely to someone elses machine. As an
example, "Doing a windows+E to open windows explorer on a remote machine.."
That's what I don't understand, it's not that I can't use the keyboard. Thank
you. I look forward to any help with this keyboard commands problem.