Virtualmin unlike some other systems for totally blind Systems Administrators/web developors is extremely accessible.

Howdy everybody:
Firstly, before I say anything specific to the subject of this forum post, I want to take a moment to thank @Eric and all the rest of you folks since I joined the community for the times i’ve needed some assistance with one aspect of Virtualmin or another. Everybody needs help every now and then-and I’m sure that for those of you experienced users-even founders of Virtualmin, I’m sure at one point you’ve all had to help each other with even what seems like rather mundaine issues.

Secondly, for the few posts that have been several screens in length, I want to apologise for that.
I didn’t realise until I looked at the input format with my screen-reading program what was going on, so the times I actually pressed enter made no difference.
Does anyone have some tips on this? Or must I be forced to set my input format to “Filtered HTML” per-posting?
I can do it, but it’s slightly annoying to have to remember to enter the list of links on a webpage with my particular program, press I until I hear “Input Format”, then find the radio button that says “Filtered HTML”.

That being out of the way, however, I wanted to take a moment to applaud Jamie and Joe for working on the Webmin/Virtualmin stack as far as an ease of useage interface, especially where adaptive technology such as screen-readers is concerned.

While a lot of you in this community probably cannot appreciate this deserved applause due to you folks most likely all being fully sighted, I think that this should still be something worth mentioning.

For example, WHMCS and Virtualmin/Drupal probably being the top 3 accessible applications i’ve used (with a few others on the list), most other web interfaces, are a pain in the behind to actually use, since we use the keyboard strictly day in and day out as screen-reader users.

As far as web standards go, it’s important to have properly labled form feelds attached to the intended types of controls, something that these above apps do well.

I’m applauding Jamie and Joe specificly here, because just like the WHMCS team, I don’t think that either of these two realise that blind folks or given the proper screen magnification for those with low vision, can also use the software that they both take a lot of time to write for the rest of us.

It’s nice when you find an application that just so happens amungst other things to be well written, labled forms and all that to boot is even nicer to see, or hear in this case. :slight_smile:

I’ve had to occasionally, using many other web interfaces, go in, and attach custom lables because the developors didn’t even make an effort to do it themselves.

Not so for Jamie, and Joe here.

I was actually thinking at some point of creating audio demonstraitions that detail some aspects of Virtualmin for anyone who’s actually interested in that type of thing.

Once again, a nice job on creating something that works quite nicely indeed for many types of users.
That you folks even have GPL products is commendable as a lot of other companies won’t or just insist on making people buy products in order to use them.
For a lot of us folks who might love using say more installer scripts etc with Virtualmin Pro, it’s not an issue of wishing we could support you folks, but for a majority of blind folks today, even coming up with say $139 unless you’re either self-employed already or maybe employed on a federal level is not tipical, since most of us just happen to not be making an income that justifies that type of cost expense, even if that’s something we wish we could do.
So having a GPL product that can always be upgraded is nice.

Comments from either @Joe or @Jamie or even @eric and the rest of you folks would be much appreciated.
I hope you folks appreciate the ease of use that at least for me Virtualmin GPL at thisp oint has brought to my life in terms of just about everything.

While I can successfully use the command line, I’m not necessarily a command line only freek.

Your system has also been nice in setting up a working mail system.

Trust me. I’ve tried many different times, sometimes even with following manual guides, and have failed time and time again, to get a working out-of-the-box mail system, and spending countless frustrating hours of reinstalling systems only to fail again is nice to bring to an end with your product.

Thanks again, everybody.

Thanks for posting this!

We actually do put in special effort in this regard. We’ve been lucky enough to have feedback from folks with accessibility requirements from very early in the Webmin and Virtualmin development cycle, so we’ve been pretty conscious of these issues all along. We know we’re imperfect, but we always take accessibility feedback very seriously; I consider it a serious bug if any of our products are unusable because of access issues. This can be challenging for something as complicated as a systems-management GUI, and I’m sure we could do better (and we’ll keep trying to improve), since all of the developers are sighted. But, we’re definitely trying, and thinking about it.

I’m also pleased to hear our website is usable, if a little ornery. Since we didn’t have a hand in developing it, and my abilities to modify it are somewhat limited by my limited PHP experience and limited free time to tinker, I wasn’t entirely sure of how plausible it was for folks to get help via our forums and tracker and such. But, I know the Drupal folks also tend to be pretty concerned with accessibility.

As for the input format, markdown is the default, but you can use most of the filtered HTML elements unchanged (so you can wrap something in code tags, for instance, to get an unprocessed block). It’d be really cool if users could set their preferred input format on their account page, but that doesn’t appear to be possible in the stock system. I’ll do a little digging to see if it’s possible via a module or something.

Please don’t hesitate to let us know about any access issues you run into in any of our stuff, including the website. We’ll do the best we can do fix them.

@Joe Great to hear that you enjoy the post, and no problem!
Drupal is pretty accessible, especially if using Drupal seven specificly.
I have had plenty of experience in using Drupal seven, for the most part, but after working on my own site (wich I’ll have back up shortly after finishing maintenance) for at least a year, I’m still realising how much I don’t know whatsoever.
I’ll tel you that compared to me using Plesk (wich I did try to do) on a server recently, it was a nightmair getting stuff to work, the combo boxes for setting bandwidth units never seemed to stay in focus, etc.
Well, Virtualmin has not, and thus Webmin goes without saying, but I haven’t had any such problem.
You don’t believe in using flash-based controls, for a huge start! :slight_smile:
Though Virtualmin does use frames, and thus webmin, it is actually possible and quite easy depending on the screen reader one is using, to navigate directly from one frame to another.
And because you’ve taken time to lable even those, it is no problem for someone like myself to find what I’m looking for.
Though if it wasn’t for the improvements made over the years to both Virtualmin/Webmin and of course, screen reader manufacturers working to be compliant with web standards, well, I can tel you that about 10 or so years ago, this type of stuff wasn’t possible like quick navigation keys to jump to specific web properties if available, like headings, etc.

An example of this would be h for headings, shift h to move back (when not in a form control taht needs attention fromt he user.
Most of our screen reader programs display this to us using a function called forms mode, or similar.

It all depends on what you’re again using, but this stuff is really useful.

I’m working on specialising in Virtualmin, because I’d someday like to leep into freelancing myself as someone who is willing to assist to administration of unix systems through Virtualmin and such where possible.

You folks don’t know how much I love not having to get up and travel somewhere just to work on a system, with the combination of ease of use, and flexibility that Webmin and the Virtualmin stack provide.
It’s really amazing stuff. Or, let me refraze that. At the moment, traveling to a location just to work on a system would be pretty much impossible.

Thanks so much for putting this product together!