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  • EZFree - Easier Windows 10

    This is for discussion of the freeware app I placed in the Source Code library - EZFree, an app to make using Windows 10 easier for low vision users.

  • #2
    And before anyone catches it, yes I did not put "gb" in front of the app name. What was I thinking?

    ... added ...

    The code/EXE/images zip link in the Source Code forum does not work for me. But if I type in the zip link manually (http://www.garybeene.com/files/ezfree.zip) into a browser, it downloads just fine.

    What's up with that?

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Gary.

      I am certain that you will not mind as I have posted details of 'EZFree - Easier Windows 10' on the FreeBASIC forum. I don't need it but have downloaded it to play around with.

      70+ Seniors? I bet you have a few laughs with that lot. Just opposite me is a hospice and, needless to say, the residents don't stay that long. A few years back, during a hot summer afternoon, I was playing Tchaikovsky's violin concerto on my HiFi with my windows open. During the second movement an old lady from the hospice shouted up to my first floor flat: "Excuse me but could you turn the sound up?". I duly complied.

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      • #4
        Ten minutes after posting at FreeBASIC I got this response:
        Originally posted by jj2007 @ FreeBASIC
        From Gary's website: "When I install EZFree for my users I change the NotePad default font size to at least 48pt, to make editing easier for my users"... so his fans definitely need this tool. A wonderful initiative, compliments to Gary!

        Comment


        • #5
          Howdy, David!

          Totally ok with it and thanks for posting the feedback.

          I tried to register there to respond to another comment I saw there ...

          blatant misappropriation of 'his' trademark prefix
          The "EZ" prefix is attached to literally thousands of products on the web - software and hardware - and is not something Chris has a trademark on. He's not the first to use it and certainly not the last.

          Chris' site does say that "EZGUI" is trademarked, but I can easily find other products on the web which are also called "EZGUI". I don't know whether Chris has a State or Federal trademark. I did go to the USPTO TESS site and did a trademark search on "EZGUI" but got no results. So I cannot tell you much about the extent of Chris' trademark. Maybe Chris' can provide some clarification. Definitely not something I'm an expert on!

          I can also say that "EZFree" is visible all over the web, as a variety of products, although nowhere that I can see as a registered trademark. Should someone demonstrate a trademark on it, I'll certainly be happy to make mine "gbEZFree"!

          Comment


          • #6
            blatant misappropriation of 'his' trademark prefix
            Most programming websites have their 'Moaning Minnies'. I have noticed one or two here.

            I have written some User Tools for Paul Squires' FreeBASIC IDE and Designer.

            If we change one of the tools from SetCompilerSwitchesII.exe to SetCompilerSwitchesIIL.exe we get the right-hand display.

            OK not much of an increase, but it may help those whose eyesight is not quite what it was.

            Click image for larger version  Name:	SplusL.jpg Views:	1 Size:	58.8 KB ID:	804928
            We can set compiler switches from within the IDE but not as fast as clicking a radio button. The switches are read from an ini file so that users can design their own.

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            • #7
              Gary Beene -- Trademark Wars can definitely be ridiculous. There was once a minor league baseball club in Columbus GA called the Columbus Red Stixx. In the early 1990s, oil giant Exxon sued to force the Red Stixx to change their logo so that the X's in Stixx didn't cross together as they do in Exxon. Personally, I didn't see anything wrong with the Red Stixx logo, and Exxon could have played nice and compromised with the club -- they didn't! Do an image search of both logos and see if you agree or not.

              Will check out your EZFree links when I get home. Here at work, our internet flags folks on certain things. Nothing against you or anyone else, I just want to keep in good standing here.

              Stay Safe And Well.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Frank Ferrell View Post
                Trademark Wars can definitely be ridiculous.
                Do you have a licence to use the words "Power Basic" as your avatar image?

                Comment


                • #9
                  The EZFree EXE is fairly small at 425K but driven mostly by the resource icons. If I switch over to using a Graphic control instead of the ImgButtons, I can then draw the icons I want and eliminate most of the resource icons. On a quick test, I should be able to get the 425K EXE down to perhaps 90K or so. The smaller size will mean faster loading and faster online updating - but perhaps not enough to be worth the rewrite.

                  Low vision folks tend to like black and white colors because those have the highest contrast ratio. But some users like other color pairs, such as yellow text and blue background. If I switch to a Graphic control I'll also gain the ability to set FG/BG colors on the fly. So it might be worth the effort. I've already started playing with it ...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gary
                    the ability to set FG/BG colors on the fly.
                    Hmmm, not sure about that one.

                    You may like to consider the ability to set the background colour/foreground colour via a Color Dialog Box and have your app determine the appropriate complimentary colour. Of course black would give white and vice versa. If anyone gets themselves into a bit of a state you could have a default FG/BG to get them out of trouble.

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                    • #11
                      David, Gary's right about being able to adjust the colours on the fly with a GRAPHIC CONTROL. I rarely use any other controls on apps any more because I find GRAPHIC CONTROLS much more programmer friendly. Of course, others may get different mileage depending the intended use.
                      Rod
                      I want not 'not', not Knot, not Knott, not Nott, not knot, not naught, not nought, but aught.

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                      • #12
                        Hi Rod. I think you may have misunderstood me. What I am suggesting is to select a foreground colour, say, on the fly, then have the app determine the appropriate complimentary coloured background followed by 'Graphic Color foreground, background' or vice versa.

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                        • #13
                          Howdy, David, Rod!

                          For ease-of-use, I will provide perhaps 4 FB/BG color pairs that I know to be well received by low vision users - then let EZFree toggle between the 4 pairs.

                          I could let them edit one of the color pairs, but that will complicate the app more than I might like.

                          David, I like your suggestion. I could rearrange the equation for contrast ratio so that once a user picks one color, then I could recommend the other color in the pair to give the best contrast ratio. I'll have to give that a try!

                          In another app of mine, I present two palettes of colors - left is FG and right is BG - from which the user selects the FG/BG colors. Text using the chosen FG/BG is displayed real time in a simple label control so that the user can judge how easily they can see the color combination. Rather than provide the Color Dialog Box, which is too visually complex for low vision users, I display a finite number of color squares so that the user can easily easily repeat their choices.



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                          • #14
                            Gotcha, David. You are right about complimentary colours as opposed to inverse. Light blues and light grays make the best background colours, IMO.
                            Rod
                            I want not 'not', not Knot, not Knott, not Nott, not knot, not naught, not nought, but aught.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gary
                              Rather than provide the Color Dialog Box, which is too visually complex for low vision users
                              Good point, Gary. The secret here is to keep our "avoid visually complex for low vision users" hat on.

                              Comment


                              • #16

                                For ease-of-use, I will provide perhaps 4 FB/BG color pairs that I know to be well received by low vision users - then let EZFree toggle between the 4 pairs

                                I could let them edit one of the color pairs, but that will complicate the app more than I might like.

                                .
                                If the user gets to pick, why not give them the full range served up by the "ChooseColor" API? The canned screen in that API is not what you'd need for that but maybe you could replace the "bars" or blocks (depends on version with a "sample of color scheme selected with text on background."

                                Somethinn like that, anyway.

                                BTW, Mr. Roberts.. .
                                70+ Seniors?
                                Watch your tongue, boy. There are more of us than you think!

                                Michael Mattias
                                Tal Systems (retired)
                                Port Washington WI USA
                                [email protected]
                                http://www.talsystems.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  BTW, Mr. Roberts.. .
                                  70+ Seniors?
                                  Watch your tongue, boy. There are more of us than you think!
                                  Originally posted by Mr Mattias
                                  Here in the states amongh native English speakers we use a phonetic spelling for "assume" to make this point.... "assumptions make an ASS of both U and ME."
                                  I was 73 last December and got fitted with a pair of hearing aids yesterday so don't mutter anything under your breath.

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                                  • #18
                                    Howdy, MCM!

                                    Your comment is similar to the suggestion David made about using the Color Dialog Box in post #10. Same answer applies, at least as far as using the as-is dialog. Keep in mind is that low vision users generally need something in the 0.5-1.0 inch size range to be able to see it. Elements of the color dialogs are way too small.

                                    In another app, I present this full screen dialog to my users. They left-click on a color for FG and right-click on a color for BG. The chosen colors are used to display a preview of the chosen text/BG and of the calculated Contrast Ratio at the top. Not only do low vision users have trouble with small sizes, but they also have limited color distinction capabilities. So a limited number of colors is typically all they might be able to use.

                                    Click image for larger version  Name:	pb_225.jpg Views:	0 Size:	54.6 KB ID:	804956

                                    I've found that my low vision users rarely select their own colors, so going with letting the user toggle between the 4 most common color pairs is likely all I'll do. Giving them the option to pick a custom color pairs sounds like a good idea but in practice it doesn't get much use.

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                                    • #19
                                      Here's an in-work example of switching over to a Graphic control to enable different color pairs, showing the 4 available color pairs. The user can toggle colors with a keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C. In this example I show a user-selectable separator "|" in front of the URL links "GYFAN". I'm not sure I like that and will probably switch over to a $SPC as a separator. In my experience, the 1st and 3rd color pairs are more popular with low vision users.

                                      Click image for larger version  Name:	pb_2227.jpg Views:	1 Size:	32.8 KB ID:	804958

                                      Added ... there are keyboards which use the 4th color pair and those keyboards are quite popular with low vision users. But when it comes to on-screen color pairs, none of my users chose the 4th color pair. I don't have an explanation for that.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Gary Beene View Post
                                        "blatant misappropriation of 'his' trademark prefix"
                                        And about your use of gbProgramName I got a bone to pick about the gb part

                                        <b>George W. Bleck</b>
                                        <img src='http://www.blecktech.com/myemail.gif'>

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