The WebVisum extension needs you!

This is a shout-out to all interested extension developers who have some time to donate to the WebVisum extension project. As you can read in my review of the extension, it is one of the most important extensions for blind users, helping to improve web pages here and there by allowing to label improperly labelled graphics or form fields, and – more importantly – it includes the connection to a captcha solving service, which has allowed blind users to participate more equally in web forums, certain blog systems and other services that still require graphical captcha entry.

The problem is that the WebVisum developers do currently not have the resources to port the extension over to Firefox 4.

So if you are a skilled extension developer, please consider donating some of your valuable time to this extension and help port it to FX 4! You’ll be helping a growing part of the Mozilla community continue to participate in today’s web offerings!

16 comments:

  1. Sorry, but their whole homepage looks like a dead project. The mailman-infopage is empty and if you try to follow a link into the wiki, you get the following:

    MediaWiki 1.15.5-1
    Please set up the wiki first.

    I reported these issues nearly one year ago but nothing happened till today. This isn’t the best way to motivate any developer to contribute to this project.

  2. The Wiki may not be working, but the rest of the service is working fine. You can solve captchas, add labels etc., and you can create invitations for others. So the system is still working and no dead project!

  3. Not sure how skilled I am at developing Firefox extensions, but the core skills (JavaScript, etc.) I do have, and I’d be quite keen to lend support to the project–since I tend to find WebVisum’s CAPTCHA solving service to have a higher degree of availability than some others. How might I help?

  4. @Marco: I know, I’m using it whenever there is a Captcha in my way and I love this service for this wonderful feature. However, I have seen some good open source projects dying because the core developers couldn’t contribute anymore. It seems you have better contact to the WebVisum crew than I can get through the webmailer. So I hope that the problems I listed may find their way to the right person through you. At least the mailing list should be set up again, that would be a nice thing for users and for interested devs.

  5. Rui, as with any Firefox extension, the sourcecode siis availab in the .XPI file that you downloaded for WebVisum.
    Rename the XPI to .zip, and inside you’ll find a .jar file that you can also rename to .zip, that will actually contain the sourcecode in JavaScript and XUL.

  6. There is a service called solona, u200bu200bwhich is maintained by volunteers for the interpretation of captchas but, unfortunately, not able to work well, being offline most of the time when you need him for lack of people available to donate a little of your time the project. Today, solona works in conjunction with Qwitter, which besides Twitter client, automates the capture of still images from any browser to solona and can be found at:
    http://www.qwitter-client.net/
    Now I wonder? If Qwitter have the means to capture the screen and send it to somewhere from any browser (including Internet Explorer) and currently the WebVisum have the means to interpret what was caputure only in Firefox 3.6.16, and before the almost always offline solona and the impossibility of functioning in Mozilla Firefox WebVisum 4, why not think about joining the two services, and WebVisum Qwitter!? Think about it and let us unite to contact both services
    with a reasonable number of requests, so who knows, we reverse the looming orphan!
    Sorry I do not speak English and I’m using Google’s automatic translator to translate my text in Portuguese.

  7. The world’s greatest accessibility extension for the Mozilla Firefox web browser shalt rise from the ashes of supposed abandoned development. If how I went about it all is proved to work, there is definite light at the end of the tunnel so bright even the most totally blind person will see it as if they had X-Ray vision. Stay tuned!

  8. Hi all,

    WebVisum is working fine now, version 0.8 is on my system, running smoothly. Thanks to whoever updated the extension. There was a message from the WebVisum server to donate to the project if you can. Nice job, it was always available when I needed to solve a CAPTCHA!

  9. I also concur with Wv0.8 working in FireFox4.
    Beautifully I might add, too!
    To all of my fellow totally blind users who are reading this post (you know who you are), if there’s a must-have extension while using FireFox, WebVisum is definitely it!
    Grab it, install it, and use it; not just for CAPTCHAs, either, lol…

  10. i’ve installed webvisum and all i can say, it works great!!! the only problem is why is’nt there a way to use this beautyfull service on other browsers?
    if webvisum the same way has as solona than we have’nt any problem.
    solona can work with all other browsers but most of the time they are offline, so it do’nt works at all.
    i do’nt know why, but when i use seamonkey, from the same vactory as firefox (mozilla) the webvisum will not work at all.
    it’s a pitty becourse seamonkey is very quick very easy to use and it has an email client on board.
    many people are stil using internet explorer but they can’nt use webvisum.
    it works only with ff.

  11. Paul, extending WebVisum to also work in SeaMonkey is a great idea! However, Firefox and SeaMonkey are two different products, so porting it to SeaMonkey, especially in the user interface part, is not that trivial. Perhaps the volunteers who helped make WebVisum compatible with Firefox 4 could help, or someone else who is familiar with SeaMonkey could step in and help out here, too!

  12. @Paul, ‘Til I know, and also from their own perspectives, the WebVisum extension will work much better when all is devoted to a single product, in this case Firefox. Also, Firefox is cross-platform, so for example, in case you decide to use a Gnome-based Linux distro, like Debian or Ubuntu, It’s more likely you just open the browser, visit the WV’s site, install the add-on and it’s all done. I don’t know about the FF’s accessibility with Apple’s VoiceOver, since I haven’t used a Mac at all, but I believe that things happen there as well.
    Also, another considerable thing, Internet Explorer’s API is not open-source.

    Hope it clarifies.

    Peace,

    Edu.

  13. @Marco, do you happen to know anyone involved with Webvisum development? I ask because the FAQ and Tutorial section on their site have clearly been altered. I’ve contacted Webvisum but have received no response. It is sickening and hisheartening to think that someone would deliberately hack into this site as these developers have done amazing and necessary work for the blindness community. It just outrages me.

  14. @David, unfortunately I only know the name of the person who initiated the project, and who could in the past be reached at webvisum at webvisum dot com. But I haven’t heard from them in almost a year, when voluntary community members sent me an updated Firefox extension and I forwarded it. They are not associated with Mozilla in any professional sense, they’re a pure voluntary community project, and unfortunately I do not know of the whereabouts of people or what the status of the site is in.

What are your thoughts?