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COMP 190 – Gary Bishop Presentation by Brett Clippingdale. Hawking Toolbar. What is the Hawking Toolbar?. The Hawking Toolbar is a plug-in for the Firefox web browser that frees individuals with severely limited motor abilities to explore the internet, without limits.
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COMP 190 – Gary Bishop Presentation by Brett Clippingdale Hawking Toolbar
What is the Hawking Toolbar? • The Hawking Toolbar is a plug-in for the Firefox web browser that frees individuals with severely limited motor abilities to explore the internet, without limits. "My body may be stuck in this wheelchair, but with the Internet my mind can go to the ends of the universe."- Stephen Hawking, University of Cambridge Physicist, 1/6/97
Why “Hawking” Toolbar? • If it were not for technology, Stephen Hawking would not be leading such a rich life, and we would all lose. • Stephen Hawking reminds us that physical disability has no relation to mental ability. • With technology, we can free many people from what may be a prison of physical limitations.
The Challenge • Most of us take for granted the ability to navigate the web using a mouse and keyboard. • What about people whose physical motion is limited? Like Stephen Hawking, for example. • Free switch users by letting them choose efficiently from among possibly hundreds of links on a web site.
The Solution • Hawking Toolbar, a plug in for Firefox. • Standard Firefox browser automatically cycles through the links of a web page, highlighting each link for a short period. • The user selects a link by signaling to the browser (with their custom switch) when the desired link is highlighted.
The Solution (cont'd) • Provide buttons that are cycled through: Back, Home, Favorites, and Options. • Whether a user can control two switches or only one, the general solution is the same, but the use of two switches allows enhanced control and efficiency.
What's Different about it? • Unlike expensive commercial products, it is free and customizable. • extensible: published under the open-source GPL license, it can be enhanced or customized by anyone with the appropriate technical skills
What's Different? (cont'd) • non-obsolescence: works with any new version of Firefox. User is not dependent upon a vendor to upgrade the plug-in for each new web technology or new version of the browser • standard view: the user sees the same web page as others. Plug-in enhances a popular browser instead of requiring a specialized one.
What's Next? • When page is complex or has many links, break it into sections:
What's Next? (cont'd) • Analyze semantics of DOM, look for common patterns of content structure. • Develop and apply heuristics. • Cycle through regions, highlighting each before moving to the next part of page. • If the user selects a region, then explore it by cycling through it, link-by-link.