Re: Skype issues that I see, response to several messages on this list today

Mike DeZinno

Good day All,
Just to way-in on this topic; I am also finding the need to explore other software like Team Talk, Zoom, and others

I feel badly for Doug Lee, who has now for several years tried against all odds to make Skype work for us like it once did, only to keep having to fix something that keeps getting more difficult to keep up with because of Skype's constant changes and quirks. .

Just like we all had to let go of Skype 7.xx versions I guess we should maybe get ready to some day do the same with Skype in general and be open to finding software that is more naturally accessible to the blind community.

I say these things not out of anger but rather out of an honest feeling of guilt that we keep needing so much of Doug's time spent just trying to not get too far behind with all the work he needs to do and re-do just to keep Skype almost working day to day.

Many heart felt thanks to you Doug for all you do for us.

Stay well all,
Mike in SC

At 10:57 AM 4/8/2020 Wednesday, you wrote:

Hi Doug,

Thank you for the list of Skype alternatives. I tested some of them, and I will test TeamTalk, TeamSpeak and Zello, because the ones I tried are not at least as good as the old Skype for Desktop.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Doug Lee" <dgl@...>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, April 05, 2020 3:38 PM
Subject: Re: [skypeenglish] Skype issues that I see, response to several messages on this list today

I can confirm that Skype can be slow to switch chats. I'm pretty sure that happens regardless of whether you run scripts, or even JAWS; but someone please prove me wrong if possible.

The hotkey for moving to message history is also not working as well as it once did, but I may be able to fix that one. I noticed it earlier this weekend but did not include it in my message because I wanted to test it
further before commenting on it.

As for Skype alternatives, here's a somewhat complete list of what I've worked with lately, in no particular order. This list includes of course only the clients and platforms I've seen and/or scripted in a non-professional
setting; i.e., I've scripted other clients under contract and am not listing those here.

I have scripts for Unigram, the Windows 10 Telegram client that is most accessible. The app comes from the Windows Store; the scripts come from

In fact, my use of Unigram includes hosting my project update announcement channel there, along with a paired discussion group for the things I release. See my contact page for current details:

A while ago, I did a bit of Discord scripting for a couple of folks; but those are surely pretty out of date by now. I'm told that Discord text chatting is still pretty accessible though.

I have fairly comprehensive scripts for Slack at and some very soon to be significantly updated scripts for Microsoft Teams, which will replace Skype For Business (SFB), at

Both of those are more for the professional arena I think, but I think they can be used outside of that environment.
I am not listing my SFB scripts here, though I have three different sets of those for different SFB versions, because as I said, Teams will be replacing SFB. Also, SFB is exclusively for professional settings as far as I know.

Of course there's also Zoom, which is probably the most popular of the platforms now for voice. It also supports text chatting, and scripts for that one are included in JAWS 2020 and also are available from Bryan Hartgen.

Then we have TeamTalk and TeamSpeak, which I scripted as well: and

Those are also more known for voice but do support texting. TeamSpeak will at some point move to a new structure that has global text chat support much like Discord, but the date for that has remained uncertain for quite some
months by now.

And I guess I will complete my list with that old but amazingly still kickin' client known as Zello. I still have scripts for that one at though I rarely work on that one because I long ago got
tired of wrestling with bugs in the Windows client. Still, the platform survives and gets used, especially in emergency settings from all I hear, though again, more for voice than for text I think.

On Sun, Apr 05, 2020 at 03:09:30PM +0300, Octavian Rasnita wrote:
Even worse then those things is that the hotkey Control+Insert+Y to move to
the list of chat messages is not working anymore, sometimes after opening
Skype nothing happends when pressing Shift+Tab or Tab for moving there, and
this for several minutes, also sometimes Skype appears as locked for several
minutes when pressing Alt+1, so if somebody sends me a message, I am not
able to read that message immediately until Skype starts working well.
This happends when using latest Skype with your scripts under Windows 7.
Under Windows 10 there are many more other bad things that appear in many
other applications, so passing to Windows 10 is not a solution.
You tested more text and voice chatting apps. Do you know if there is one
that's better accessible for the blind and easier to use than Skype?


----- Original Message ----- From: "Doug Lee" <dgl@...>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, April 05, 2020 12:09 AM
Subject: [skypeenglish] Skype issues that I see, response to several
messages on this list today

Let me address some claims I've seen, today on this list and elsewhere
over time, about Skype for Windows, and some of my own claims besides:

Claim 1: Skype online status is sometimes wrong.

True. In the past few weeks, I've seen a Skype status of "Last seen days
ago" for contacts I saw less than six days earlier. To my initial alarm,
that message has for some time been widely recognized as meaning that you
blocked by the contact. I find this no longer to be the case; I've seen
friends and professional colleagues alike display as "Last seen days ago"
without having blocked me.

Claim 2: Skype mood text can be wrong.

True. For quite a while and through several Skype 8 versions, I've seen
the mood text for one contact stay active while I switched through chats
with several other contacts, until I happen to open a chat with another
who actually has a mood text. In short, the mood text does not clear until
it is changed to a new message. I have repeatedly reported this bug to
Microsoft but have not seen any sign of it being addressed.

Claim 3: "File sent" no longer speaks after a file transfer.

Not sure about this one. I do know that "File sent" finally stopped
speaking after the sending of a chat message, but I don't send files much.
I also know that both of those messages are not likely to speak if you
split your
chat windows out from the main Skype window, because of the way the Skype
notifications work.

Claim 4: Skype UWP for Windows 10 is going away.

Mixed. Reliable indications exist that Skype UWP will become like, or
become equal to, Skype for Windows Desktop in some way. I don't know if
the Store app is going away entirely; but since it comes with Windows 10
now, I
doubt it. Those on the Windows Insider program, which I am not, can
probably say more about this one.

Claim 5: Focus sticks to the "1 star" button after a Skype-to-phone call.

Uncertain but reliably reported. If anyone else has seen this one, please
let me know. I have not seen this one on my machine, and I make a fair
number of Skype-to-phone calls; but I may have just jumped past it too

I hope this message helps clear up a few uncertainties for people.

Doug Lee                 dgl@...      
Level Access             doug.lee@...
"Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you
to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another's pain, life is
not in vain." --Helen Keller

Doug Lee                 dgl@...      
Level Access             doug.lee@...
"The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere."
       - Anne Morrow Lindbergh {American Author}

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