Frequently-asked Questions (FAQ)

This page contains questions asked about WebbIE and other programs available from this site.

Some of my BBC TV or radio programmes are missing from the BBC programs!
The WebbIE BBC programs get their data from the BBC website: if the BBC website does not supply a programme then it will not appear in the WebbIE program. You can try the BBC website directly.
WebbIE will not display the authentication dialogue I need to enter my username and password for a protected web site. How can I enter my details?
Check the Allow Popups menu item in the Options menu. WebbIE will now display messages and authentication dialogues: this includes messages that will ask you to install software, some of which may be malicious (e.g. spyware) so do exercise caution.
WebbIE does not make any sound! Why is it not speaking to me?
WebbIE does not self-voice: that is, it relies on you having your own screen reader to do the speaking. We work on the assumption that screen reader users want to keep using their familiar and powerful screen reader, rather than learn a new audio interface. We therefore try to create a very standard, screen-reader neutral interface that will work with most screen readers. If you don't have a screen reader at all, or are not a screen reader user, you have two choices:
  1. You can get the free Thunder Screenreader or NVDA Screenreader.
  2. You can try using Narrator, which is the free screen reader built into Windows. If you press the Windows and U keys together, or go Start > All Programs > Accessories > Accessibility > Narrator, you'll be able to use WebbIE through that.
I only want Accessible RSS, or the BBC Programs, or Podcatcher. I don't want WebbIE! Where are the separate installers?
For Version 3 of WebbIE (up to 2013): We do not maintain separate installers because with all the different languages it is too difficult. Our WebbIE 3 installer contains every program. You can select, during installation, any program you do not want to install, and it will not be installed - you won't see it at all.
For Version 4 of WebbIE (2013 onwards): We used to package up all our programs together for ease, but we've moved to a different technology so now it is easier to have different installers. Download and run the correct setup file from the WebbIE website.
I have installed the latest WebbIE (probably 4) and I can't find RSS News Reader or the BBC programs or something else!
We used to bundle all our programs together (for WebbIE 3, before 2013) but we've moved to different installers now. You have to find the program you want on the WebbIE site and download and install it.
I want to try WebbIE, but I don't want it to mess up my system. What changes does it make?
None of the programs do more than install necessary components and shortcuts. If you never run them you'll never know they are there. They don't install any services or programs that start up with your computer, and they don't leave anything behind when you uninstall (except your user settings, a few text files.) WebbIE does not become your default web browser automatically, and does not prompt you to make it your default web browser, but it does have a menu option (see Options) if you want it to be the default browser. WebbIE 4 onwards (2013) does install the .Net Framework (Version 4 Client at the time of writing).
Why do you use Microsoft Internet Explorer, not the standards-compliant and Free Mozilla Firefox?
WebbIE uses the Microsoft WebBrowser Control to get pages and provide access to their contents: Mozilla does not provide such an easy-to-use component. We've tried the Mozilla ActiveX control but haven't managed to get it working yet. We use Firefox and would love to do a WebbMoz, but until the programming comoponents are available we cannot. If you are interested in IE alternatives then check out the FireVox extension for Firefox which makes Firefox speak web pages.
I get a strange message during installation and have to restart Windows '98
Windows '98 users may see the following: "The OLE system files are in-use and cannot be updated. The installation must restart Windows to update OLE before it can continue." Don't be concerned: hit "Yes" and Windows will restart and complete the installation.
Is there a Linux or Apple Mac version of WebbIE? Why not?
WebbIE and the Accessible programs are all Windows-only. This is because Alasdair only knows how to code for Windows, so he prioritises supporting and developing software for the vast majority of screenreader users - who use Windows - over spending years retraining for very much minority languages. You are welcome to the source code for WebbIE if you want to port it over.
Linux users may be interested in BLINUX or Emacspeak. Mac users should look at the Accessibility features of the Mac including the built-in VoiceOver screenreader, which works with the Safari web browser.
Can I have the source code?
Yes, generally, but because I haven't gone through all the code to work out bits I can't distribute (e.g. I've got from websites) you'll have to email me. WebbIE 3 and back is all Visual Basic 6, and you'll need to buy the UniToolbox component for WebbIE itself. WebbIE 4 (2013) onwards is .Net, VB or C#.