suggestions for Speakup

Adam Myrow myrow at
Fri Jan 11 23:52:03 EST 2002

I still feel that reinitializing the synthesizer is an important feature
to have.  The Accent SA I'm using, if turned off and on, becomes extremely
sluggish.  That is, it takes like 5 to 10 seconds for it to respond to
each keystroke.  If it is turned off and back on, nothing in the world
except a reboot will get it back.  Of course, the obvious answer is not to
turn it off, but then if the rate or speed get out of whack, you're right
back to square 1.  I will certainly give Chuck's suggestion a try and see
if it solves the issue.

On the subject of frames or windows, I didn't just want this to keep up
with DOS and Windows screen readers.  I was actually thinking of Lmme, the
MSN Messenger clone, as well as CD players which have a track time that
counts up continuously.  Both of these would benefit from being able to
silence a portion of the screen, and so would Pine, Tin, Lynx, and
countless other curses-based applications which provide a status line.  Of
course, as Kirk said, it's a lot of work.

I wasn't casting disrespect on Speakup because it isn't perfect.  In fact,
I have never seen any other screen reader that lets one hear speech from
startup to shutdown and lets them even install an operating system from
the ground up.  With the high demand for software synthesis, I am greatly
concerned that we will lose this feature when Speakup has to wait for
sound card initialization before it can talk.  In an ideal world, we
wouldn't need software synthesis support because everybody would have
hardware synthesizers and not have to watch their computer's performance
go out the window because a software synthesizer is eating up memory and
resources, and we wouldn't need a frames feature because all applications
would have nice, screen-reader friendly interfaces.  However, this is a
sighted world and a screen reader's job, in my opinion, is to give a
blind person the same access to the computer as the sighted user wherever
practical.  When we are forced to use an older version of an application
because our screen reader hasn't caught up, this is not happening.  That
is one thing about Speakup that makes it stand above the Windows and DOS
crowd.  When it is discovered that a new Linux kernel breaks the Speakup
patches, Kirk is out with a fix that not only gets Speakup working with
the new kernel, but maintains backwards compatibility with older kernels
as well.

Well, sorry for the rant, but I really wanted to clear up what looked like
a miss-understanding of my intent and explain where I am coming from.


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