suggestions for Speakup

Charles Hallenbeck chuckh at
Sat Jan 12 07:05:06 EST 2002

Adam -
I am in agreement with most of what you said below, especially
that it is our own task to figure out how to deal with stuff
designed for the sighted world if at all possible. The intimate
connection between speakup and the OS is extremely valuable. I
have seen a number of other projects start off as neat little
lean and mean applications that grew like topsy out of control
when enthusiastic users began bombarding the developer with
requests for "just one more simple feature", and there comes a
time when a developer has to take a tough stand and apply careful
criteria to decide what gets added and what does not. Do give
that initialization thing a spin and see if it does the trick for
your accent synth problem. If it does not do it, then something
stronger is definitely indicated. Maybe another OS trick, or
maybe a speakup feature. But let's exhaust the less expensive
alternatives first.

Regards - Chuck

On Fri, 11 Jan 2002, Adam Myrow wrote:

> 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.
> Adam
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