speakup in user space (was Re: Serial conflict)

Jacob Schmude j.schmude at gmail.com
Fri Mar 4 13:06:45 EST 2011

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If that were done, why have Speakup in the kernel at all? Software
speech cannot be included in the kernel itself, and this would mean
that hardware speech would not be able to kick in as early if needed.
Also, we would then be under the limitations of user-space programs in
that when a kernel panic happens, we may not be able to review it
whether we're using hardware synthesizers or not.
If we were to go this route, my suggestion would be to get Speakup out
of the kernel entirely and convert the whole thing to user-space. I'd
use an approach similar to BRLTTY, using the /dev/vcsa devices. WE
wouldn't lose anything more than if serial support were removed, and
the integration problems with various distributions would be
completely gone. No kernel conflicts, no module versioning, none of
that. It would also remove the necessity for middleware between
speakup and software speech. The only reason I think Speakup was in
the kernel in the first place was the advantage it gave hardware
synthesizers as far as early boot sequences and reading even the worst
kernel panics (remember hardware speech was the only option in Linux
back then). Take that away, and we might as well take Speakup out of
the kernel and move the whole thing into user-space, since that would
remove the one and only advantage for speakup being in kernel-space.
To be clear, I'm not against moving speakup into user-space. In fact,
I think it would be for the best in the long run, but there's no need
to keep any of it in the kernel if we do.

On 03/04/2011 08:10 AM, Christopher Moore wrote:
> Hello,
> Here's another thought: Suppose we did away with all the hardware
> synth modules in speakup. All interaction with speakup could be
> done through the /dev/softsyn device. This would require converting
> the hardware modules to user-space programs which would communicate
> with speakup over the /dev/softsyn device and to the hardware synth
> over the /dev/tts serial device.

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