Voxin was: Re: Switching to Linux

Janina Sajka janina at rednote.net
Fri May 10 14:24:44 EDT 2013

I don't use Voxin. I do still use TTSynth with Speakup. The
compatibility library you need is available on Fedora 18 as:


PS; With Orca I use speech-dispatcherd and espeak. I have to use a
second physical audio device for this. I cannot get these two to share
the same alsa device.

And, I do need to permanently terminate pulseaudio with extreme prejudice.

That's about it. The Fedora GDM still isn't supporting talking
login--don't get me started talking about that, though!

Firefox, currently at release 20, works wonderfully well. It's useful to
use recent Firefox releases because the a11y code in FF is actively
being updated these days


Kyle writes:
> According to Brandon McGinty-Carroll:
> # As I recall, voxen requires /dev/dsp or somesuch ancient sound API.
> As far as I know, this is correct, but it's a lot worse than that. Not
> only does Voxin require an ancient sound API, but it also requires
> ancient C libraries in order to function. The source code is either lost
> or is otherwise unavailable even to those who would maintain it, so it
> can't even be rebuilt against the latest C libraries or even get any of
> its numerous bugs fixed. It still crashes on words like c a e s u r e,
> which according to Google is a bitcoin client written in Python, and is
> also a rather common username on some non-blindness related forums. It
> also crashes on a rather common OCR error when recognizing the word
> Wednesday. I googled that one as well, and turns out it is a very common
> OCR scanning error, especially when scanning newspapers. I was
> especially seeing it in scanned newspaper archives from the late 1800's
> and early 1900's. There are also reports of random crashes that cause
> Voxin and other speech synthesis engines with the exact same codebase
> but different names to randomly kill the screen reader, and there is
> nothing anyone can do about it, because the source code is not available
> or is lost. Worse still is the fact that many companies are actually
> making a profit from licensing something so outdated, broken and
> unstable, but I guess that's no different from what Microsoft has been
> doing for years <smile>. It may fall on deaf ears for some reason, but
> my recommendation is to avoid Voxin and all the other voices like it.
> Use eSpeak, because it ships with most distros and just works. If you
> don't like the way eSpeak sounds, you can still get festival working,
> and Festival is capable of running some amazing free voices. There's
> also Pico, which is now supported natively in speech-dispatcher. All
> these voices sound better and work better than Voxin, which literally
> makes my head hurt.
> ~Kyle
> http://kyle.tk/
> -- 
> "Kyle? ... She calls her cake, Kyle?"
> Out of This World, season 2 episode 21 - "The Amazing Evie"
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> Speakup at linux-speakup.org
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Janina Sajka,	Phone:	+1.443.300.2200
			sip:janina at asterisk.rednote.net
		Email:	janina at rednote.net

Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup:	http://a11y.org

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair,	Protocols & Formats	http://www.w3.org/wai/pf
	Indie UI			http://www.w3.org/WAI/IndieUI/

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