Why I can't recommend Arch or Gentoo
sm at noisynotes.com
Fri Oct 2 07:23:10 EDT 2015
On Mon, 21 Sep 2015 04:56:04 -0700, you wrote:
>I've been following the Talking Arch discussion with great interest. I'm
>sure what I am about to say will be rather unpopular, but I can only go by
>my own experiences and what I've read. If these issues can be addressed, I
>think both distributions have great potential, but as things stand now, I
>can't recommend them. I'll start with Arch first.
>I had no problem downloading Arch and burning it to a CD. It fit on a CD
>without difficulty, but apparently the current release doesn't. That is
>most unfortunate as not everyone wants to burn a DVD for a command line
>based distro. You expect it with Fedora and Ubuntu, but even Debian has
>several small CD images for installation. Hopefully something can be done
>to get it back to CD sized media.
>Unlike what Kyle says, I couldn't get speech upon boot. I pressed Enter at
>least six times, plus other random characters. I've also encountered the
>problem where speech starts after a few keys, but not in this case. I know
>where the problem lies. It's because of my sound card, specifically the
>emu10k1 driver. It has a weird problem with no volume by default. It isn't
>muted, but the analog switch is toggled. This was fixed a long time ago in
>Debian and Ubuntu, but obviously didn't make it to Arch. I reported this to
>the support address and didn't get a reply for about two weeks. There was
>no interest in fixing the problem, even when I offered to help.
>Similarly, due to how brltty is configured by default, it locked up my
>DECtalk Express. I had to reset it by turning it off and on before it would
>talk again. Again, in the same email, I reported this to support and there
>was no interest in fixing it. In looking at the brltty.conf installed with
>Debian testing, it looks like literally just commenting out a line would fix
>this. I understand that some people still use serial Braille displays, but
>USB autodetection is the default and serial devices aren't very common
>nowadays, so the serial detection can probably be safely disabled. People
>can still start brltty by hand or edit brltty.conf directly.
>Finally, due to its unofficial nature, it is not officially supported by the
>Arch developers, so there isn't a way to file bugs in a public forum, such
>... It has the same problem as Vinux (which I also don't
>recommend) in that there are only two active developers working on it. If
>one of them gets sick or for some reason can't keep up with the latest
>releases, so much for Talking whatever. I am strongly against specialized
>distributions for the blind exactly for this reason. Whatever happened to
>Oralux? Both Debian and Ubuntu do have accessibility teams and the
>developers take accessibility issues seriously.
That being the case, I don't understand why you don't like Vinux,
which is a modified Ubuntu distro. Is there a way to use Ubuntu (or
Debian) and get Speakup or some other speech working so it can be
installed or used accessibly without having to resort to a special
>much as I don't like Vinux, it does come up with a desktop which you can
>try. Ubuntu is the best in this regard in my opinion as it plays a sound so
>you know it actually works.
Then what's the best alternative?
>if the Linux community wants the blind Windows community to take Linux
>seriously, there needs to be a talking GUI which just works. Unless someone
>really likes DOS, they aren't going to like the command line enough to give
>it a fair chance. This applies to the sighted community as well.
Funny you should say that, because I'd prefer a command-line setup
over a GUI any day in the week. Why? Because it's what I'm used to,
way back to SCO Xenix and AT&T System V. Give me a talking CLI and I
can rule my world.
>What do I recommend? For people who do like the command line and have a
>strong DOS background, I recommend Debian. It has a talking, menu-driven
>installer. The command line is there if you want it, but it isn't required.
Great. How do I start it talking after boot?
> For most people, I recommend Ubuntu MATE.
Same question applies.
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