speakup, 2.6.22, and the way forward

Kirk Reiser kirk at braille.uwo.ca
Wed Aug 1 09:56:16 EDT 2007

This argument on whether speech is necessary from early boot or not
has been going on since very shortly after I released the first
version of speakup back in 1998.  For people that are not techies and
are just happy to have access at some point once the system is up such
as Windows users it is not necessary and they wonder why the fuss.
For those folks that are techies or are dedicated to the idea that
speech is important and necessary from the time the computer is turned
on, it is imperative.  I think by now everybody knows my position on
the topic.

I also happen to believe that a user space set of screen readers would
be very useful and provide users choice of the software they use.  I
however, am not interested in writing one.  If others wish to do that
it would be wonderful just as the 'X' packages are wonderful.

I will continue to modify and when time permits improve speakup.  I
will eventually have 2.6.22 and up support.  We have been discussing
how to best achieve that goal and we would enjoy knowledgeable
opinions on how to do it.  Currently we are thinking about
registering each serial port as we do now and then use the standard
tty discipline to access the ports.  This will hopefully allow us to
eventually get USB access as well.  This is a major amount of rewrite
though so it won't be soon.  I have very limited time to work on
speakup because of other obligations so don't hold your collective
breath.  The folks developing the Icon at Levelstar are talking about
developing a user space screen reader but I don't know if it will be
open source or not.  Considering their lack of open source software to
date I wouldn't hold your breath on that either.



Kirk Reiser				The Computer Braille Facility
e-mail: kirk at braille.uwo.ca		University of Western Ontario
phone: (519) 661-3061

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