speakup, 2.6.22, and the way forward

John Heim jheim at math.wisc.edu
Wed Aug 1 10:35:35 EDT 2007

From: "Gregory Nowak" <greg at romuald.net.eu.org>
To: "Speakup is a screen review system for Linux." <speakup at braille.uwo.ca>
> Hash: SHA1
> On Tue, Jul 31, 2007 at 08:54:11PM -0500, John Heim wrote:
>> Another one is where you messed up menu.lst.
> That's a boot loader issue, so I don't really see how it relates to
> the need to hear boot messages, unless you've modified a menu.lst so
> much that you accidently specified the wrong root partition from what
> was there before the modification. In that case, this would also
> generate a kernel panic, that you'd need speech at boot to
> hear. However, if you didn't burn your bridges so to speak when
> modifying menu.lst, it should be a fairly simple matter to boot back
> into your old working kernel, and look through menu.lst for the
> problem, which shouldn't take long to find, since you're the one who
> made the modification that would have caused it in the first place.

I don't feel that I should have to explain this. But I will...

Grub has a setting for the default kernel parameters. Say you copied it from 
an older machine but you forgot to change hhda to sda. Then you run 
update-grub. All the kernel stanzas in the new menu.lst would be wrong. Now 
you're wondering why your machine didn't boot. If you're starting speakup, 
you have your answer right there on the screen. Boot  grml, budda bing, 
budda boom, fixed.

Now, please don't dispute the scenario above. It is 100% realistic because 
it just happened to me last week. How could I make a mistake like that? 
Well, I was setting up the *automatic* installation system I told you about 
in my last message.

Furthermore, I can't imagine what the heck your point is. Speakup is 
superfluous? We could all do just as well with emacspeak or orca?   For that 
matter, who needs boot messages at all? Lets run that one by a sighted 
sysadmin.   What do you think a typical sysadmin would say if the linux 
kernel team announced that the kernel would no longer display boot messages?

Saying access to boot messages is unnecessary is like saying people in 
wheelchairs don't need wheelchair ramps. Yeah, they could get out of their 
chairs, drag themselves up the steps, pull their chair up after them, and 
then get back into the chair. But what about a guy who has to be somewhere 
on a schedule? Is he not at a disadvantage compared to his counterparts who 
can walk? What do you think an employer who sees him struggling up the steps 
is going to think?

If you don't think hearing boot messages is necessary, I think you must have 
a job where you happen to have the luxury of time.  I don't. In fact, I 
don't have time to argue with you about this. You're so obviously wrong it's 
ridiculous. [And yes, I am a bit pissed.[]

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