My Views Regarding Kernel Vs. Userspace

Gene Collins collins at
Fri Aug 10 12:31:34 EDT 2007

Hi Ace!  No Speakup in user space wouldn't have been able to help you
solve your problem.  In my not so humble opinion, those who are whining
about speakup not needing to be in user space are just full of it and
don't have the technical knowledge to express such an opinion.  Most of
them still think from a Windows mind set where they are used to being
told, "no, we can't give you access to that."  I defy a windows user to
do a full Windows install from scratch without sighted assistence. 
Sure, if someone puts together a kick start script, you can do an
unattended install, but it ain't simple.  With Speakup built into the
kernel, and a good hardware synth, I can sit down at any computer and do
an out of the box install, with no sighted assistence at all.

In fact, just yesterday, I had a situation where I was testing a new
kernel, and the system wasn't finding the drive to mount.  If speakup
hadn't have been in the kernel, there wouldn't have been any way for me
to know what was going on without sighted assistance.  It's a bit like
asking a sighted person to use a computer with no monitor attached,
a really stupid idea.  The problem with user space programs is that
everything has to go well during the boot process before the user space
screen reader can start.  And no matter how soon you get it to start
during the boot  process, if the drive isn't mounted, then the screen
reader can't start.  And yes, I know about ram disks and initrd and all
that stuff.  The trouble is, you have to know you are going to need that
stuff in advance.  If the screen reader is in the kernel, and you want
to skip all the boot messages, no problem.  But if it's in user space,
and you can't get to user space to start it, you've got a problem, and a
most irritating one at that.  In my opinion, nontechnical users should
just shut up about whether sspeakup belongs in the kernel, because they
neither have the knowledge, nor the technical understanding to express a
useful opinion.  Unknowledgeable speculation is just that, and not
helpful at all.  Fortunately the uninformed don't get a vote on this. 
Kirk has no plans to move Speakup to user space, so that should be the
end of the discussion.  If I've offended some folks here, sorry, but
they've offended me by remaining uninformed, and showing their ignorance
by expressing an opinion which in my view, they are not qualified to
express.  I sincerely hope this stupid topic will go away.  Those who
need boot up info can get it with speakup, and those who don't can just
ignore it, and quit bitching because those of us who do need access
insist on having it.


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