What are the advantages of Speakup over Orca?

Michael Whapples mwhapples at aim.com
Sun Aug 17 12:33:17 EDT 2008

On Sun, 2008-08-17 at 02:22 -0700, Tony Baechler wrote:
> Cody Hurst wrote:
> > Speakup is strictly for command line, a virtual console. Orca on the 
> > other hand is intended to be a screen reader for the GUI desktop 
> > environment, gnome. If you are good with bash and want to work in the 
> > command line without the hastle of a desktop, then using speakup would 
> > be the best choice. However I'm sure you know already you will need an 
> > external synthisizer such as a double talk lt or a bns. Orca is 
> > maintained by sun, speakup is not.
> Huh?  What about using ESpeak or other software synths?  Also, are you 
> saying that Speakup is unmaintained?  I see commits every few days and 
> the bugs which I've reported all got fixed.  Granted there is not a 
> company developing it, but there aren't very many people testing it 
> either.  I think your statement that Orca is maintained by Sun and 
> Speakup isn't is unfair and misleading.

I would have to agree with what you said (regarding software speech and
who maintains each). The only thing I would say is that orca may appear
more active, but I feel it has more to be sorted out, eg. it still has
times when it can become unresponsive, times when it doesn't seem to
work with applications as you might expect, etc, where as I find speakup
is a very good reliable system I know I can always fall back to and get
speech output from my system. I would say that with software speech yes
there are some extra limitations to using speakup with a hardware synth,
eg. sometimes the software synth or driver software (such as speechd-up
and speech-dispatcher) may stop running, or software speech output isn't
possible for early parts of the boot process, but these situations are
rare that they may occur, or may be required.

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