What are the advantages of Speakup over Orca?

Nick Stockton nstockton at gmail.com
Sun Aug 17 17:57:23 EDT 2008

I think that orca is a good project but it still needs allot of work
On my computer at least it is very slow and I can boot windows log in and 
load up a screen reader in the time it takes to load a site like youtube.com 
in firefox using orca.
Now my computer only has one core and it is 32-bit and has 768 mb of ram so 
that could be the problem but I don't think I should need a dual core with 4 
gigs of ram to load up the youtube home page. *smile*
speakup on the other hand has had lots of time to be developed and it's been 
around for allot longer and it's constantly being updated to work with the 
latest kernels.
also speakup is much more responsive currently in the console than orca is 
in gnome-terminal.
The best way to test a screen reader I think is to try to play a mud game 
with it.
orca can read well enough to execute some basic command line applications 
but when I try to use my console mud client to play a mud It can't take it 
and blocks of text start getting left out and it becomes real slow.
Speakup on the other hand I've been using to play mud games since 2003 and 
it works wonderfully.
I can hear and review info on the screen allot faster than I could using a 
windows based screen reader which is very important for fast pace muds or 
muds with allot of spam.
Let me say again that I think orca is a great project and I'm glad that 
there is a screen reader for the gnome GUI in active development but at the 
moment, for me it's not yet a usable replacement for a windows screen reader 
and internet explorer/firefox or speakup using lynx/links in the linux 
console but I hope it will be some day.

Nick Stockton
Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Whapples" <mwhapples at aim.com>
To: "Speakup is a screen review system for Linux." <speakup at braille.uwo.ca>
Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 12:33 PM
Subject: Re: What are the advantages of Speakup over Orca?

> 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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