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Fwd: Announcing the OpenTTS project, a fork of speech-dispatcher

Hi William,

Thanks for the foward.

Might be worthwhile at some point to write a tcl wrapper over
open-tts  if it proves to provide support for more synths over
time. The emacspeak speech servers do a fair bit of front-end
pre-processing on text that we wouldn't want to lose --- but we
could write a generic open-tts-emacspeak.tcl that forwards the
final synthesis calls to OpenTTS.



On 4/12/10, William Hubbs <w.d.hubbs@gmail.com> wrote:
> ----- Forwarded message from Luke Yelavich <themuso@ubuntu.com> -----
> Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 11:07:59 +1000
> From: Luke Yelavich <themuso@ubuntu.com>
> To: Orca screen reader developers <orca-list@gnome.org>,
> 	Gnome Accessibility List <gnome-accessibility-list@gnome.org>,
> 	Ubuntu Accessibility Mailing List
> 	<ubuntu-accessibility@lists.ubuntu.com>,
> 	blinux-list@redhat.com, speechd@lists.freebsoft.org
> Subject: Announcing the OpenTTS project, a fork of speech-dispatcher
> I am writing to announce a fork of speech-dispatcher, the open source
> text-to-speech framework, initially developed by Brailcom as a part of the
> freebsoft project, http://www.freebsoft.org. The fork also includes other
> important components of the speech stack, including speechd-up, the
> connector between speakup and speech-dispatcher, and the speech-dispatcher
> java bindings. As you may have guessed from the subject, the fork is now
> called OpenTTS. OpenTTS refers to both the speech server, API and
> documentation, as well as the umbrella project as a whole. The other
> projects mentioned above have also been given new names, speechd-up is now
> known as OSpeakup, and speechd-java is now known as OpenTTS-java.
> Why Fork Speech Dispatcher and Related Projects?
> One of the fundamental freedoms granted by the GPL is the freedom to publish
> one's modifications to the source code of a software product.  Sometimes,
> such publication takes the form of a fork, in which the modified product is
> developed separately from the original. In this case, we've chosen to make
> forks of software initially produced by the Brailcom group. We'll describe
> our reasons for doing that below.
> The Brailcom group had a great idea.  They wanted to provide a system or
> user-level service to control synthetic speech.  That was Speech Dispatcher.
> They created libraries to ease the task of communicating with that service,
> so that it would be possible for programmers to speech-enable their
> applications , simply by calling output functions provided by one of these
> libraries.  For several years, Brailcom actively maintained and promoted
> Speech Dispatcher and the software associated with it. They innovated, and
> the community at large was slow to adopt.
> Over time, projects within the accessibility community began to embrace
> Speech Dispatcher.  It is now the preferred speech synthesis backend of the
> Orca screenreader. The Speakup screenreader can control many software-based
> text-to-speech engines with the help of Speech Dispatcher and a small
> connector program. One advantage of that strategy is that Orca and Speakup
> can cooperatively use the same text-to-speech engine.  The key point is that
> many projects have adopted Speech Dispatcher, to a greater or lesser extent.
> As time passed, the tables turned. The most recent official release of
> Speech Dispatcher was made in the summer of 2008.  The developers began
> taking less and less of a role in the project.  The source code moved from a
> CVS repository to git in 2009.  During much of that year, active development
> took place in a repository hosted by Luke Yelavich.  Mr. Yelavich even
> produced several unofficial "release candidate" versions of Speech
> Dispatcher. Unfortunately, the official release process is stalled. In an
> effort to clarify the current status of the software, members of the
> community contacted Brailcom. Replies to these requests for information were
> somewhat non-committal.  In effect, Brailcom stated that they were
> interested in developing Speech Dispatcher, but they had no current plans.
> That, in short, is why we forked.  Members of the open-source accessibility
> community need and want an actively-developed speech framework. The OpenTTS
> project hopes to fulfill that need by carrying forward the vision set forth
> by Brailcom.
> The OpenTTS.org website is now live, although there is not much there at the
> moment. The site will be expanded in the near future to add areas for
> documentation, and feature specification tracking, to help developers better
> outline and indicate what the next release of OpenTTS will contain. You will
> also find a link to our mailing lists, where you can discuss OpenTTS
> development.
> We welcome all contributors from the community who wish to help us further
> develope the OpenTTS framework, and encourage any interested contributors to
> join the opentts-dev mailing list. To get more information on this list, or
> other lists relating to OpenTTS, please go to http://lists.opentts.org. We
> also especially welcome any Brailcom staff who wish to contribute to the
> project.
> I plan to announce the focus for OpenTTS development over the next 6 months
> very soon, and will do so on the opentts-dev mailing list (see above), and
> the website, so please stay tuned for more information. Should you have any
> questions, please feel free to subscribe to the opentts-users mailing list,
> and ask away. Commonly asked questions will be put up on the website for all
> to read.
> Finally, I'd like to thank Chris Brannon and William Hubbs for their hard
> work so far in helping get things off the ground, particularly with code
> cleanup and re-organisation. I would also like to thank all of those in the
> community who supported going ahead with the fork, you know who you are.
> I sincerely hope that from here on out, we can create a text to speech
> framework that can rival those available for proprietary operating systems,
> as well as creating a framework that all application developers feel
> comfortable working with. Text to speech is important for more than just
> those with a disability, it is very useful for many other people for many
> different tasks. Lets give them a reason to want to use it.
> Luke Yelavich
> OpenTTS project lead.
> _______________________________________________
> Speechd mailing list
> Speechd@lists.freebsoft.org
> http://lists.freebsoft.org/mailman/listinfo/speechd
> ----- End forwarded message -----
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