[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Introduction and proposed contribution




Just a couple of comments re: emacspeak, espeak, orca and terminals.

Firstly, the ubuntu distribtuion of espeak does not work well with emacspeak. The problem is that espeak by default is linked against portaudio. I fixed this problem by building from sources and linking against pulseaudio and it works fine. All the distro releases I tried were unusable - cut off speech, sluggish etc.

With regard to terminals, I would try running emacs and emacspeak inside a tradtional xterm rather than gnome-terminal. Last time I looked (a while ago, so this may be out of date), orca did not speech enable basic xterm, so I was able to get reasonable success using emacs inside an xterm rather than a gnome-terminal. May be worth looking at.

Also, while I've not used it in a while, there were modules avaiialable to make emacs and emacspeak communicate with firefox, allowing you to let firefox render pages (including fava script) and using emacspeak to speak them. Last time I looked the necessary firefox modules were out of date (i.e. not working with the latest firefox, but I've not looked at this in some time). 

Tim


On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 4:37 PM, Alex Midence <alex.midence@gmail.com> wrote:
Putting Emacspeak on a live cd is being ironed out right now by the
Vinux project.  A blind user will have all the screen
reading/accessing tools available at their disposal right out of the
box, Speakup, Orca, Yasr and, if it can be managed, Emacspeak.  Also,
there is no menu of choices.  Orca and Speakup just come up talking in
their respective environments without conflict thanks even on LIve cd
as long as the user has a sound card because the speech synth is
e-speak.  Emacspeak might be made to come up automatically in TTY1,
Speakup with Gnu Screen in TTY2 and the x-windows session in 7.  The
user can commence to work immediately while still having all the tools
they need to customize it however they want.  Yasr is there for
emergencies and for those partial to it as well.  With Emacspeak
included, the user will have all the productivity and efficiency it
offers right away.  The current issue standing in the way is that
Emacspeak doesn't seem to play nice with Orca.  "East is East and West
is West and never the twain shall meet," as the saying goes.  Running
emacspeak in a gnome terminal with an -nw switch keeps Gnome from
locking up but Orca won't get out of the way and stop talking so
Emacspeak can be used effectively.  Some people want to be able to use
it in Gnome to be able to use Firefox for _javascript_ pages, you see.
There was another which was ironed out where Emacs was making itself
the default editor for Gnome which a lot of users would object to.
So, getting Emacspeak to work within x-windows side  by side with Orca
is the current thing being worked out.  While Tony Sales, the creator
of Vinux irons out a pre-installation or a shell script that
accomplishes this for people, I'm going to see if Orca can be silenced
in the terminals to be supplanted with Yasr for this environment and
then have emacspeak come up with Yasr put somehow to sleep.  This way,
if users want to do something else in the terminal, they still have a
screen reader.  I don't know Yasr well so, this will involve lots of
trial and error.  I don't use Emacspeak this way.  I have serious
doubts that this can be done as well as it can inside a console with
speakup.


Have a good evening, all

Alex M
On 2/12/11, Steve Holmes <steve@holmesgrown.com> wrote:
> This live CD idea sounds like it would be fun to build.  Maybe I'll
> get started.
>
> I agree that so many emacs applications and emacs, in general for that
> matter, don't offer a lot for startup configurations.  A fresh install
> of emacs or anything related to it has always required a user to
> completely populate the configuration parameters from scratch and copy
> whatever from info pages and the like.  I rather like the idea of
> fully loaded configurations with self-describing comments to help out
> the person going through the file.  Many other linux type applications
> do this.  Take Samba, mysql, postgresql and others for example.  But
> for a new-comer, even the self-commented config files would be rather
> daunting.  So a pre-built live CD deal may be good but it will have to
> be emphasised that there are many other user definable choices and
> make it clear that to get even more out of this new environment, "you"
> the user, will need to study the materials and gain a comfort level
> making changes to emacs.  The custom facility in emacs does make this
> considerablly easier than before.
>
> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 01:58:00AM -0600, Stephen Cagle wrote:
>> Agreed, live CD would probably be even better than virtual machine. Good
>> idea.
>>
>> I agree that we should not assume that we are smart enough to know the
>> type
>> of uses people will find for emacs. We should not discard anyone. I think
>> one of the biggest hurdles to trying emacspeak out is actually
>> installing/configuring the software. Live CD would allow people to easily
>> demonstrate the power of emacspeak anywhere or to anyone.
>>
>> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 12:45 AM, Jude DaShiell
>> <jdashiel@shellworld.net>wrote:
>>
>> > It all comes down to exposure possibilities.  One of the secretaries who
>> > worked in my first full-time job location had emacs installed on her
>> > computer and it was known all over the base that anyone attempting to
>> > replace it with a Microsoft product was going to get themselves hurt.
>> > She also had the full support of her boss in this respect, and it
>> > doesn't
>> > pay to mess around with security types.  I'm sure that secretary would
>> > have had little to no problem with emacspeak too.  I'm wondering now how
>> > hard it would be to make an emacspeak live cd and then put it up on the
>> > internet for people to download and try.  If it had an installation
>> > script
>> > on it so that emacspeak and Linux could take over an entire computer
>> > when
>> > the user was confident enough with it, then many of the issues with
>> > respect to installation guides at least would go away for those using
>> > the
>> > live cd.  Unfortunately most of my time is taken up by windows or by now
>> > I
>> > might have learned how to do this and got it done. On Sat, 12 Feb 2011,
>> > Tim Cross wrote:
>> >
>> > > On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 11:34 AM, Stephen Cagle <samedhi@gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> > >
>> > > > I think we can all agree that T.V. Raman is a fine technical writer.
>> > > > I
>> > > > think there is however a rather limited number of up to date
>> > > > AND singularly sourced guides to getting started with emacspeak. If
>> > someone
>> > > > wants to make a minimal "getting up and running with emacspeak"
>> > > > guide,
>> > then
>> > > > I think that would be quite a boon to emacspeak in general.
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > There have been several efforts to create 'friendly' user guides,
>> > > getting
>> > > started tutorials, etc. The real problem is that once written, they
>> > > are
>> > not
>> > > maintained and over time, become increasingly out of date.  Rather
>> > > than
>> > > re-invent the wheel, I think it would be better to start with
>> > > something
>> > like
>> > >  the installation-guide and users-guide which come with emacspeak.
>> > > Contributions and improvements to these guides have always been
>> > > welcomed
>> > in
>> > > the past. It is better to have one definitive guide for installation
>> > > and
>> > use
>> > > rather than multiple guides scattered around the net in various stages
>> > > of
>> > > copleteness or levels of accuracy.
>> > >
>> > > >
>> > > > Just some random things to consider:
>> > > > Will emacspeak ever be useful to less technically inclined people?
>> > > > That
>> > is,
>> > > > will it always primarily be used by programmers and other technical
>> > persons
>> > > > who use emacs? Is it possible to get less technical people to use
>> > emacs? Is
>> > > > it worthwhile?
>> > > >
>> > > > Certainly possible for less technical people to use it. Probably not
>> > > worhtwhile trying to do so. I think the best course of action is to
>> > > make
>> > > emacspeak as good as possible, with good documentation and let its
>> > > main
>> > > drawing power be its alternative (and I would argue better) approach.
>> > > If
>> > it
>> > > has enough of an advantage over alternatives, it will attract those
>> > > who
>> > > would benefit/appreciate its difference.
>> > >
>> > > Finally, what about virtualization solutions today? Perhaps a vmware
>> > > (or
>> > > > some other) image of a Linux distro with emacspeak properly set up
>> > > > and
>> > > > configured could be created. This would allow novices to "test
>> > > > drive"
>> > > > emacspeak without having to take the full Linux/emacs/emacspeak
>> > > > plunge.
>> > I
>> > > > think this might make Alex's goal of bringing emacspeak to the
>> > > > windows
>> > > > masses easier, as they would not have to worry about the initial
>> > hardware
>> > > > question.
>> > > >
>> > > > Hmm - not sure. Those who are uncomfortable with the hardware and
>> > > > Linux
>> > are
>> > > probably going to be just as uncomfortable with an appliance approach
>> > > and
>> > > dealing with virtual machines/images etc.
>> > >
>> > > I think a better approach would be to help out one of the 'specialist'
>> > > distros like vinux to make sure the emacspeak they include in the
>> > > distro
>> > is
>> > > as robust and optimally configured as possible. People can then run
>> > > from
>> > the
>> > > live cd image to try things out and later, if they want to, either do
>> > > a
>> > dual
>> > > boot or a virtual image.
>> > >
>> > > Tim
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > > On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 5:38 PM, Jason White <jason@jasonjgw.net>
>> > wrote:
>> > > >
>> > > >> Alex Midence <alex.midence@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > > >>
>> > > >> > I've noticed in my learning of Emacspeak that, while there are
>> > plenty
>> > > >> > of reference materials, the number of up-to-date tutorial-style
>> > > >> > documents geared towards a raw newbie are somewhat sparse and
>> > > >> > spread
>> > > >> > out and are written in a way that someone coming from a strong Ms
>> > > >> > Windows background would find rather laborious to follow,
>> > > >> > increasing
>> > > >> > their learning curve unnecessarily.  This is probably because a
>> > > >> > lot
>> > of
>> > > >> > it was written by people who have used Linux for longer than
>> > > >> > Windows
>> > > >> > has been accessible (oh, what a battle that has been!) and, as is
>> > the
>> > > >> > case with many a developer, are more comfortable writing code
>> > > >> > than
>> > > >> > writing documents.
>> > > >>
>> > > >> Actually, T.V. Raman, the author of Emacspeak, is one of the most
>> > > >> accomplished
>> > > >> technical writers that I have encountered - he is adept at writing
>> > prose
>> > > >> as
>> > > >> well as code.
>> > > >>
>> > > >> I would suggest reading his papers describing Emacspeak before you
>> > embark
>> > > >> on
>> > > >> preparing a tutorial; this will give you a deeper understanding of
>> > > >> the
>> > > >> design
>> > > >> principles of the Emacspeak user interface.
>> > > >> > What I propose to do is to write a simple tutorial for newcomers
>> > > >> > to
>> > > >> > Emacspeak geared towards people who are new to command line,
>> > > >> > Linux
>> > and
>> > > >> Emacs
>> > > >> > as well.
>> > > >>
>> > > >> A fundamental question that I would suggest considering is this:
>> > > >> what
>> > do
>> > > >> such
>> > > >> people really need to know before they can comfortably read Emacs
>> > > >> documentation, manual pages, HOWTO documents and other sources?
>> > > >>
>> > > >> I have read claims in several places to the effect that it's harder
>> > for
>> > > >> former
>> > > >> MS-Windows users to learn a UNIX-like environment than it is for
>> > absolute
>> > > >> beginners who have had no prior computing experience. Presumably,
>> > > >> to
>> > the
>> > > >> extent that this is the case, it is because MS-Windows users have
>> > > >> to
>> > set
>> > > >> aside
>> > > >> their prior knowledge and habits in making the adjustment. I'm only
>> > > >> speculating here; the last Microsoft product that I ever used was
>> > > >> DOS
>> > 6
>> > > >> and I
>> > > >> opted entirely out of Windows in favour of Linux at that time.
>> > > >>
>> > > >>
>> > > >>
>> > -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > >> To unsubscribe from the emacspeak list or change your address on
>> > > >> the
>> > > >> emacspeak list send mail to "emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu" with
>> > > >> a
>> > > >> subject of "unsubscribe" or "help".
>> > > >>
>> > > >>
>> > > >
>> > >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from the emacspeak list or change your address on the
> emacspeak list send mail to "emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu" with a
> subject of "unsubscribe" or "help".
>
>

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe from the emacspeak list or change your address on the
emacspeak list send mail to "emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu" with a
subject of "unsubscribe" or "help".




If you have questions about this archive or had problems using it, please send mail to:

priestdo@cs.vassar.edu No Soliciting!

Emacspeak List Archive | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | Pre 1998

Emacspeak Files | Emacspeak Blog | Search the archive