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Re: Emacspeak in Arch Linux

I don't think distros will ever keep up to date with emacspeak packages. Part of the problem is that to some extent, emacpseak is just too simple to require packaging. Once you have done it the first time from sources, it is far easier to just continue using a source based build and keeping it up to date. 

The other issue is that emacspeak evolves quickly. There are two releases every year. Given the overhead in updating something like a deb package, going through the uat cycle and getting it put into the distro, it is pretty much impossible to keep up to date. 

Here is my whole emacs and emacspeak build and maintenance process. 

1. I have two source trees, one for bzr and one for git

2. Under bzr, I have directories for emacs and vm. Under emacs, I have emacs24 and emacsdev and under vm I just have trunk

3. Under the git directory, I have directories for emacspeak (I use git svn), w3m-el, w3, jabber and a couple of other packages I like to build from sources. 

4. With the exception of emacs, all other packges run from their source directory. I do not do the usual 'make install' process to install them under /usr/local or /usr. I have setup scripts in my .emacs.d directory for each package which sets the load path and config settings etc. 

5. My update and build process is simple and I only do it once every few weeks. 

cd  bzr/emacs/emacs24
bzr pull
sudo make distclean
make bootstrap
sudo make install

cd bzr/vm/trunk
bzr pull 
./build-vm emacs (a script I put together to build vm using emacs or xemcas)

cd git/whatever
git pull
make clean

cd git/emacspeak/turnk
git checkout master
git svn rebase
git checkout local
git rebase master
make clean
make config
make emacspeak

Some things are not always necessary, such as the autogen.sh and make bootstrap, but I included the long version for clarity. I use the i386 sound infrastructure (alsa, pulse, viavoice, tcl tclx etc) on a 64 bit machines runing ubuntu 11.10. I use the vinux viavoice poackage to setup/install viavoice. 

On 28 December 2012 00:21, Alex Midence <alex.midence@gmail.com> wrote:
From: Jason White [mailto:jason@jasonjgw.net]
Sent: Thursday, December 27, 2012 2:01 AM
To: emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu
Subject: Re: Emacspeak in Arch Linux

D.J.J. Ring, Jr. <n1ea@arrl.net> wrote:

> I'm sure that I could install emacspeak from source, I've done that
> many times but Arch was supposted to have package builds - the ones
> that I have looked at - I guess it was emacspeak-svn says "Package
> refuses to build" - so that's the frustration.

I would suggest taking that up with whoever is maintaining the official
package, or offering to help with it.

Linux distributions, on the whole, don't have a good record of maintaining
Emacspeak packages. I don't know why this is the case, since it's easy to
compile and install, and the dependencies haven't changed much over time.

This is very much the case in Debian and Ubuntu.  I think the package
repositories for Precise (12.04) still feature Emacspeak 29.  The most
recent emacspeak package I've encountered thusfar is for the vinux 3.0
version based on Ubuntu 10.04 and that was Emacspeak 32 which Bill cox
packaged up.

You mentioned that the reason you felt this might be the case is the lack of
motivation by the community to maintain due to a preference to run from
source from svn checkouts.  I also think there are other factors.

1.  Dectalk is still, after all these years, the default speech synthesizer.
You have to do some tweaking to get something else as the default.  Espeak
is the default speech synthesizer available on most distros that have a
software speech synth pre-installed so, that would be the obvious choice for
a default speech synthesizer.
2.  Pulse audio issues.  I've had some success in the past getting Emacspeak
to work with Pulse in the console environment following many tips posted
here by Tim Cross but I haven't had much success with it since Emacspeak 34
on Ubuntu 11.04.
3.  Emacspeak has a very small user-base compared to packages like Speakup
or Orca and this user community tends to be made up of more advanced Linux
users who have the skill to get around the issues outlined in 1 and 2.
4.  Lastly, the user community grows very very slowly because of the steep
learning curve new users face in order to get up and running because of the
lack of recent, pre-configured packages and up to date documentation that is
hard to find for people interested in it.

These last two reasons I outlined are the ones that seem to dissuade
official backing from accessibility groups particular to each distribution.
I know that this is what I, myself ran across when I proposed having the
Emacspeak packages updated on the Ubuntu accessibility list.

Alex M

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