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Re: Emacspeak on non-rooted android - a few alpha testers wanted

No problem Matthew,
I'm still looking for folks to test.
I'll write you off list in a few minutes.


On Mar 3, 2015 7:06 AM, "Matthew Wood" <matthew.wood@bbc.co.uk> wrote:
I'm a bit late to the party here, I think this is a worthwhile goal.

If you're still looking for humans I am motivated to give you some time.

On 26 Feb 2015, at 21:16, "Greg Priest-Dorman" <gregpd@google.com> wrote:

Hi Folks,

As some of you may recall I started running emacspeak in a linux chroot on android about 3 years back.  Others wanted to do this as well and I said I would share.  I never did.  The reason was that this configuration required rooting your android device.  Each device has it's own way of rooting it, and I was uncomfortable suggesting people try that when it can result in a bricked device and it will result in a device that has increased security issues.  So, I continued to use it and I shared it with those folks who asked and already had experience rooting their device, but it went no farther.

Until now. 
Lately I have been playing with GNUroot.  This is a proot system.  It has some limitations, but basically it tries to do what chroot did but all in user space.  This means that with some limitations, you can run emacspeak in a debian wheezy image on a non-rooted android tablet or phone.  Org mode works fine, shell works but does not have job control, gnus email works but may have issues depending how much mail you have and how you collect it.  Basically, anything that does not need root or a pty should work in emacs.  As for emacpeak, you cannot change speed of the TTS, it uses GoogleTTS at a fast rate by default.  You cannot do sound on the linux side, only on the android side, so no audio icons, no mplayer. There may be a solution to that, but currently there is not.

I am happy to share this as it does not risk your phone the way having to root it does.  I am working on (and need some help with) the step by step instructions.  I am looking for  two or three folks who want to help me turn this into something we can post for whoever wants it by testing it out, and helping turn the instructions into something more usable.

So, who do I want right now?  Well you should be comfortable with emacs, emacpeak and TalkBack.  You need an android tablet or phone running Jelly Bean, KItKat or LollyPop with around a gig of space free.  You need a keyboard that works with your phone or tablet (while not strictly required, it is such a huge help that I want the alpha testers to have external keyboards).  

What you will be doing:
Installing a few things from Google Play.
Installing one apk not from Google Play (so you have to enable "unsecure sources" in your security settings).
Getting some files from google drive (it is were I have them for now while I work on it).
Untar'ing three tar files into the newly created linux area.
Dealing with your frustration when it does not do something you wanted it to do...
Describing to me what does not work for you so we can fix it or document it for those that follow.

Any takers?



Greg Priest-Dorman

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