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Re: [EMACSPEAK The Complete Audio Desktop] Emacspeak 3.0: Released 20 Years Ago Today!



Thank you, Tim, for a wonderful tribute, to which I'll add a footnote.

Emacspeak is not only great software; it's also great research. The papers
describing Emacspeak demonstrated what was possible at a time when, let's
recall, people were still concerned with off-screen models and whether
Microsoft would make Windows 95 accessible. Accessibility APIs existed but
were primarily means of providing information to a screen reader about
on-screen widgets (arguably they still are, although the Web has expanded that
role somewhat).

Contrast that with the "speech-enabling approach", audio formatting (pioneered
in ASTER and then developed to great effect in Emacspeak) and true access to
applications, not just to on-screen interfaces. Then came aural CSS, which
regrettably we still don't have in widely available browsers, followed by
further innovations.

It's the kind of research that, for some of us at least, inspired enormously
and changed the conversation for ever and for the better.

Thank you, Raman, for the great software and the extraordinary research
contributions - and I know you have more in store over the coming decades.

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