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Auditory Icons

Hello Tim,
This letter is delayed by 12 hours because of a power cut.
>Tim Cross writes:
 > It seems to me you are not being terribly methodical about all of this
 > nor does it seem you are using much in the way of diagnostic
 > skill. I'm not trying to be rude, but rather trying to point out some
 > flaws in your approach. I'm hoping doing this will allow you to better
 > be able t solve your problems independently.
I don't consider your reply as rude; you are trying to be helpful, but
 there is  a huge conceptual and knowledge gap between us and we are
 ending up talking at each other rather than with each other. 

 > You wrote ..
 > >Hi Cheryl, Tom, and the rest of the list, 
 > >Cheryl: you had suggested I add 
 > >(setq toggle-auditory-icons t)
 Mea Culpa. I should remember not to trust my memory in areas where my
 ignorance is so profound. 
 > Using C-h v and C-h f would have shown you very quickly that there is
 > no variable called toggle-auditory-icons. Furthermore, you should have
 > observe that all variables and functions associated with emacspeak
 > either have the word emacspeak- or dtk- at the beginning. 
 > Using the apropos command and putting in something like auditory-icons
 > as the search string would have revealed -
 > emacspeak-toggle-auditory-icons is an interactive compiled Lisp function in `emacspeak-sounds'.
 > (emacspeak-toggle-auditory-icons &optional PREFIX)
 > Toggle use of auditory icons.
 > Optional interactive PREFIX arg toggles global value.
 > So, what you really need in your .emacs is
 > (emacspeak-toggle-auditory-icons t)
 > That is, a function call, not a variable setting, which is what setq does.
 Oh! That is what a `function call' is. My fortune occasionally spews
 out a bit of doggerel verse using computer jargon
(supposed to be sung to the tune of a Pink
 Floyd song, whose chorus line goes
"...  It's only a lisp function call").

I put that inmy .emacs and got an error message which follows between rows of =
Loading disp-table...done
Loading tool-bar...done
Loading image...done
Loading tooltip...done
Loading /home/lalita/emacspeak.el (source)...done

An error has occurred while loading `/home/lalita/.emacs':

Symbol's function definition is void: emacspeak-toggle-auditory-icons

To ensure normal operation, you should investigate the cause
of the error in your initialization file and remove it.  Start
Emacs with the `--debug-init' option to view a complete error
Loading cl-macs...done
Loading emacspeak...
Loading cl-extra...done
Loading emacspeak...done
Loading bytecomp...done
Loading byte-opt...done
Loading /usr/share/emacs/site-lisp/emacspeak/sounds/default-8k/define-theme.el (source)...done
  Press C-h C-e to get an   overview of emacspeak  17.0  I am  completely operational,  and all my circuits are functioning perfectly! 
Loading /home/lalita/emacspeak.el (source)...done
Turned on auditory icons 
Loading font-lock...done
Loading edmacro...done
Loading pc-select...done
Loading delsel...done
Loading vm-vars...done
Loading cl-seq...done
I didn't bother about the backtrace but commented out the line
containing the code Cheryl sent and I'm
copy/pasting it from the present .emacs file, to avoid further
;;(emacspeak-toggle-auditory-icons t)

Obviously I, as an illispate ignoramus cannot explain why what you call a
function call is being described as a `symbol'. I am not asking for an
explanation; I probably would not understand it anyway.

 > You further wrote....
 > > Tim, you had suggested after saving my choice
 > > emacspeak-native-auditory-icon-function for future sessions,
 > > I ought to try C-h v and see what the function is set to. As
 > > I had said in my last posting, if I restart emacspeak after
 > > saving my choice for future sessions and quitting, Emacspeak
 > > becomes useless. Any command at all yields "Cannot find sound
 > > file, no such file or directory". I have to quit (C-x C-c)
 > > and take out the line added by customize to my "custom-file"
 > > using plain emacs(no speak) and then restart emacspeak.
 > This should clearly indicate there is a problem of some sort in the
 > loading of your customization file. You should still try C-h v to see
 > what the value is as it may provide some more valuable clues.

Here is the value currently. I have not saved anything for future
emacspeak-auditory-icon-function's value is 

> Knowing
 > you have been editing the customization section by hand makes me
 > suspect that your customization file is currupted - there is a reason
 > it clearly states 
  > ;; custom-set-variables was added by Custom -- don't edit or cut/paste it!
 >   ;; Your init file should contain only one such instance.
I would like to know how I am supposed to get rid of it. For the _third_
time let me say, that _if_ I save the choice
emacspeak-native-auditory-icons for future sessions, then if I start
emacspeak, I cannot do anything other than practice typing
"A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" or something that does not
need to be saved. Any command (is C-x C-s a command?) so I can't use
customize to get rid of the option. If I open plain emacs then customize
won't show the group `emacspeak', so what other choice do I have. The
present emacspeak.el (my custom-file) is my former emacs `custom-file'
with the name emacs.el. So I can wipe out all the emacspeak
customizations (there aren't too many) by doing
cp emacs.el emacspeak.el.

 > As you are puting your customize section in its own file, I assume you
 > have checked to make sure there isn't part of an old one still in your
 > .emacs file? 
Yes, I have. 
 > You further wrote....
 > > My custom-file certainly gets loaded: 1.  I have taken the -q
 > > flag out of the script which starts emacspeak; 2. My .emacs
 > > file starts off: ;-*- Mode: Emacs-Lisp -*- (setq custom-file
 > > "~/emacspeak.el") (load-file "emacspeak.el")
  > > In fact, if the file was not loaded, then the problem (not
 > > being able to do _anything_) would not sppear!
This is where the conceptual chasm occurs.
As a mathematician I argue that every conclusion requires a premise.
I cannot see how emacspeak could conclude that I want to use a black background,
  wheat foreground and New Century Schoolbook (18 pt) as my default
  font/face if my custom-file had not been loaded!

 > I'm afraid this is flawed thinking. It is quite possible there is an
 > error in your customize settings file which is preventing the whole
 > file from being loaded correctly. 
Of course this might be so, but it happens to be the case that the
 emacspeak customizations saved are all variables  and are at the top of
 the file.

>It is possible that such an error
 > does not show any obvious signs until the custmization line added for
 > the sound function is included - adding that customization may make
 > the problem obvious, but it in itself may not be the cause of the
 > error. It could be the error is the line above or below (or any other
 > place for that matter) where the real error is. This sort of thing is
 > common with emacs due to the global nature of functions and variables
 > - I have often spent days trying to rack down some difficult little
 > bug only to find it was something which seemed totally unrelated in
 > some custmoization file. Be very wary of making assumptions like this
 > as they can prevent you from seeing what the real cause of the problem
 > is. 
Heavens! This is Douglas Adams' notion of things being
quantum mechanical --- everthing affects everthing. 

>Also keep in mind that as nobody else has reported the problems
 > you are encountering, there is a very high likelyhood its your
 > installation or configuration which is the problem.
I have no doubt that it is my installation of Linux, emacs plain and
peak are the source of the problem. 

 > On another note, it is also VERY important to ensure that emacspeak is
 > loaded BEFORE any other custmoizations - this is why the emacspeak
 > script has the -q switch - the script ensure emacspeak is loaded
 > before your .emacs. However, while this was adequate in older Linux
 > distributions, this is not always the case with newer ones. Older
 > distributions use to install a very vanilla emacs with no site-init
 > scripts or site-init.d directories of initialization scripts. However,
 > newer relases are now using various mechanisms to handle add-on
 > packages and their customization. Therefore, you now need to take a
 > lot more care to ensure emacspeak is loaded first. 
I did this when I read this suggestion from Cheryl Homiak, I can always
 restore status quo ante. 
 > On many systems, there is an /etc/emacs/site-lisp.el and
 > /etc/emacs/site-lisp.d directory. The site-lisp.el file usually does
 > some initial setup and then runs the *.el files in the site-lisp.d
 > directory. 
Not on my system, I've just checked.
>These are all executed BEFORE your .emacs is
 > loaded. Therefore, it is now sometimes a good idea to put an emacspeak
 > specific initialization file into the site-lisp.d directory. Often the
 > scripts in this directory are similar to init.d scripts in that they
 > start with two digits. These digits are used to control the order in
 > which files are run. This means you can put something like
 > 00emacspeak.el into this directory which contains the eamcspeak
 > startup (and possibly some initialization code) into this file and be
 > able to ensure it is run first. I posted an example file to this list
 > back at the beginning of the year which you could find in the archives.
 I'll look for it, thanks!
 > Finally, you wrote...
 > > Tim: your hunch that emacs is not sound enabled is to me, at
 > > least, demonstrably false, since emacspeak character, word
 > > echo etc and auditory icons, start-up icon are playing. It is
 > > simply that emacspeak can't figure out where a cetain sound
 > > file is.
 > This statement is so far off the mark that I'm beginning to dispair
 > at how little you understand about how emacspeak works and what is
 > actually happening when you start up.
I have already confessed that I do not understand how emacspeak works. I
 am using it to write mathematics (using LaTeX and AucTeX). I don't
 expect  ever to be able to write or comprehend lisp code. I was not
 trained for it and am too old to learn. I was hoping to use the
 experience of people who _do_ understand emacspeak and learn how to get
 the most out of it. I probably wouldn't have bothered about the icons
 but for the fact that somewhere Raman had written that these are not a
 gimmick but genuinely useful indications of what is happening in the
I am omitting the rest of your lettet. I have a feeling you may have
stopped reading a long time ago. One thing became clear from the
remaining stuff. I DO NOT have a multi-channel sound system.
I don't have a sound card but a chip built into the mother board. If I
am using auditory icons (which I'm not, at the moment) if I give a
command, the icon plays and only then the command appears in the echo
are, for example if it is C-x C-f or M-x etc.

I'll see if I feel like  indulging myself with a better sound system.

 I hope you don't feel I am wasting the time and resources of the list
 by making such a fuss about icons. I promise to drop the subject if
 this is the general feeling. There are many other things I can  learn
 by reading replies to other people's questions.

Thanks again for the time you have given to my queries.

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