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Auditory Icons

OK, just a few final comments....

1. I feel that a lot of your problems and confusion are due to you
attempting to run before you can walk. Emacs and emacspeak are
powerful and quite complex. You will benefit a lot more by starting
very basic and progressing as your knowledge grows. I would STRINGLY
suggest you read the introduction to emacs lisp. Its a very gentle
introduction and will give you the basic concepts you need to properly
customize your system and diagnose problems when they arise.

2. forget about the added complications of putting your customize
settings in a different file. Go with the default to start with and
then split things up later when you have a better understanding of how
it all operates. this is far safer and aoids introducing additional
complexities or problems until you have a better grasp of how the
whole system works. 

3. As you only have a single channel sound card, forget about trying
to use any other sort of auditory icons except for the midi based
approach. With a single channel sound card and software based TTS,
this is the only approach which will work reliably. Attempting to get
any other solution working is just a waste of time.

4. Now that I understand your level of knowledge regarding
lisp/emacs/emacspeak, I believe even more strongly that you may have
currupted your customize settings section. You wondered how you are
meant to deal with the problem of entries preventing emacs from
starting correctly when something goes wrong without editing this by
hand. The solution is very simple. Make a copy of your customization
file before making any changes. If something causes problems, then
just copy the backup over the top of the one which is not working.

5. Note that your "evidence" that the file is being loaded correctly
because your fonts and colours change to your customized settings is
no indication the file is loading correctly. for one thing, face/font
settings are in a different customization section within the file
e.g. there should be two customize sections, one for faces and one for
everyhting else. Just because one section loads it does not follow the
other is loading correctly, even if they are in the same file. 

6. What Linux flavor are you running? You indicate there are no site
specific initialization directories or files. I know the following
distributions certainly do - SuSe, Debian, RedHat, Mandrake and
probably any distribution derived from them. I don't know about
slackware, it is possible it doesn't. From memory, you mentioned in
one of your posts you downloaded and installed your own version of
emacs. I would strongly suggest going back to the distribution
package, even if its a bit older, just to start with. The reason is
that some distributions patch/modify emacs and have distribution
specific configuration files. It is possible that installing your own
version may be causing some subtle side effects which are
contributing to your problems. By getting things working with the base
distribution setup first, you will be able to identify differences and
possible problem areas mor easily once you move to the version you
have built yourself. 

Auditory icons are a nice additional feature of emacspeak, but they
are not essential to its operation. I didn't use them for quite some
time, but now use them al the time. It may be worth waiting until your
knowledge is a bit greater. Just for reference, here is the startup
script I use on my system for emacspeak. Note that you will not just
be able to drop this in and use it as our platforms are different, but
at lest it may give you some ideas. I call this script 01emacspeak.el
and have it in my /etc/emacs/site-lisp.d directory (this is under
Debian Linux, which I beleive has the best emacs support of any of the
other distributions).

;; tell the system where to find my emacspeak stuff
(add-to-list 'load-path "/usr/local/share/emacs/site-lisp/emacspeak/lisp")

;; Define a load hood for emacspeak which will run when emacspeak is 
;; loaded. Note you can do this via customize now!
(add-hook 'emacspeak-startup-hook
	  (lambda ()
	    (setq emacspeak-aumix-multichannel-capable-p t 
	          emacspeak-vm-use-raman-settings nil)))

;; This section ensure that emacspeak is only loaded if it has not 
;; already been loaded and that we are running interactively e.g. not
;; in batch mode
(if (and (not (featurep 'emacspeak))
		 (not noninteractive))

;; do the following only if emacspeak has been loaded
(when (featurep 'emacspeak)
  (emacspeak-toggle-auditory-icons t)
  (when (emacspeak-sounds-theme-p "cartoon-22k-mono/")
    (emacspeak-sounds-select-theme "cartoon-22k-mono/"))

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