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Re: Using emacspeak with speech-dispatcher

Hi Milan,

Thank you for this mail and your help !

From: Milan Zamazal <pdm@freebsoft.org>
Subject: Re: Using emacspeak with speech-dispatcher
Date: Sat, 07 Jan 2006 19:13:55 +0100

> - Emacspeak contains a lot of TTS functionality.  This is exactly what
>   Speech Dispatcher tries to avoid, it gets the burden out of the
>   clients.  So significant part of Emacspeak would become useless.  Of
>   course that wouldn't be a big problem, but the problem was how to
>   disable all the TTS processing performed by Emacspeak.  That didn't
>   look very easy and we were somewhat reluctant to spend significant
>   effort on disabling software features.
    I think that simply reimplementing dtk-speak (and/or
    dtk-speak-using-voice) with speechd-ellibrary
    will be a first attempt.
> - Emacspeak communication with servers was one-way only, from Emacs to
>   the server, at the time we thought about it.  OTOH SSIP (the Speech
>   Dispatcher communication protocol) answers client requests.  So there
>   was no way to get feedback or information from Speech Dispatcher.
    The emacspeak client part (what I called the low level
    modules in my previous mails) will be completely
> - There was no apparent way to take advantage of the Speech Dispatcher
>   message priority model in Emacspeak.  But this means one of the most
>   important Speech Dispatcher features and reasons why Speech Dispatcher
>   was written couldn't be used in Emacspeak.  This was a serious issue
>   and one of the primary reasons we couldn't use Emacspeak for Speech
>   Dispatcher testing.
    Yes ...
> - Emacspeak didn't work with Czech very well.  We were not much
>   successful with fixing that before.  Additionally we could see no
>   apparent way how to make Emacspeak work well in a multilingual
>   environment, even with the Speech Dispatcher support.  So we preferred
>   to work on a non-English clean system instead of fighting with i18n
>   obstacles.
    I have been using emacspeak in french before I
    discovered speech-dispatcher and I had to
    patch certain parts with respect to the character sets.
> - Debugging an Emacs speech system is no easy thing.  The smaller and
>   simpler the debugged system, the easier the debugging job.  I was
>   afraid of debugging such a complex system as Emacspeak is.
    I have been reading (and somethimes modifying) the
    code for many years (since 1998) and am not
    so afraid !
> Since we have already decided not to interface Emacspeak with Speech
> Dispatcher, we are naturally not directly interested in working on it.
> But I can give you some advice at least.
  Thank you !
> First, please try to avoid duplicate work.  If there is something we
> could cooperate on, please don't forget to tell us.
  Sure ! I don't want to "reinvent the wheel"  as we
  say in french !
> Using speechd.el SSIP client library instead of implementing an SSIP
> Emacspeak server is probably a good idea.  If nothing else, this avoids
> some obstacles of the one-way communication and can be useful for error
> handling.  If you need to enhance the library, I'd be glad to
> incorporate your patches into it.  BTW, Pierre, what are the voice
> changing features you miss is speechd-el?
  For the moment I did not investigate this part.
> If you'd like to use any component of speechd-el, I recommend using the
> CVS version of speechd-el.  There are some changes in speechd-el, mostly
> related to making it independent on a particular kind of output.  The
> CVS version is mature and by using it you avoid making changes in your
> code after speechd-el 2.0 is released.  Unfortunately the changes have
> not been documented in the manual yet (which is the only major issue
> blocking the release of speechd-el 2.0), but I can help you if you have
> any questions.
  Elisp code is as good as documentation ! I'll have
  a look at the cvs version.
> Actually speechd-el doesn't use SSML.  But it should be easy to use
> speechd.el with SSML, I think all what is needed is to add a command for
> switching on/off Speech Dispatcher SSML support in speechd.el, which is
> trivial.
  We don't need absolutely ssml. What I need is a good
  elisp client for speech-dispatcher. And I know that
  speechd-el is such a good client.
> And finally, I've just got another idea: Perhaps instead of making
> Emacspeak work well with Speech Dispatcher it might be easier to look at
> the suggestion the other way round and to write an Emacspeak emulation
> for speechd-el?  Well, it's just a quick idea :-).  But it might be
> worth considering, you might get full advantages of Speech Dispatcher,
> Braille output, multilingual features, etc. immediately this way.  Of
> course it's dependent on your particular needs.
  It's probably the future of the project but first,
  I'll try to use speechd-el for the communication
  between emacs and sppeech-dispatcher and the high level
  modules of emacspeak for the data handling in the
  buffer. I understood and knew that unfortunately these
  two part are not disjoint enough in emacspeak,
  hence I will probably soon be obliged to modify
  these high level modules. I hope these modifications
  will be slight but it will lead to this emacspeak 
  emulation of that you spoke.

  Thanks again 


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