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want to contribute with some PlugIns for emacspeak.



Hi Krishnakant,

Its great you want to contribute to emacspeak. However, there are a
few points which I think you need to consider and some aspects of the
emacspeak philosophy which you haven't grasped yet. 

Firstly, forget about trying to provide things like font information
when reading PDF or PostScript documents. The only way to access such
documents from within emacs is to turn them into text, at which point
you have lost the information regarding bold, italic or font details. 

With LaTex, texinfo and other markup languages, there is no point as
this information is readily available from the markup tags. For
example, in LaTeX, bold is denoted by \textbf{This text is bold}. 

this leaves rendered HTML documents. In this case, the information is
already provided by emacspeak through the use of different voices.
This is part of the philosophy of emacspeak. Audible cues, such as
sound icons and different voices or speech tones are used to 
provide a functionally equivalent role to font attributes for
sighted users. This facilitates Raman's goal of having a system which
informs the blind user concerning content without adding additional
words and in a way which is more closely related to natural speech. 

this aspect of emacspeak is something you haven't been able to
appreciate because the speech synthesises you are using don't support
multiple voices. Currently, when I access a web page, components of
the page, such as headings, links and emphasised text are either
spoken in a different voice, with a different tone or through the use
of sound icons. As a blind user, I don't really care if the font is
Times New Roman, courier or in 12pt or llpt, double spaced etc. This
information is only relevant when I'm producing documents for sighted
users, in which case, I'm using some sort of markup language and this
information is available through the markup tags.

With respect to creating high quality formatted documents for sighted
users, you cannot go past LaTeX. I often have to produce high quality
documents in PDF or PostScript and I regularly get comments on the
quality of the formatted output. As a side note, I also often get
comments regarding how quickly I can produce well formatted documents.
This is because LaTeX is much faster and simpler than using Word. Most
Word users remark on how long it takes them after writing the document
to get it formatted and looking good. This is something you rarely
have to worry about with LaTeX. There are also numerous emacs tools
which will allow you to create good quality documents in various
formats, such as emacs muse, which will create HTML, XHTML, PDF,
PostScript, DocBook RTF TexInfo and other formats from a single source
document. Robert has outlined the various formats you can produce
using texInfo and there are a number of other packages, like bhl,
emacs-wiki nxml-mode, xslide, html-helper mode, etc, which can be used
to create high quality documents in various formats. 

Without wanting to appear rude, I would have to say I feel you are
trying to run before you can walk. It is wonderful you want to
contribute to emacspeak. However, I don't believe you have been using
it long enough yet to know exactly where you could make the best
contribution. The combination of emacs and emacspeak is extremely
powerful and there is a lot to learn. I've been using it for over 8
years and I am still learning new stuff pretty much every week. It can
take some time before you can really appreciate both the power of the
system and some of the less obvious aspects and goals of emacspeak. 

My advice, for what its worth, would be to concentrate on learning how
to achieve your main requirements as best you can with what already
exists. Participate in forums such as comp.gnu.emacs.help, emacs
specific mailing lists, read the emacs wiki at
http://www.emacswiki.org and ask questions on this list. After a while
you will be able to identify specific limitations with emacs and
emacspeak which need to be addressed and have a better idea of how to
solve them in an emacs and emacspeak way. You will also need to become
familiar with emacs lisp. Elisp is a very powerful language and being
lisp, it is quite easy to learn. However, like most lisp dialects, it
takes considerable time to master. Study the emacspeak code and get to
understand how it works, the design philosophy underlying it and what
low level facilities already exist which may make your own development
work go faster. Then, when you are ready, start off with some smaller
projects - maybe speech enable a new emacs mode, provide bug fixes,
contribute to the emacs w3 project (they need contributors badly), try
adding support for another speech synthesiser etc. 

regards,

Tim



krishnakant Mane writes:
 > hello all,
 > I have been sending a lot of posts to this list regarding some issue
 > probably never thought of by any one.
 > never the less I will like to go on further with helping to find
 > answers for my own question and also helping others who feel the same.
 > I have been asking how I can read font information from a web page or
 > a LaTeX document or a pdf document for that matter.
 > till now all that I have understood is the fact that no complete
 > system is available to tell you that "the text is bold " or "font size
 > is large".  this is so much unlike the ideas of sir T. V. Raman when
 > he talks about the audio desktop.  his thinking is so cloase to me but
 > the only difference is that he think about this much before me and
 > actually implemented almost all the ideas to perfection.  this is
 > obvious because I am not as great as he is.
 > any ways with due respect to his idea that an audio desktop should
 > talk to a blind person like a sited person would (I herd him giving
 > the example of emails in an interview), I find that formatting
 > information is also important for a blind person like me who creats a
 > lot of commertial documents and even presentations.
 > so I have decided to write the extentions myself.
 > but I will need guidance from all you people as to how I must start
 > and what I need to learn for doing what I want to do.
 > my idea is to have a key combination like ctrl + alt + f for listening
 > to font and alignment information.  so that for a text which is a
 > heading aligned in center and bolded, I can here emacspeak say
 > "heading aligned center and bolded".
 > may be I will add some more functionality later.
 > but let me at least begin.
 > can any one suggest me how I can go about it?
 > I will like to inform the list that I am a experienced developed in
 > python and also write a lot of code in c language.
 > any suggestions please?
 > Krishnakant.
 > 
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-- 
Tim Cross
tcross@rapttech.com.au

There are two types of people in IT - those who do not manage what they 
understand and those who do not understand what they manage.

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