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Re: Extending accessibility support in D-I for Lenny

Jurij Smakov <jurij@wooyd.org> writes:

> On Fri, Feb 16, 2007 at 12:14:04AM +0100, Frans Pop wrote:
>> On Thursday 15 February 2007 23:53, Gilles Casse wrote:
>> > Today, in principle using a Speakup enabled kernel + Speechd-Up +
>> > SpeechDispatcher + eSpeak or in user space, Yasr + emacspeak server +
>> > eSpeak, a text based dialog might be correctly spoken.
>> However, we understand that the speakup patches have never been properly 
>> ported to current 2.6 kernels and that there were security issues with 
>> the speakup patches. That is why speakup support was dropped from the 
>> installer when we dropped support for 2.4 kernels.

We dropped support for it since I did not have the
time and motivation to continue maintaining it.  I do primarily
work with braille output, so I wasn't able to test stuff as
much as I think is required for properly supporting it.
speakup is indeed ported to 2.6 kernels upstream, just not in Debian...

In January 2005 there were discussions between the
speakup maintainer (Kirk Reiser) and kernel hacker Matthew Wilcox during
a FSG Accessibility Workgroup meeting to work on finally getting speakup
accepted into the mainline kernel sources.  As I understand it, both parties
had problems getting the initial contact going (spam filters were
really preventing communication here), but I do not
know what further came of it.  To work on mainline integration
would reduce maintainance cost on speakup a lot for distributions.
Willy, are you still willing to help the speakup project to do the final
cleaning up so that mainline submission could happen?

> I've recently recognized that we no longer have a speakup-enabled 
> kernel, and I'm willing to work on the kernel team side to bring it 
> back for Lenny.

Great, I'd be very happy to see a volunteer working
on this, since speakup has a quite large user base in
the blind linux users community...

Back when I was still maintaining a speakup enabled kernel
in Debian, I bought a hardware speech synthesizer especially
for testing speakup support for it.  If you are really going to work on speakup
in Debian, I can provide that hardware to you for testing purposes since these
days, you can't even buy those things anymore.  However, many
people still have them, and would like to continue using them instead
of software speech synthesis.  Besides, using hardware speech
synthesis in speakup does enable a very cool feature
for blind users, i.e. being able to review the screen even
after a kernel crash or panic.

  Mario | Debian Developer <URL:http://debian.org/>
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   `-      <URL:http://delysid.org/>  <URL:http://www.staff.tugraz.at/mlang/>

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