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Re: Extending accessibility support in D-I for Lenny

Samuel Thibault <samuel.thibault@ens-lyon.org> writes:

> Hi,
> Mario Lang, le Fri 16 Feb 2007 14:23:31 +0100, a écrit :
>> Willy, are you still willing to help the speakup project to do the final
>> cleaning up so that mainline submission could happen?
> I wouldn't say "final": the way speakup access serial ports is to be
> completely rethought.  The current way it is done will just have a lot
> of chances to crash if you access the serial device from a userspace
> program, for instance.

I am aware of these problems, and that is exactly why I was
never in favour for a speakup-patched kernel by default.
The way speakup currently is implemented is IMO not suitable
for the average server system, it is too hackish.  I've also
observed spontaneous slowdowns of my computer when I was
using speakup with a serial-connected hardware speech synthesizer.
Always when the synth was supposed to talk a lot, so speakup
is definitely not the right thing for people with latency
requirements (as is the case for me, since I do work
with audio equipment under Linux).  Thats also why I finally
dropped maintainance, since speakup was coming in the
way of my own work.  The upstream authors were not
believing my symptom description, so things fell silently

> I doubt any kernel hacker would accept that mainline.

That is why willy originally volunteered to help
the speakup project, to find the things that need to be addressed,
and show/help the speakup team to address them.

OTOH, the way serial IO is currently done in speakup
is on the one hand very ugly and hackish, OTOH does it
also provide a "feature".  If the kernel crashes but
speakup somehow can still run, the user can review the screen
and read the error message.  If speakup would use
some kernel internals to access the serial port (instead
of the direct outp calls now), the chance is higher
it would be taken down by a kernel crash as well.
I guess that was one motivation for the maintainers
to actually implement it like this, to keep it
as much as possible independent from the actual running kernel...

> (That would also permit to use USB-to-serial adapters)

Yes, that is also a long-standing problem.  Users of newish
laptop have complained about this since years.

>> 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.
> Mmm, I'd say the best way would rather to write a "fake" speakup driver,
> that outputs plain text on the serial port.  That would let _everybody_
> test speakup (including all kernel hackers), not only people that have
> the hardware.

I am not sure this is going to be helpful.  If you want
to test a talking application, you'll have to have it talk,
otherwise you can't test it really.  BTW, for those
that dont have a hardware speech synthesizer, they can
still use the speech-dispatcher adaptor provided by speakup.
They just dont get very early boot output, thats basically all.

  Mario | Debian Developer <URL:http://debian.org/>
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