[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: the danger of specialized Debian

Joseph Carter (knghtbrd@debian.org) wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 12, 2000 at 07:26:34PM -0500, Jacob Kuntz wrote:
> > i'm glad to see that people are interested in making linux availale to first
> > time computer users, k-12 schools, and people with disabilities. the
> > internet community as a whole needs more of this kind of initiative. i am
> > however concerened that if not properly organized, these projects may dilute
> > Debian's energy.
> fwiw, my work for making Debian more accessable to the blind (and people
> with other disabilities) will be in the form of a more generic way to feed
> input into and output from programs..  This has much more far-reaching
> effects than disability access.  I won't go into much detail here because
> I could spend hours on the details and I don't have the time.  If I ever
> had time to do most of this stuff, the results would be cool.  =>
> Probably my first goal is to try and get the necessary software into
> Debian.  Some of it (such as emacspeak) is already there.  To use some of
> the software in question though, I need some specialized hardware or a
> reasonable software emulation of it.  (I don't have a speech synthesizer
> for example..  The closest software that exists is festival which would be
> very hard to use as a primary output method.  Something more like a
> DECtalk is needed--the hardware version is something like $1200US!  The
> software version is not generally available yet.  (Compaq has a deal with
> Creative Labs to bundle a software version ofthis with certain
> products---if you've heard synthetic speech in mainstream products and
> services and it was not just words that were recorded, it was a DECtalk..
> They are very easy to understand.) 

i've been playing with festival (and sphinx, the other direction) for a
while. about that detalk thing, i found a signifigantly cheaper (<$100)
solution. i'll see if i can find that link and sent it to you. IIRC it's
available as an isa add in board, serial board, or chip alone.

> But getting software packaged isn't the final step, it's only the first
> step.  We'd need a set of speech-enabled boot floppies.  It'd be good to
> have some nicely extendable and generic way to feed input into programs (I
> have talked with Alan Cox about a kernel-level solution to this before,
> mostly it's just been that I haven't had time to work on it..)

now there's the spirit! not a fork, but an included enhancment. maybe
someday we can forgo the non-spech enabled install dists. and (please please
please) maybe even replace xterm with something similar.

i digress. we should talk on this subject more later.

> Something that I am shooting for eventually is "accessable software", that
> is software which is designed from the ground up to be accessable to
> everyone.  Think along the lines of debconf front-ends..  If you have and
> can use a GUI, you might access the programs through a GUI interface.  A
> console would access them through a console interface.  A blind person
> might want a speech/keyboard interface.  As I am sure you can imagine,
> this is a lot harder to do than it sounds but it can be done.
> -- 
> Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org>                 Debian Linux developer
> http://tank.debian.net   GnuPG key  pub 1024D/DCF9DAB3  sub 2048g/3F9C2A43
> http://www.debian.org    20F6 2261 F185 7A3E 79FC 44F9 8FF7 D7A3 DCF9 DAB3
> <Teller> where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?

(jacob kuntz)                    jpk@cape.com jake@{megabite,underworld}.net
(megabite systems)     "think free speech, not free beer." (gnu foundataion)

Reply to: