re: emacspeak with erc on debian
I'm surprised anyone is able to use emacs let alone emacspeak on anything
later than the sarge distribution of debian given my own experiences.
I'm happy for whoever can manage to do this though. Things to try.
First install ircII on your system and get out and connected to a known
irc address and make sure you can hear incoming messages. This is
important since you need a proved connection to point erc at with all
necessary and correct login credentials in place. Once done, I suggest
trying two alternate start up procedures for emacspeak. First is to run
emacspeak from the command line with whatever switches you normally feed
it. Then try to run erc and connect to the known good irc channel and see
if incoming messages get spoken. If not, try a second approach. At the
command line run emacs -nw which will turn off any use of xwindows or
attempt to use xwindows. Next mx-emacspeak and get that going. Next
mx-erc and get that going. Then go to the known good irc channel and see
what can be heard if anything in terms of incoming messages. In C,
there's a cprintf() function which when used screen readers don't get any
printing sent them. It's the printf() function in C that gets proper
screen writing done though. I don't know if lisp equivalents exist though
they may so this could be part of your problem too, the erc package was
built with the wrong screen writing commands.