whole bunch of questions!

John G. Heim jheim at math.wisc.edu
Fri Jul 11 16:48:18 UTC 2014

In debian stable (weezy) and testing (jessie), speakup with software 
speech crashes if you start orca. A fix may be in ubuntu because it's 
also in the old version of sonar which was based on ubuntu. I didn't 
check out how they did it but they probably compiled espeak with 
pulseaudio instead of alsa. IMO, the espeakpackage developers should 
make this an installation option.

To reproduce the fix:
1. apt-get install libpulse-dev libsonic-dev
2. apt-get source espeak
3. cd espeak-1.6.42/src/
4. Edit the Makefile. Comment out the line that says to use portaudio 
and uncomment the line that says to use pulseaudio. Or use this diff:
< AUDIO = portaudio
 > #AUDIO = portaudio
< #AUDIO = pulseaudio
 > AUDIO = pulseaudio

5. make
6. make install

On 07/11/14 08:46, Al Sten-Clanton wrote:
> As a practical point in favor of Vinux, I gather that its developers
> have worked out getting Orca and Speakup to function together in the
> troublesome land of Pulseaudio, but on Wheezy this is not true.  Is this
> correct?
> Al
> On 7/11/2014 7:56 AM, Christopher Chaltain wrote:
>> I agree, there's no purpose to argue the point, since I'll just start
>> repeating myself. I will say though that the admonishment to avoid
>> updates because they might break accessibility is no longer on the Vinux
>> site. This has been true since Vinux 4.0 and it may even go back to the
>> last Vinux 3.X.
>> On 07/11/2014 02:29 AM, Tony Baechler wrote:
>>> I'm not going to argue the point with you, but look at what happened to
>>> Oralux.  It's long dead with no more support.  I believe there are
>>> only a
>>> few active developers working on Vinux.  If one of them loses interest
>>> and
>>> moves on, that's about 1/3 or 1/4 of the development team.  Even if they
>>> don't lose interest, what if they have a long-term illness?  Life
>>> happens,
>>> like it or not.  Debian has about 1,000 developers, so if one quits,
>>> there
>>> are still 999 left.  There are literally thousands of messages on the
>>> debian-user list every month and tens of thousands of questions in the
>>> Ubuntu forums.  I really doubt if Vinux has that much traffic.  The
>>> fact is
>>> that most sighted people don't know anything about the blind, don't
>>> want to
>>> know and don't have the interest to support the blind even if they
>>> took the
>>> time and effort.  There are other issues as well, such as a note on the
>>> Vinux site to not install any Ubuntu updates because they might break
>>> the
>>> speech support.  Besides the obvious issue of not gettine newer packages
>>> with possibly better accessibility, your system is left wide open to
>>> security exploits.  That was Vinux 3.X, so hopefully 4.X fixes that.
>>> If you
>>> run Debian stable and choose to upgrade your packages, you won't have
>>> system
>>> breakage.  If you run testing and upgrade Gnome, you could lose
>>> speech, but
>>> that's your choice and the price you pay for running testing.
>>> Otherwise,
>>> you're at the mercy of the Vinux developers to come out with a new
>>> version.
>>> On 2014-07-10 08:39 PM, Christopher Chaltain wrote:
>>>> I don't disagree with what you're saying, but I'm not sure what you
>>>> mean by
>>>>> The other problem with a specialized
>>>>> Linux is the lack of support.  There are tens of thousands of Debian
>>>>> and
>>>>> Ubuntu users while there are only a few dedicated Vinux users and
>>>>> developers.
>>>> It's true there are fewer people using and developing Vinux, but all
>>>> of the
>>>> support you get from Ubuntu also applies to Vinux. I find the
>>>> answers to
>>>> many more questions on my system running Vinux from the Ubuntu forums
>>>> than I
>>>> do the Vinux mailing list, wiki or IRC channel.
>>>> Vinux developers are just making a lot of the changes you'd be making
>>>> yourself on your own Ubuntu install, so in addition to being able to
>>>> leverage all of the support out there for Ubuntu, you also get
>>>> support for
>>>> the changes you want to make to make your own system more accessible
>>>> anyway.
>>>> I'm not trying to talk up Vinux at the expense of Ubuntu or Debian.
>>>> Going to
>>>> Linux is all about choice. I just don't want people to get the
>>>> impression
>>>> that if they choose Vinux they'll be on their own.
>>>> Note that this also applies to other distributions customized for the
>>>> blind,
>>>> such as Sonar, although Sonar is moving to a Arch based distribution
>>>> instead
>>>> of Ubuntu.
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John G. Heim, 608-263-4189, jheim at math.wisc.edu

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