Blind vs. mainstream distros

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Mon Apr 24 09:25:54 UTC 2017

I'm Tony Baechler. See below.

On 4/23/2017 1:02 PM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> I think you misunderstand the way TalkingArch works. TalkingArch has very
> minor modifications to offer speech and braille output out of the box, but
> TalkingArch is essentially just Arch. There is no need for more developers,
> as we just take the official Arch iso and make very few modifications to it.
> We maintain a single package, (brltty-mimimal), which removes dependencies
> on X and other things that aren't needed in an official Arch installation
> and work around some sound issues by unmuting the sound cards and playing a
> recorded message and beeps when multiple cards are detected, and all that
> was done before Kelly and I started maintaining it.  No, TalkingArch is
> *not* a specialized distro; it's a modified ArchLinux iso that talks and
> outputs braille out of the box. Once installed, the end user has nothing on
> his/her system but pure Arch. This is what we offer in TalkingArch and
> nothing more. In reality, it only takes about 5 hours each month to keep
> TalkingArch working, and most of that is build and upload time.

No, I don't misunderstand at all. Gentoo was the same. You boot the live CD, 
you get speech and you install Gentoo from the handbook. However, I still 
call it specialized. If the two of you can't maintain it, it dies. It isn't 
the same as the original, unmodified Arch. If it is 100% Arch with no 
modifications, I would say you're right. Debian and Ubuntu don't need to be 
modified in any way. Both easily let the user start speech at boot and do a 
normal install. Arch lets you do a normal install, but as you say, it plays 
a message, unmutes sound, etc. Why can't this be handled upstream? Either 
have an official Arch .iso with speech or a boot option.

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list