Sonar GNU/Linux merges with Vinux

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Mon Apr 24 14:59:25 UTC 2017

The reason it is important for the screen reader to not be in user space 
is that you might need it to gett boot messages.

-- John Heim

On 04/24/2017 07:40 AM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> Tony,
> I said absolutely nothing of Red Hat hosting Orca. I said they ship it 
> with the distribution, which they are not at all obligated to do, as 
> proven by the fact that Linux Mint didn't come with Orca in the live 
> environment for a very long time. As for Speakup, it has never been 
> fully ready for prime time up to now, and there are very good reasons 
> why it is still stuck in the staging tree. If you want to talk about 
> too little too late, then I would talk of Speakup, which is only 
> recently getting its act together enough to hopefully make it out of 
> staging and into the stable kernel tree, maybe in the next couple of 
> years if we're lucky. Meanwhile, we have a very nice package called 
> Fenrir, which has taken the screen reader completely out of the 
> kernel, putting it fully in userspace where it belongs. Perhaps this 
> will address the issue of speech from a text only environment much 
> better than Speakup ever could, as it can not only work on kernels 
> without staging enabled, but it will also eventually be far more 
> portable to things like FreeBSD, which has never had even a proof of 
> concept kernel-based screen reader, and has up to now required ssh in 
> order to get it to do anything for those of us who need speech output.
> Regarding installer accessibility, I have used quite a few installers, 
> and Red Hat was one of the first major vendors to ship an installer 
> that while not accessible by direct methods e.g. via speech on the 
> machine where the OS was to be installed, did come with a method of 
> gaining access to the installation terminal via telnet, and also had 
> kickstart files that could be used in place of the on-screen system. 
> Of course Speakup had to be used via Speakup Modified, and before 
> that, the kernel had to be patched, but I wouldn't call that not 
> caring by any stretch. Once the graphical environment started becoming 
> usable, Red Hat, now called Fedora, was already shipping Orca in its 
> repositories, and they were one of the first to include the quite new 
> at the time Espeak, which was far more responsive than Festival, and 
> all the other distros soon followed. I'm not sure where in the world 
> you have come to the conclusion that Red Hat simply doesn't care about 
> accessibility. Is it because your beloved Speakup, which is stuck in 
> the staging tree for more than 3 years now still isn't enabled in the 
> Fedora kernel? Sorry, but it's way past time to look elsewhere for 
> text mode screen reading to something that isn't locked into a kernel. 
> No other screen reader is bound to a kernel, and there are excellent 
> reasons that go far deeper than accessibility for disabling staging in 
> a vendor kernel. Rather than complaining that a distro vendor doesn't 
> enable a potentially insecure and/or unstable part of its kernel so 
> that we can have a screen reader in text mode, those who use text mode 
> on a regular basis and need a screen reader for it need to either 
> learn how to muck about in the Linux kernel itself so that the screen 
> reader can get out of staging and into the kernel proper, or better 
> yet, contribute to Fenrir development, where everything goes on in 
> userspace and the screen reader only relies on interfaces to stable 
> and well-tested parts of the kernel that are never disabled in any 
> distro or vendor kernel. If Red Hat decides not to accept a Fenrir 
> package, then and only then can we begin to arrive at the conclusion 
> that maybe perhaps they don't give a care for accessibility.
> ~Kyle
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