Console screenreaders

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Sat Oct 3 13:07:39 UTC 2020

Years ago, before Speakup supported software speech, I would keep yasr
on my laptop just so I could have a screen reader when I didn't have a
hardware synth on hand. I used it with flite.



Linux for blind general discussion writes:
> I'm personally a fan of SBL, particularly for it's
> hold down caps lock and use arrow keys to navigate the screen like a
> text document" style of screen review and it generally only reading
> the output from verbose commands that I tell it too instead of trying
> to read absolutely everything like espeakup does... though admittedly,
> I prefer espeakup's more verbose style when playing classic infocom
> text adventures in Fizmo or Frotz since I don't have to manually
> review the output of every action. I also find SBL works better with
> scrolling curses-basedapps as espeakup has a bad habit of reading a
> line that just scrolled on screen instead of the line that just came
> into focus when the two happen simultaneously.
> Sadly, SBL is, as far as I know, only available for OpenSUse and
> Knoppix as a precompiled package, and even then, Knoppix only has an
> i386 version and the .deb isn't readily available ever since Alioth
> was taken offline and too the Knoppix repository with it. SBL isn't in
> active development either as far as I know, though I can't say I've
> noticed any issues with the current version's age.
> About all I know about Fenrir is that it's userland-based while
> espeakup requires the speakup kernel module and that it's written in
> Python. I believe it also uses Speech dispatcher, which might make
> using software speech synths other than espeak/espak-ng easier in some
> cases(I've never had issues with espeak-ng, so I can't really comment
> on other synths).
> I know even less about YASR than Fenrir, but I understand it requires
> a hardware speech synth to function properly.
> -Jeffery
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Janina Sajka

Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup:

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Co-Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures

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