Re: [orca-list] Is anyone using Orca with Emacspeak? And does speech-dispatcher support hardware synths?

Hi Joanie,

I personally do not use the Emacspeak support in Orca for the primary
reason I do not have any hardware synthesizers, and Speech-Dispatcher
pretty much covers most of the common software TTS Engines out there
for Linux anyway. However, Speech-Dispatcher does not have any support
for hardware synthesizers. So my thought on the issue is  if we want
to maintain support for older hardware synthesizers then we probably
need to update the Emacspeak support to bring it up to current. If not
then we should drop the Emacspeak support.

Personally, I'm for dropping the support as hardware synthesizers are
not that common any more, and most of them are incompatible with newer
PCs. For instance, the Dectalk and Doubletalk internal cards use to
use the ISA slots, and every computer built in the last five years or
so all have PCI not ISA.  Almost all of the external synthesizers like
the Dectalk Express, Keynote SA, Accent SA, etc require a serial port,
and most new computers only have USB ports. Bottom line,  hardware
synthesizers are dying out do to the fact that they are no longer
compatible with newer PCs, and software TTS solutions are cheaper and
a lot more portible anyway.


On 6/12/11, Joanmarie Diggs <joanied gnome org> wrote:
Hey guys.

We have some really old code in Orca to support Emacspeak and a few
hardware speech synthesizers. Orca's support in this area was at best
minimal. Whether or not this support is even still functional is
something I need to investigate. My question is: Is this Orca code even

Someone will almost certainly say: "Might as well keep it in. What harm
does it do?" One of the things which is prompting my question is that I
want to look at finishing and integrating the plugin support work. And
one of the things that will be made "pluginable" are presentation
modalities (speech, braille, etc.). So really what I am asking is: Do we
need to take the time to do the work to convert this old code as part of
the plugin work, or can we just drop it?

As a related aside, in an ideal world, speech-dispatcher would support
everything we need. And maybe it already does. I still need to
investigate this as well. But if anyone happens to know definitively if
speech-dispatcher supports hardware speech synthesizers and wants to
save me some googling, I'd be most appreciative of the answer. <smiles>

Thanks guys! Take care.

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