Orca and eSpeak

Luke Yelavich themuso at themuso.com
Fri Sep 22 11:49:51 BST 2006

On Fri, Sep 22, 2006 at 08:40:08PM EST, Jonathan Duddington wrote:
> I've been asked whether Orca can use the eSpeak software synthesizer.
> I believe that Gnome Speech can be set up to use Speech Dispatcher, and
> Speech Dispatcher can use eSpeak.  So in theory the answer seems to be
> "yes".  Has anyone done this, and does it work in practice?  Does
> responsiveness suffer as a result of the additional intermediary?

I have used orca with speech-dispatcher via gnome-speech, but not with 
espeak. It is to say the least, very clunky. There is a speech output 
module under development for orca for interfacing directly with 
speech-dispatcher, but it is still very much in the early stages.

> Or would it be better to write a Gnome Speech driver for eSpeak?  The
> drivers seem fairly small but I don't understand the environment in
> which they are written (concepts such as bonobo, oaf, corba etc). But
> if someone wants to write a driver then I'll be happy to assist.

What would actually be better, is to have a module written for 
speech-dispatcher to interface with the espeak shared library, rather 
than call the command-line utility all the time. Personally, I feel 
gnome-speech needs to be removed, and speech-dispatcher should be the 
speech back-end of choice.

Espeak will very likely e a synthesizer that will be used for various 
tasks in the next relesae of Ubuntu, such as spoken boot, 

I intend to get the newest version fo espeak packaged in the next few 
Luke Yelavich
GPG key: 0xD06320CE 
Email & MSN: themuso at themuso.com
Jabber: themuso at jabber.org.au
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