Speakup and Orca?

JM & Angel crystallogic at ca.inter.net
Tue Sep 2 07:22:33 BST 2008

Hello. First time writing to these lists, and I'm writing to both because although my main thrust is now trying to get speakup to work, I'm sure some ubuntu users out there are also working with (or wanting to work with) Orca as well. I've a few questions/thoughts/observations. I'm pretty new to Linux really, but I used the OS remotely through a shell in my early internet days of the mid-1990s. During that time I became a little bit familiar with the command line in Linux and some of the console-level relevant applications (pine, lynx, etc) .. at the time I found this stuff really great and I thought that it might be cool to have my own LInux box someday, but DOS was on the way out, Windows taking over in a big way and so on, and I was pretty resistant but eventually made the switch to Windows.

Well, I finally got a second machine and someone installed Ubuntu 8.04 on it for me, and even built a kernel with speakup modules plugged in. This would be fantastic, if I could actually get speakup to work, but so far I haven't had any luck. I have no hardware synth, although I might be able to get a Dectalk Express soon, so I've been trying to use speakup with the espeakup module to work with the Espeak synthesiser, which I already have been using with Orca. The Espeak voice is something I've been having a surprisingluy hard time getting used to, and I wonder if I've been spoiled by Eloquence?

I have been using Orca a bit with the Gnome desktop environment. Until recently it wasn't working too well, but I got the Orca-SVN package and now things seem to run a good deal faster and crash less often. However, the more I fiddle with these desktop xwindows environments, the more I think, that "well, this is nice enough, kind of like windows and all, but I think I'd really rather use the console for almost anything I can think of. Why should I be attached to a GUI, when so many applications don't even seem to work very well with Orca"?

So, I guess my real questions revolve around wondering why I can't get Speakup to talk to me. Does espeakup replace speech-dispatcher? I read in the speakup documentation that you need SD running to use a software synth, but the person who installed this stuff for me seemed to indicate that SD conflicted with something or that espeakup somehow superceded it. I can't seem to find much clear information on this online, so any help would be appreciated. Right now my login session defaults to gnome; I try and kill orca and then exit to c    onsole, but I get no speech, either before or after login. I feel like such a newby, but I really am at a loss as to what to do. Any thoughts?

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