Ubuntu karmic, now with speech-dispatcher as default speech backend, and grade 2 Braille via liblouis.

Luke Yelavich themuso at ubuntu.com
Thu Aug 27 07:39:59 BST 2009

Hi all
As of today, Ubuntu 9.10 also known as Ubuntu karmic has a few important changes regarding Orca, speech, and Braille. First of all, I am happy to announce that Orca should now give you grade 2 Braille on your display via liblouis. You shouldn't have to change anything, just configure/start up brltty and configure Orca to use Braille, and things should just work. Any problems, please let me know. Note I haven't had a chance to check this for myself yet, due to lack of time, and my display currently packed away.

Secondly, speech-dispatcher is now the default speech backend for use with orca. Pulseaudio _ speech is still not yet resolved, but I intend to debug speech-dispatcher's pulseaudio output code over the coming month to do as much as I can to get things playing nicely together for use with pulseaudio and the rest of the audio experience on the desktop. I will be testing this setup in the coming days, so if ther are any problems, I will likely find them, but feel free to let me know if you find any as well. Should you use dasher or gok, note that these still use gnome-speech, as they are yet to be ported to speech-dispatcher.

There is still a fair amount of work to be done before speech-dispatcher is truely ready for use with gnome-orca and GNOME 3.0, but hopefully enabling it by default in Ubuntu, and with much user testing and feedback, we can fix any obvious problems, and get the final pieces coded before GNOEM 3.0 releases.

Finally, please note that Ubuntu karmic is still considered a development release. Feature freeze has arrived, which means there will not be any big updates to Ubuntu, and the focus from here till the release in late October is bug fixing, and yes, this includes accessibility bug fixing. However, things could still be unstable, so try at your own risk. If something breaks, you get to keep both pieces.

Thanks, and enjoy.


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