Re: Speech in the kernel

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On Mon, 15 Mar 1999, T.Pospisek's MailLists wrote:
>I actually can't see any strong arguments against besides kernel bloat

The difficulty of making quick enhancements.

The lack of portability to other platforms and operating systems.

>and the problem of having to recognize speech hardware as early as
>possible in the startup phase 

This, of course, is an argument for, and not against, putting support into the
kernel. Another one would be the ability to react immediately when characters
are written to the screen, rather than just passively analyzing /dev/vcsa0, by
scanning its entire content, every so often.

>- Use the internal speaker for output: 

I don't think its possible to hook up headphones to it on most platforms. This
would be an issue if a person is in an open work area. Also, on most platforms
it is not possible to adjust its volume.

>the internal speaker should be
>  really easy to use, since it is an absolute standart on all PCs. 

Yes, but that standard does not extend to workstations of any kind. Also, even
on PCs, the way in which the standard is applied is different from one
operating system to another.

>  don't know about lilo, but maybe it could be even used by lilo (!!!)

LILO can be told to beep the internal speaker when it issues the prompt, and to
write its output to a serial port, but it cannot, without extensive
modification, be told to send its output to the internal speaker in the form of
speech. Just little old LILO, with no kernel support whatsoever, is all that's
running in the CPU at that point.

>- There's an existing kernel patch that uses the internal speaker for
>  sound production.

I don't know, and would be interested in knowing more about, this patch.

>PS: I notice that often the same things (ideas) are discussed many
>    times on blinux (sometimes even in parallel) without aparently
>    people being aware of the fact. I have the impression that this
>    is a bit specific to blinux. 

I'm a braille display user, so I'm guessing and realize that I may be wrong. My
theory, though, is that the use of speech output is, relatively speaking,
rather labour intensive on the part of the user, so there would be a greater
temptation for him to skip messages which which he perceives to be irrelevant
to his particular needs at any given point in time.

>I'm a sighted person, so I might need
>    to be clued in on how blind people percieve mailing lists or email
>    in particular. 

I, being completely blind, would hope that there isn't too much (any)
difference. A person's physical state should not affect his perception of, or
give him an excuse to misuse, a public facility.

Dave Mielke           | 856 Grenon Avenue | I believe that the Bible is the
Phone: 1-613-726-0014 | Ottawa, Ontario   | Word of God. Please contact me
EMail: dave@xxxxxxxxx | Canada  K2B 6G3   | if you're concerned about Hell.

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