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\input texinfo   @c -*-texinfo-*-
@c %**start of header
@setfilename speechd-up.info
@settitle Speakup--Speech Dispatcher interface
@finalout
@c @setchapternewpage odd
@c %**end of header

@dircategory Sound

@direntry
* Speakup--Speech Dispatcher interface: (speechd-up).       SpeechD-Up.
@end direntry

@titlepage
@title SpeechD-Up
@author Hynek Hanke <@email{hanke@@brailcom.org}>

@page
@vskip 0pt plus 1filll

This manual documents SpeechD-Up, version 0.5.

Copyright @copyright{} 2005,2006 Brailcom, o.p.s.

@quotation
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts.
A copy of the license is included in the section entitled ``GNU Free
Documentation License.''
@end quotation

You can also (at your option) distribute this manual under the GNU
General Public License:

@quotation
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your
option) any later version. A copy of the license is included in the
section entitled ``GNU General Public License''.
@end quotation

@end titlepage

@ifnottex
@node Top, Installing, (dir), (dir)

This manual documents SpeechD-Up, version 0.5.

Copyright @copyright{} 2005, 2006 Brailcom, o.p.s.

@quotation
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or
any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts.
A copy of the license is included in the section entitled ``GNU Free
Documentation License.''
@end quotation

You can also (at your option) distribute this manual under the GNU
General Public License:

@quotation
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your
option) any later version. A copy of the license is included in the
section entitled ``GNU General Public License''
@end quotation
@end ifnottex

@ifhtml
@heading SpeechD-Up
@end ifhtml

@code{spechd-up} is a very simple simple interface from Speakup to
Speech Dispatcher making it possible to use Speakup with software
synthesis. Speakup is a kernel-based screen reader allowing blind and
visually impaired people to use the computer.

@menu
* Installing::                  SpeakUp and software synthesis
* Invoking::                    How to start SpeechD-Up
* Configuration::               Text based configuration in etc/
* Problems::                    It has many problems
* Contact and Reporting Bugs::  If you want to contact us
* How You Can Help::            We rely on your support
* GNU General Public License::  Conditions of copying SpeechD-Up
* GNU Free Documentation License::  Conditions of copying this manual
@end menu

@node Installing, Invoking, Top, Top
@chapter Installation

(This is not a description on how-to install SpeechD-Up itself, this is
a description of all the necessary steps to make SpeakUp work with
software synthesis using Speechd-Up. For how to install SpeechD-Up
itself, please see the file @file{INSTALL} in the distribution tarball.)

SpeakUp can't use software synthesis directly because SpeakUp lives in
the so called ``kernel space'' and software synthesizers live in the so
called ``user space''. These are two different parts of your system and
the communication between them is quite difficult. The approach to make
SpeakUp work with software synthesis is the following one: Speakup
provides a device, usually called @code{/dev/softhsynth}, where it sends
all the commands to the synthesizers. Then there is a very simple
application (or rather a daemon) called Speechd-Up listening on this
device and passing all the requests for synthesis to Speech Dispatcher,
which then in turn talks to your chosen synthesizer (be it Festival,
Flite or something else).

If you want to use SpeakUp with software synthesis, you need to setup
all this chain. It might not be easy, but you might later use Speech
Dispatcher also for other accessibility applications. Or otherwise:
chances are that you already have a great part of this up and
running. Let's suppose you are starting from the scratch (if you have
something already running, just make sure this is true and skip the
step).

@enumerate

@item Install your favorite speech synthesizer

To be able to use software synthesis, you first need to install some
software synthesizer. We strongly recommend a Free Software package
``Festival'' for it's many capabilities, support of multiple languages,
quite good quality of some voices and quick responses. However, you
might chose any of the synthesizers supported by Speech Dispatcher
(please see
@url{http://www.freebsoft.org/doc/speechd/speech-dispatcher_10.html#SEC10})

Read the installation instructions for your chosen synthesizer and
install it. There are Debian packages for both Festival and Flite.

@item Make sure the synthesizer works

There is usually some simple way how to check if the synthesizer works.
For festival, run @code{festival} and type in:

@code{(SayText "Hello world")}

Don't continue unless you know the synthesizer works.

@item Install Speech Dispatcher

You can get more information about Speech Dispatcher from
@url{http://www.freebsoft.org/speechd}. You can either use a
pre-compiled package (see your distribution repositories) or download
the tarball from the above internet address and follow the instructions
in the file @file{INSTALL}.

If you are running Debian, you can install the following packages:
@code{speech-dispatcher}, @code{libspeechd1} and
@code{libspeechd1-dev}. The latest one is important too since you will
have to compile SpeechD-Up yourself.

@item Make sure Speech Dispatcher works correctly

You can test whether Speech Dispatcher works with a simple client called
@code{spd-say} distributed along with Speech Dispatcher. (You might
later find this package useful for many practical purposes.) It has many
parameters, so you can even test if the rate and pitch settings work
correctly etc.

@example
spd-say "Hello world!"
spd-say -r 90 -p -70 "This is quick and deep"
@end example

If this doesn't work, please examine Speech Dispatcher documentation
for possible problems (@code{info speech-dispatcher}). You might want to
see the logfiles of Speech Dispatcher itself and of its output module
you are using.

@item Install Speechd-Up

You can download Speechd-Up source code from
@url{http://www.freebsoft.org/speechd-up}. Unpack it with @code{tar
-xvzf speechd-up-0.1.tar.gz} and follow the instructions in the file
@file{INSTALL} in the source tree.

@item Make sure SpeechD-Up can communicate with Speech Dispatcher

You can test if SpeechD-Up can communicate with Speech Dispatcher
by executing (as root) 

@example
speechd-up --run-single --probe
@end example

If you hear something, everything in SpeechD-Up works except connecting
to the SpeakUp's device (which was not attempted in this test).

@item Install SpeakUp

You have probably done that already, but you must make sure you compiled
SpeakUp with support of software synthesis. You must have SpeakUp compiled
with the @code{softsynth} module and you must create the appropriate device
with

@example
cd /dev
mknod softsynth c 10 26
@end example

Please see @url{http://www.linux-speakup.org/} for how to obtain and
install SpeakUp. You might also want to look at the Speakup's User Guide
here: @url{http://www.linux-speakup.org/spkguide.txt}

After having installed Speakup, if @code{softsynth} is your default
synthesis device, you must switch to it:

@example
echo sftsyn >/proc/speakup/synth_name
@end example

This should load the appropriate kernel module (if compiled as a module)
automatically.

If you run into problems here, please examine @code{modprobe -l}) for
the @code{speakup_sftsyn} module and/or try to load it manually with
@code{modprobe}. If this doesn't work, there is some problem with your
instalation of Speakup.

@item Make sure SpeechD-Up works

Now you are at the point when you can invoke SpeechD-Up as an
application in the foreground and see if everything works ok.

@example
speechd-up -s
@end example

The application should keep running and you should hear something.  When
you switch to another console, you should be able to use SpeakUp
normally with your software synthesis.

If this doesn't work, please look at SpeechD-Ups logfile in
@file{/var/log/speechd-up.log}. You can also increase the loging
level of SpeechD-Up as shown bellow

@example
speechd-up -s -l 5
@end example

and examine the logs again.

@item Make Speech Dispatcher and SpeechD-Up start automatically

This part is distribution specific. It can be left out provided you will
manually 1) start your synthesizer 2) start Speech-Dispatcher 3) switch
Speakup to the sftsyn device 4) start SpeechD-Up each time you want to
use software synthesis with Speakup (in this order).

Under Debian, Speech Dispatcher already starts automatically from
@file{/etc/init.d/speech-dispatcher} and it should not be difficult to
create @file{/etc/init.d/speechd-up} by modifying the script for Speech
Dispatcher and then adding a link to it to
@file{/etc/rc2.d/S21speechd-up}. You must only make sure it starts
 *after* Speech Dispatcher.

If this doesn't work, please test again if all the components work well
as described above.

@item It's somehow slow etc...

You might find the new software synthesis is rather slow with SpeakUp
compared to the hardware synthesizers, and they have some other
deficiencies. On today's hardware, this is not a fault of Speech Dispatcher
or software synthesis in general. Speakup was not formerly designed
with software synthesis in mind and neither now this is its main focus.
Please don't think software synthesis is generally inferior to hardware
synthesis because of this. We actually believe quite the opposite
is true: The hardware synthesizer, unless they are programable, will
never achieve the huge possibilities of extensible software synthesizers.
See @ref{Problems}

@end enumerate

@node Invoking, Configuration, Installing, Top
@chapter Invoking
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up

Usage: @code{speechd-up [options]}

@table @code
@item -d or --run-deamon
Run as a deamon in the background.
@item -s or --run-single
Run as an application on the foreground.
@item -l or --log-level
Sets the logging level. Accepted values are numbers 1 to 5. Five means the most verbose logging.
@item -L or --log-file
Specifies the path to the file where logs are stored.
@item -D or --device
Selects the device where Speakup sends it's output.
@item -c or --coding
Indicates which character coding your console uses. For possible
values, please see `iconv --list'. This option is important if your
console is not in iso-8859-1! (It doesn't work with ``utf-8'' and
other multibyte encoding because of kernel related issues with this
encoding. You must run your console in a unibyte encoding like for
example one of the ``iso-8859-*'' set, sorry.)
@item -i or --language
Specifies the language to use. You must provide a 2 character ISO 839
language code (such as ``en'', ``de'', ``fr'', ``cs''). This language will
be set via Speech Dispatcher and if you have a synthesizer configured for it,
Speakup should talk this language. It is currently not possible to switch languages
on-fly because of limitations of Speakup.
@item -t or --dont-init-tables
SpeechD-Up tries to init some Speakups /proc tables on its start. Most important, it
changes /proc/characters and /proc/chartab so that punctuation, capital letters recognition
and various other language dependent things are handled inside Speech Dispatcher and
in the synthesizer. This is crucial for internationalization. You can however disable
this if you want to modify the tables manually for some reason and don't like
speechd-up overwriting them. (Do not expect Speakup to work for other languages than
English in that case, unless you know what you are doing and can do the necessary
changes manually.)
@item -p or --probe
Runs SpeechD-Up in the probe mode. This means that SpeechD-Up will do
everything as as ordinary, but won't try to open the SpeakUp device. It
just speaks a message and terminates (indicating so in the
logfiles). This is meant for testing.
@item -v or --version
Print version and copyright info.
@item -h or --help
Print a short help.
@end table

Examples:

If the device where Speakup talks to userspace is @code{/dev/sftsyn2}
and your console is in @code{iso-8859-2}, then you can use:

@example
speechd-up --device="/dev/sftsyn2/" --coding "iso-8859-2"
@end example

Please use this for debugging or sending bug-reports
@example
speechd-up -s -l 5 -L "/tmp/speechd-up.log"
@end example

@node Configuration, Problems, Invoking, Top
@chapter Configuration

There is a configuration file available in @file{/etc/speechd-up.conf}
or @file{/usr/local/etc/speechd-up.conf} or similar location based
on your instalation.

You can influence such options as the path to the Speakup softsynth
device, default language and character encoding set, also some
charactersitics of Speechd-Up behaviour. Please read comments provided
inside the configuration file to learn what options are available
and what are their possible values.

@node Problems, Contact and Reporting Bugs, Configuration, Top
@chapter Problems

There are many known problems with Speakup/SpeechD-Up. You might want
to consider using some user-space assistive technologies if you want
to use software synthesis on the console. Such technologies are
speechd-el, Emacspeak, SuSE Blinux and Yasr. We however believe the
Speakup/SpeechD-Up combination is useful even though it has the
described deficiencies.

@itemize

@item (Fixed: Speaking characters and keys is slow)

The original issue was fixed (but see bellow). If you are still
not happy with the performance while reading characters and typing
in, then you are using a synthesizer which is both slow
and lacking support for caching (use Festival, it does caching
with Speech Dispatcher and keys reading is instant).

@item Characters behave like KEYS for synthesizer configuration

The way Speakup passes individual characters makes it impossible
to tell whether this character originated as a key or while
the user was moving the cursor on the screen and the already
present letters are being read. We believe it is important
to carry the proper information when pressing keys (like
capitalization), so SpeechD-Up handles these messages
as keys.

Also space, tab and various other whitespace characters are
not reported as a characters/keys as this is impossible to achieve
with current Speakups implementation. It is impossible if the
word ``space'' in input originated by the user pressing the SPACE
key or by encountering this word inside a document being read on
the screen.

@item (Fixed: It doesn't speak my language / it uses some weird character set)

If you still experience this issue, you are probably doing one of this

@itemize
@item
Using a wide character encoding like UTF-8. This is not supported
for inherent issues with wide characters inside the kernel.

@item
Not running @code{speechd-up} with the @code{-c} parameter and specifying
the proper character set your console uses or not setting the SpeakupCoding
option in the configuration file. Alternatively, you may not be specifying
the language to use. You can choose a language either in Speech Dispatcher
configuration or via @code{--language} or in the @file{speechd-up.conf}
configuration file.

@item
Running @code{speechd-up} with the @code{-t} or @code{--dont-init-tables}.
This option is incompatible with internationalization.
@end itemize

If this is not true, please contact us on @email{speechd@@bugs.freebsoft.org}.

@item The spelling/punctuation modes of my favorite synthesizer don't work.

Speakup uses it's own very simple spelling and punctuation substitution and
doesn't allow the TTS to use it's own user-specified rules.

@item It doesn't work in UTF-8

UTF-8 should work as long as you only use characters encountered in the
basic ASCII. So English should work. But Speakup doesn't really support
UTF-8 in any way (nor it can, there is no UTF-8 support inside the
kernel -- just workarounds targeted at visual interpretation; the
kernel virtual terminal drivers contain many barriers for accessibility).

@item Punctuation and capital letters recognition doesn't properly work

This is an issue again related to Speakups design. It is currently
being worked on.

@item I can't switch languages or synthesizers on fly

The way the interface Speakup -- Speech Dispatcher is designed, this is not
possible.  You can switch them statically in Speech Dispatcher's configuration
though. If you use SpeakUp's identification "*:speechd-up:*" you can even
choose a synthesizer specifically for Speakup.

@item Any other more advanced thing doesn't work or something is too slow or ...
There are many problems for software speech with how this interface is
done and with how Speakup is designed. It's probably still better to
use Speakup with a hardware synthesizer, if you have the
possibility. Speakup was not designed with user space software
synthesis in mind and the necessary changes would probably be too
difficult now. There were many important design decisions made which
are very reasonable for hardware synthesizers, but they just don't mix
well with software synthesis.

On the other hand, experience shows people still find this interface
to software speech synthesis useful, mostly because of lack of
anything else. Also, it seems the future of accessibility technologies
lies in the software synthesis (extensible, etc.) as machines get
faster. That's the reason why we provide this application and we will
try to help you if you have problems or questions.
@end itemize


@node Contact and Reporting Bugs, How You Can Help, Problems, Top
@chapter Contacts and Reporting Bugs

If you are seeking for support or you want to make some suggestion,
please contact us at @email{users@@lists.freebsoft.org}.

If you believe you found a bug in SpeechD-Up, we will be very grateful
if you let us know about it. Please do it by email on the address
@email{speechd@@bugs.freebsoft.org}, but please don't send us messages
larger than half a megabyte unless we ask you.

@node How You Can Help, GNU General Public License, Contact and Reporting Bugs, Top
@chapter How You Can Help

If you want to contribute to the development of Speech Dispatcher,
we will be very happy if you do so. Please contact us on 
@email{speechd@@lists.freebsoft.org}.

There is a short, definitively not exhaustive, list of how you can
help us and other users.

@itemize
@item
@emph{Donate money:} We are a non-profit organization and we can't work
without funding. Brailcom, o.p.s. created Speech Dispatcher and
speechd-up and also works on other projects to help blind and visually
impaired users of computers (like speechd-el). We build on Free Software
and GNU/Linux, because we believe this is the right way. But it won't be
possible when we have no money. Currently, funding is the main limiting
factor for us in developing more and better accessibility
solutions. @uref{http://www.freebsoft.org/}

@item
@emph{Report bugs:} Every user, even if he can't give us money and he is
not a programmer, can help us very much by just using our software and
telling us about the bugs and inconveniences he encounters. A good user
community that reports bugs is a crucial part of development of a good
Free Software package.  We can't test our software under all
circumstances and on all platforms, so each constructive bug report is
highly appreciated. You can report bugs in SpeechD-Up on
@email{speechd@@bugs.freebsoft.org}.

@item
@emph{Help us with project:} Please look at
@uref{http://www.freebsoft.org/} to find information about our
projects. There is a plenty of work still to be done for the blind and
visually impaired people to make their work with computers easier.

@item
@emph{Spread a word about Speech Dispatcher and Free Software:} You can
help us, and the whole community around Free Software, just by telling
your friends about the amazing world of Free Software. It doesn't
have to be just about Speech Dispatcher, you can tell them about
other project or about Free Software in general. Remember that
Speech Dispatcher could only arise out of understanding of some people
of the principles and ideas behind Free Software. And this is mostly
the same for the rest of the Free Software world.
See @uref{http://www.gnu.org/} for more information about GNU/Linux
and Free Software.

@end itemize


@node GNU General Public License, GNU Free Documentation License, How You Can Help, Top
@appendix GNU General Public License
@center Version 2, June 1991
@cindex GPL, GNU General Public License

@include gpl.texi


@node GNU Free Documentation License,  , GNU General Public License, Top
@appendix GNU Free Documentation License
@center Version 1.2, November 2002
@cindex FDL, GNU Free Documentation License

@include fdl.texi

@bye

@c speechd.texi ends here