Accessibility packages for Emacspeak environment

This page in Russian

Debian packages Ubuntu packages


These repositories contain complete set of packages to make up ready to use Emacspeak environment with multilingual speech support. It includes up to date version of Emacspeak itself additionally enhanced and fixed by me, multilingual speech server that supports Russian, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Brazilian languages and can automatically switch language on the fly by context, software speech synthesizers and some other more or less related stuff. Of course, here are only those packages that are not included in the official system distribution or are represented there by an old or somewhat inconsistent version.

Quick start

To use these packages follow the next simple steps:

sudo apt-key add poretsky.gpg

sudo apt-get update

After that you can use your preferred method to manage packages from this repository. For example, you can install and update them by apt-get install command.

Thus, to fire up the environment initially do the following:

sudo apt-get install multispeech mbrola mbrola-en1 freephone enlex ru-tts rulex emacspeak

Of course, Emacs is assumed to be installed already or it will be pulled in by dependencies. If Gnome accessibility environment based on Orca screen reader is used as well, then it is strongly recommended to choose non-gtk version of Emacs to avoid possible conflicts.

When Emacspeak is installed for the first time it prompts to choose speech server. If you wish to use Multispeech, but install Emacspeak previously, and, therefore, Multispeech is not listed in the choice, don't bother: choose anyone, and then, after installing Multispeech, return to this step by issuing the command:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure emacspeak

See documentation provided along with the packages.

Note about PulseAudio

Since sound subsystem in the modern Ubuntu distributions is based on the PulseAudio sound server that in the most cases doesn't cooperate well enough with these packages to provide smart and stable speech feedback, you may want to get rid of this beast. Of course, it is not necessary to be the case. For example, I have no such problem in general on Ubuntu 12.04 now, but if you do, read this comprehensive instruction in Russian.

Additional configuration files

Additionally you may download these files and place them into /etc/emacs/site-start.d directory to make your life yet a bit easier.