EMACSPEAK The Complete Audio Desktop

Here is where I plan to Blog Emacspeak tricks and introduce new features as I implement them.

Table Of Contents

  1. Announcing Emacspeak 56.0 (AgileDog)
  2. Advice On Emacs Advice
  3. Emacspeak In The Age Of Cloud Computing
  4. Announcing Emacspeak 55.0 (CalmDog)
  5. Generalize Snarf Tool: How The General Can Be Simpler Than The Specific
  6. Snarfing String Within Delimiters With One Defun
  7. Contextual Context Switching For An Efficient Workflow
  8. Announcing Emacspeak 54.0 (EZDog)
  9. Emacspeak 53.0 EfficientDog Unleashed!
  10. Web: Data Tables Can Be More Than Screen-Deep
  11. Extracted A Light-Weight Key-Reader By Progressive Simplification
  12. On Defining Keys In Emacs
  13. Searching GMail From GNUS
  14. Start Emacs In A Defun
  15. Learning Rust: Programming The Pick-Up Sticks Game
  16. Viewing Data Records As Forms --- Old Is Gold
  17. Magit/Forge Cheatsheet For GitHub Workflow
  18. GitHub Standard Fork And Pull-Request Workflow From Emacs
  19. Emacspeak 52.0 (WorkAtHomeDog) Unleashed!
  20. Speaking Of Chess: Speech-Enabling Emacs Chess In Emacspeak
  21. Emacspeak 51.0 (AsssistDog) Unleashed!
  22. Meta-Programming In Emacs Using Defadvice
  23. Emacspeak 50.0 (SageDog) Unleashed!
  24. Emacspeak 49.0 (WiseDog) Unleashed
  25. Using Emacs Threads To Execute Commands Asynchronously
  26. Effective Suggest And Complete In An Eyes-Free Environment
  27. Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog) Unleashed!
  28. Updating Voxin TTS Server To Avoid A Possible ALSA Bug
  29. Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) Unleashed!
  30. Emacs Start-Up: Speeding It Up
  31. Data-Binding In Emacs Lisp: let-alist When Processing JSON Data
  32. Spatial Audio: ALSA Virtual Devices Using LADSPA
  33. Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) Unleashed
  34. Mail On The emacspeak Audio Desktop
  35. Emacs: Check Interactive Call For Emacspeak
  36. Audio Deja Vu: Audio Formatted Math On The Emacspeak Desktop
  37. Fun With TTS (Voxin) And Ladspa
  38. Follow-Up: Soundscapes On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop
  39. Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) Unleashed!
  40. Emacspeak 44.0 (SteadyDog) Unleashed
  41. Augmented Headphone Listening On Linux For The Emacspeak Audio Desktop
  42. Soundscapes On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop
  43. A Ladspa Work-Bench For The Emacspeak Desktop
  44. Generating Spatialized Auditory Icons Using MPlayer And Ladspa
  45. Listening To Multiple Media Streams On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop
  46. Emacspeak 43.0 (SoundDog) Unleashed!
  47. Using Multiple TTS Streams On The emacspeak Audio Desktop
  48. Smart Actions In Directory Buffers For The Emacspeak Audio Desktop
  49. Announcing Emacspeak-Muggles: Keyboard Conveniences For Emacspeak
  50. Emacspeak: An Overview Of Voice-Lock Over The Years
  51. Emacspeak:Setting up StumpWM as a speech-enabled Window Manager.
  52. Setting Up An X Environment For Using With Emacspeak, ChromeVox and StumpWM
  53. Announcing Emacspeak 42.0 (AnswerDog)
  54. Emacspeak 3.0: Released 20 Years Ago Today!
  55. HowTo: Log Speech Server Output To Aid In Developing TTS Servers
  56. Emacspeak Development Is Moving To GitHub
  57. Enhanced Audio On The Emacspeak Desktop
  58. Internet Radio: Tune-In For Emacspeak
  59. 3D: A Spatial Auditory Icon Theme Generated Using CSound
  60. Announcing Emacspeak 41.0: NiceDog
  61. Emacspeak At Twenty: Looking Back, Looking Forward
  62. Emacspeak And Company: Complete Anything Front-End For emacspeak
  63. Announcing Emacspeak 40.0 AKA WowDog!
  64. Emacspeak: EWW Updates For The Complete Audio Desktop
  65. Emacspeak Webspace: Glancing At Information On The Audio Desktop
  66. Searching GMail Using IMap And GNUS
  67. Exploring And Accessing BBC Podcasts and Program Archives
  68. Managing And Accessing Feeds On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop
  69. Reading Web Content Efficiently
  70. Emacspeak 39.0 (BigDog) Unleashed!
  71. Emacspeak 38.0 (FreeDog Unleashed
  72. GMaps: Google Maps On The Emacspeak Desktop
  73. Emacspeak 37.0 (SolidDog) Unleashed
  74. Emacspeak 36.0 (EPubDog) Unleashed!
  75. Emacspeak 35.0 (HeadDog) Released
  76. Welcome Press/Analyst Contact Tilden Labrador
  77. In Praise Of Bubbles — Emacspeak 34.0 Unleashed!
  78. Hubbell (Bubbles) Labrador Biography --- My Bubbly Life
  79. Epitaph: Saying GoodBye To Our Beloved Press/Analyst Contact
  80. Emacspeak: In Praise Of The Bookshare API
  81. Silence Is Golden
  82. Emacspeak 33.0 (StarDog) Unleashed!
  83. Emacspeak 32.0 (LuckyDog) Unleashed
  84. AsTeR --- Audio System For Technical Readings
  85. Emacspeak 31 (AKA TweetDog) Unleashed!
  86. A Google Tool-belt For The Complete Audio Desktop
  87. Emacspeak, The World's Fonts And Braille
  88. Emacspeak: Google News Suggest For Faster News Search
  89. Emacspeak Servers --- Catching Up With Debian And Ubuntu
  90. Launching Favorite Media Via Hot Keys
  91. Looking Beyond The Screen At Google I/O2009
  92. Announcing emacspeak 30.0 --- SocialDog!
  93. Toward an Accessible Democracy --- White House Moderator AxsJAXed
  94. Announcing Emacspeak 29.0 (AbleDog)
  95. Emacspeak Webspace Goodies
  96. Emacspeak-WebSpace Just Got A Lot Faster
  97. In Praise Of The Google Search AJAX API
  98. Tutorial: Enhancing Web 2.0 Usability Using AxsJAX
  99. Talk Announcement: Developing Accessible Web-2.0 Applications
  100. ProcEd: A Speech-Enabled Task Manager For Emacs
  101. Leveraging Web 2.0 Design Patterns For Enhanced Accessibility
  102. AxsJAX And Auditory User Interfaces At Google IO
  103. Emacspeak On Thinkpad X-61 Running Gutsy (Ubuntu 7.0)
  104. Emacspeak-28.0 (PuppyDog) Unleashed!
  105. W4A Keynote: Cloud Computing And Equal Access For All
  106. Emacspeak Goes Social
  107. My Web-2.0 Application Is Feeling Accessible
  108. Emacspeak WebSpace --- Interaction-Free Information Access
  109. Announcing: The Coming Of Piglets To The Emacspeak Desktop
  110. Web Accessibility And Usability: Coming Back To The Basics
  111. Directions Using Public Transport From Google Maps
  112. Announcing Emacspeak 27.0 AKA FastDog
  113. AxsJAX, Speech-Enabled Games And Auditory User Interfaces
  114. The Web The Way You Want
  115. Podcast Covering Web Accessibility
  116. Emacspeak Video Demo: Looking Up The Weather
  117. Emacspeak And GMail
  118. AMixer And Emacspeak: Controlling The Sound Card
  119. The Web The Way You Want
  120. Google Suggest: Minibuffer Completion When Googling
  121. Emacspeak WebMarks: Online Bookmarks Using Google
  122. Web Interaction In Emacspeak
  123. Emacs-G-Client: Leveraging New Picasa API Features
  124. Emacspeak And Beautiful Code
  125. Searching The Emacspeak Knowledge Base
  126. Emacs G-Client, Reader, And CSE: Searching Past Articles From Google Reader
  127. Google Books In Emacspeak
  128. Making Search Fly: On-The-Fly Custom Search Engines
  129. Emacs-G-Client: Uploading Photos To PicasaWeb
  130. Multilingual Dictionary Lookup Via Google
  131. FireBox: Put The Fox In The Box
  132. Emacspeak And Beautiful Code
  133. Google Group For Package G-Client
  134. An Essay On Eyes-Free Computing
  135. Updates To G-Client
  136. Web 2.0 And The Emacspeak Audio Webtop
  137. Emacspeak 26.0 --- LeadDog Unleashed!
  138. See You At CSUN 2007
  139. An Emacs Client For Google Services
  140. Emacspeak Downloads On GoogleCode
  141. IBM Software TTS On Ubuntu 6
  142. Web Command Line Tool For Google Patent Search
  143. Emacspeak 25.0 (ActiveDog) Unleashed
  144. Emacspeak Smart URL For Google Code Search
  145. Using Helix Player From Emacspeak
  146. Emacspeak, Ubuntu And Software Dectalk
  147. Emacspeak 24 On Ubuntu 6
  148. Google Archive News Search
  149. Update: Emacspeak On Google Code Hosting
  150. Emacspeak Codebase Via Subversion From GoogleCode
  151. Zipping Through Web Pages
  152. Summary Of Emacspeak Features Compared To Other Alternatives
  153. Emacspeak And Accessible Search Via Google
  154. ALSA And Emacspeak: Closing The Legacy Loop With ALSA-OSS
  155. SpeakFreely, Software TTS And ALSA
  156. Emacspeak, TTS, Alsa And ASYM
  157. ASoundrc Parameters For Reliably Using ALSA Powered Software TTS
  158. Listening To The Web Through A Mobile Lens
  159. Announcing Emacspeak 24.0 (LiveDog)
  160. W3: Minor Patch To Handle Content-Type application/xhtml+xml
  161. Blogging From Emacs: Additional Atom-Blogger Documentation
  162. Emacspeak: Connecting Lynx And W3
  163. Emacspeak, SuDoKu And History
  164. Emacspeak And Voice Locking Using Aural CSS
  165. Playing SuDoKu Using Auditory Feedback
  166. Browsing Sourceforge Download Servers
  167. BBC Channels On Emacspeak
  168. Emacspeak World Clock For Timezone Travel
  169. Emacspeak Web Wizards: Obtaining Context From The Calendar
  170. Viewing Atom Feeds Within Emacspeak
  171. Viewing Formatted Source Code In Emacs/W3
  172. Speech-Enabled ATOM-Blogger
  173. Emacspeak And Ruby
  174. Emacspeak Wizard: Recording Audio Streams For Later Playback
  175. Emacs Tip: Viewing Commands Available On A Prefix Key
  176. Using The New MPlayer With ALSA Support
  177. Blogging From Inside Emacs

Announcing Emacspeak 56.0 (AgileDog)


Announcing Emacspeak 56.0—AgileDog!

The enjoyment of one's tools is an essential ingredient of successful work. – Donald E. Knuth

1. For Immediate Release:

San Jose, CA, (May 1, 2022)

1.1. Emacspeak 56.0 (AgileDog) Unleashed! 🦮

— Making Accessible Computing Effortless!

Advancing Accessibility In The Age Of User-Aware Interfaces — Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak announces immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 56.0 (AgileDog) 🦮 — a powerful audio desktop that leverages today's evolving Data, Social and Assistant-Oriented Internet cloud to enableworking efficiently and effectively from anywhere!

2. Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net atlevels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

3. What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as ubiquitous assistance, Web-surfing, blogging, remote software development, social computing and electronic messaging into the audiodesktop, Emacspeak enables spoken access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving assistant-oriented social Internet cloud.

4. Major Enhancements:

  1. Updated eldoc support 🕮
  2. Updated elpy support 🐍
  3. Updated language switching for Espeak 󠀁
  4. Updated Transient Support 𝥍
  5. External Browsers From EWW 🕸
  6. Updated wizards and muggles 🧙
  7. Updated url templates for smarter Web access ♅
  8. Fully tested under emacs-28 native compilation 🚄

    — And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞

Note: This version requires emacs-27.1 or later.

5. Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform and the underlying GIT versioning software used to develop and distribute the system.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to these features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains free of cost as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free Assistance and social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

6. Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that these results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; “It is the user — and not the computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!”.

6.1. Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

7. Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub — see https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list — emacspeak@emacspeak.org. The Emacspeak Blog is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to use them.

The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available at GitHub.

8. History:

  • Emacspeak 56.0 (AgileDog) belies its age to be as agile as Tilden.
  • Emacspeak 55.0 (CalmDog) attempts to be as calm as Tilden.
  • Emacspeak 54.0 (EZDog) learns to take it easy from Tilden.
  • Emacspeak 53.0 (EfficientDog) focuses on efficiency.
  • Emacspeak 52.0 (WorkAtHomeDog) makes working remotely a pleasurable experience.
  • Bigger and more powerful than any smart assistAnt, AssistDog provides

instant access to the most relevant information at all times.

  • Emacspeak 50.0 (SageDog) embraces the wisdom of stability as opposed to rapid change and the concomitant creation of bugs.🚭: Naturally Intelligent (NI)™ at how information is spoken, Emacspeak

is entirely free of Artificial Ingredients (AI)™.

  • Emacspeak 49.0 (WiseDog) leverages the wisdom gleaned from earlier releases to provide an enhanced auditory experience.
  • Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog) builds on earlier releases to provide continued end-user value.
  • Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) goes the next step in being helpful while letting users learn and grow.
  • Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) heralds the coming of Smart Assistants.
  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs' excellent integration with various programming language environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient, light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access — technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion inan eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfetteredinformation access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed YellowLab– was the closing release of the 20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

9. About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) — http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub —https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Emacspeak Mail Archive –the home of the Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

10. Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop (🦮) and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

*About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

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T. V. Raman at

2022-04-30T10:16:00.002-07:00

Advice On Emacs Advice


Advice On Emacs Advice

1. Introduction

Love it or hate it, lisp advice is powerful and useful. This article covers some of the places where advice can provide a means of discovering useful behaviors that can then be later codified without resorting to advice. Advice can also prove to be a powerful means of experimentation; these experiments can become permanent, e.g., when the resulting modifications introduced via advice are only relevant to a small minority — a good example is package Emacspeak. These are but two extremes of a continuum and advice enables many possibilities in that range.

This article is written in the light of nearly 28 years of Emacspeak development, a time during which I have learn some useful lessons on how to use advice safely and program defensively. This article itself does not take any position in the Advice is evil, dont use it debate — it is here to help you if you do decide to use advice for a given task.

2. Where Advice Can Be Useful

  1. Temporarily trace a given function — advice can display messages on entry and exit to the adviced function. Emacs' own built-in debug-on-entry mostly obviates the need to do this.
  2. You want custom behavior for some command in a package, where the package author (hasn't yet) provided an appropriate before or after hook. Implementing the desired behavior as a before or after advice is a friction-free means of experimenting with your idea. Once proven useful, the advice-based prototype can be used to motivate the introduction of the new hook, and once implemented, you can eliminate the advice.
  3. Having implemented a custom behavior, you discover that theauthor of the package you are extending is unable to incorporate your suggestion. Advice here can provide a light-weight alternative to forking the package in question.
  4. The modified behavior you wish to implement is relevant to a small minority. You need to advice a large number of functions because the modified behavior you desire requires complete access to the calling context and environment. A good example is generating rich contextual spoken feedback — advice is excellently suited to this task.

3. Advice Tips

These tips are written in terms of defadvice but apply equally well to the API introduced in module nadvice.

  1. Use before/after advice as far as possible, and resort to around advice only when you must.
  2. Name all your advice fragments consistently.
  3. Do not depend on the argument names used in the function being adviced, instead use ad-get-arg to positionally access the adviced function's arguments.
  4. Use lexical scoping in all your functions, and be rigorous in declaring any special variables using (cl-declare (special …)) in your code. The byte-compiler is your friend; use this declaration when you see warnings about special variables.
  5. Except for very simple advice fragments, use a let form inside your advice to bind variables.
  6. Within your advice, do not depend on any global state that you haven't yourself bound within the let body in your advice.
  7. If you write around advice, ensure that the last form in your advice is ad-return-value. Dont modify this value unless you absolutely must.
  8. Make sure to use ad-do-it in your around advice so that the original function gets called — except in the very rare cases where you want to entirely bypass the original function.
  9. In the rare case where you have multiple defadvice on the same function, note that you can specify the order win which these are called. Use this only when experimenting, and make sure to clean-up later by combining the advice fragments into a single call to defadvice.

4. Historical Note

  • Advice was contributed to Emacs in early 1994 by Hans Chalupsky. I started the Emacspeak project a few months after and am indebted to him — both for his advice implementation and for numerous email exchanges with him at the time as I learnt to use advice.
  • I released Emacspeak in April 1995. A few days later I was thrilled to receive a phone call from RMS — where he told me all the reasons why I shouldn't use advice. This was distressing to say the least; I had two choices — abandon Emacspeak usingadvice, or to ignore his advice. I took the middle-road; I made careful note of all his admonitions and warnings, and the result was to program defensively. Many of the tips listed in the previous section are a direct consequence of keeping an eye out for the various pitfalls he outlined during that phone call.
  • I've also garnered useful tips and tricks on the emacs-devel list over the years from folks like Stefan Mounier — especially as Emacs transitioned to module nadvice in 2014.
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T. V. Raman at

2022-04-09T14:39:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak In The Age Of Cloud Computing


Emacspeak In The Age Of Cloud Computing

1. Executive Summary

Emacspeak has supported Cloud Computing since 1995, i.e., long before the term was invented. I have used Emacs with Emacspeak running on remote servers (called cloud-top in the rest of this article) since that time, with a local speech server on my client machine providing spoken feedback. The underlying ssh-based scripts have changed over time; this article documents what I have been usingfor the last 7 years or more. As with everything else Linux, youshould not use this without understanding how it works. All of therelevant code is checked into GitHub, but if you use it without understanding, you are likely to get 2 for the price of 1😀.

2. The Basics

  1. Emacspeak produces all spoken and non-spoken feedback via a speech server — see Emacspeak: Beautiful Code for the detailed architecture overview.
  2. This server runs as a separate process and can either run locally i.e. on the machine running emacs; it can also run remotely, e.g. your laptop from which you login to your cloud-top.
  3. Note the local and remote terminology in the above — to Emacspeak, the machine where Emacs runs is the local machine, so your machine in the cloud is local to Emacspeak.
  4. Consequently, the machine from where you SSH to the cloud, a laptop, a Raspberry Pi, or in a future a tin-can that you use as a client is remote to emacspeak.

3. How It Works

  1. When you start Emacs with Emacspeak loaded, Emacs starts the speech-server as the first step in the emacspeak startup. normally this starts the local server for your preferred TTS engine.
  2. See the emacspeak manual for how this speech-server is determined.
  3. When running Emacspeak on a cloud-top, this local speech server is just a simple shell script that connects to a local port — by default 2222.
  4. When you connect to your cloud-top via SSH, you first reverse port forward port 2222 from the cloud-top back to your client. This causes data sent to port 2222 on the cloud-top by Emacs to show up on port 2222 on the local machine where your speech server is listening.
  5. With that reverse port forwarding in place and assuming that espeak is your TTS engine, running the speech-server cloud-espeak on the cloud-top connects back to your client to produce spoken output.
  6. For the previous step to work, something (or someone) needs to be listening on port 2222 on your client.
  7. So you need to start the relevant speech server on your client before you ssh to your cloud-top — in the case of espeak, this is ssh-espeak.

    See directory bash-utils in your emacspeak Git checkout for the relevant Bash scripts.

4. Workflow

Here is what the workflow looks like, again, use this only if you have read and understood the previous section. SeeBash Utils for the scripts mentioned below. Everything below assumes a Bash Shell.

On your cloud-top, specify the speech-server to use by running

      export DTK_PROGRAM=cloud-espeak
      

You can put the above in your .bash_profile on your cloud-top.

On your client device, run

      . <emacspeak_dir>/bash-utils/remote
      

This need be done only once per interactive shell.It defines bash functions remote and rtts.

Next, run Bash function remote defined in the script you just loaded.

      remote host.example.com  speech-server espeak
      

This does the following:

  1. Starts a local speech server for the TTS engine espeak.
  2. Opens an SSH session to the cloud-top host.example.com.
  3. Plays a musical chime (using sox) to cue completion.
  4. Depending on your SSH setup, you may or may not need to type your ssh password at this point; avoiding having to type a password is beyond the perview of this article, consult the SSH manual pages.
  5. Now, run Emacs on the cloud-top. Assuming that you have updated your Emacs initialization to load Emacspeak, this will get Emacspeak running on the cloud-top talking on your client.
  6. Note that typically, you should run something like screen on the cloud-top and run Emacs within that screen session; this will let you persist a running Emacs across multiple login/logout.

5. Experience On A Well-Configured Setup

On a well-configured setup, you typically need only do:

  1. Run the bash function that starts the local TTS server, and then connects to the cloud-top via SSH with reverse-port forwarding active.
  2. Assuming there is an Emacs session running under screen at the remote end, it'll start talking on your local client.
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T. V. Raman at

2021-11-25T07:09:00.002-08:00

Announcing Emacspeak 55.0 (CalmDog)


Announcing Emacspeak 55.0—CalmDog!

The enjoyment of one's tools is an essential ingredient of successful work. – Donald E. Knuth

1. For Immediate Release:

San Jose, CA, (Nov 24, 2021)

1.1. Emacspeak 55.0 (CalmDog) Unleashed! 🦮

— Making Accessible Computing Effortless!

Advancing Accessibility In The Age Of User-Aware Interfaces — Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak announces immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 55.0 (CalmDog) 🦮 — a powerful audio desktop that leverages today's evolving Data, Social and Assistant-Oriented Internet cloud to enableworking efficiently and effectively from anywhere!

2. Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net atlevels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

3. What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as ubiquitous assistance, Web-surfing, blogging, remote software development, social computing and electronic messaging into the audiodesktop, Emacspeak enables spoken access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving assistant-oriented social Internet cloud.

4. Major Enhancements:

  1. Speech-enable Emacs Application Framework Ÿ
  2. Updated Soundscapes 🔊
  3. Updated Auditory Icons 🎧
  4. Updated Transient Support 𝥍
  5. Speech-Enabled CalibreDB 📚
  6. External Browsers From EWW 🕸

    — And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞

Note: This version requires emacs-27.1 or later.

5. Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform and the underlying GIT versioning software used to develop and distribute the system.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains free of cost as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free Assistance and social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

6. Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; “It is the user — and not the computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!”.

6.1. Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

7. Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub — see https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list — emacspeak@emacspeak.org. The Emacspeak Blog is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to use them.

The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available at GitHub.

8. History:

  • Emacspeak 55.0 (CalmDog) attempts to be as calm as Tilden.
  • Emacspeak 54.0 (EZDog) learns to take it easy from Tilden.
  • Emacspeak 53.0 (EfficientDog) focuses on efficiency.
  • Emacspeak 52.0 (WorkAtHomeDog) makes working remotely a pleasurable experience.
  • Bigger and more powerful than any smart assistAnt, AssistDog provides

instant access to the most relevant information at all times.

  • Emacspeak 50.0 (SageDog) embraces the wisdom of stability as opposed to rapid change and the concomitant creation of bugs.🚭: Naturally Intelligent (NI)™ at how information is spoken, Emacspeak

is entirely free of Artificial Ingredients (AI)™.

  • Emacspeak 49.0 (WiseDog) leverages the wisdom gleaned from earlier releases to provide an enhanced auditory experience.
  • Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog) builds on earlier releases to provide continued end-user value.
  • Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) goes the next step in being helpful while letting users learn and grow.
  • Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) heralds the coming of Smart Assistants.
  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs' excellent integration with various programming language environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient, light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access — technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion inan eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfetteredinformation access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed YellowLab– was the closing release of the 20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

9. About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) — http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub —https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Emacspeak Mail Archive –the home of the Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

10. Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop (🦮) and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

*About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

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T. V. Raman at

2021-11-24T08:30:00.000-08:00

Generalize Snarf Tool: How The General Can Be Simpler Than The Specific


Generalize Snarf Tool: How The General Can Be Simpler Than The Specific

1 Executive Summary

The previous article detailed the implementation of a simple function that lets you snarf the contents within a pair of delimiters. That version handled a set of generic delimiters, and errored out if point was not on one of the pre-defined delimiters.

This article shows how that solution can be generalized to cases where point is not on a pre-defined delimiter; in the process, it weighs the pros and cons of usability vs over-generality and shows an implementation that attempts to strike a good balance.

2 The Updated Implementation

(defun snarf-sexp
      (&optional delete)
      "Snarf the
      contents between delimiters at point.
      Optional interactive
      prefix arg deletes it."
      (interactive "P")
      (let
      ((orig (point))
      (pair nil)
      (pairs ;;;
      We keep
      predefined pairs for usability:
      '((?< ?>)
      (?\[ ?\])
      (?\( ?\))
      (?{ ?})
      (?\" ?\")
      (?' ?')
      (?` ?')
      (?| ?|)
      (?* ?*)
      (?/ ?/)
      (?- ?-)
      (?_ ?_)
      (?~ ?~)))
      (char (char-after))
      (stab nil))
      (setq
      pair ;;;
      But we
      read a close delimiter  for the general case
      (or (assq
      char pairs) ;;;
      Predefined delimiter
      (list char (read-char "Close Delimiter: "))))
      ;;;
      Generality!
      (setq
      stab (copy-syntax-table))
      (with-syntax-table stab
      (cond
      ((= (cl-first pair) (cl-second pair))
      (modify-syntax-entry (cl-first pair) "\"" ) 
      (modify-syntax-entry (cl-second pair) "\"" ))
      (t
      (modify-syntax-entry (cl-first pair) "(")
      (modify-syntax-entry (cl-second pair) ")")))
      (save-excursion
      (forward-sexp)
      (cond
      (delete
      (kill-region (1+ orig) (1- (point))))
      (t (kill-ring-save (1+ orig) (1- (point)))))))))
      

3 Key Takeaways

  1. The generalized implementation no longer throws an error if point is not on a pre-defined delimiter.
  2. Instead, it generalizes the implementation to read the close delimiter from the keyboard if char at point is not in the pre-defined list.
  3. We could generalize further by entirely dropping the pre-defined delimiters, but that would hurt usability in the common case where the user would always have to specify the close delimiter.
  4. Note that usability here is not merely to reduce a keystroke; it's more to reduce the cognitive load on the user with respect to having to think about the close delimiter in the common case.
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T. V. Raman at

2021-09-19T10:49:00.001-07:00

Snarfing String Within Delimiters With One Defun


Snarfing String Within Delimiters With One Defun

1 Executive Summary

I found that I frequently needed to snarf a string enclosed within delimiters, e.g., URLs in email messages <url>, bolded, italics and other styled text in org-mode etc. I first tried package ciel but found that it did not handle all the delimiters I wanted. However looking into it further revealed that emacs had all the tools needed to reduce the task to a single defun!

2 The Solution

Here is the solution I implemented at emacspeak-wizards-snarf-sexp. invoking this command with point on the opening delimiter snarfs the enclosed string into the kill-ring; an optional prefix arg clears it as well. The code below is the same as in the Emacspeak project, but with emacspeak-specific calls removed:

(defun snarf-sexp-contents (&optional
      delete)
      "Snarf the
      contents between delimiters at point.
      Optional interactive
      prefix arg deletes it."
      (interactive "P")
      (let
      ((orig (point))
      (pair nil)
      (pairs ;;;
      The
      delimiter pairs:
      '((?< ?>)
      (?\[ ?\])
      (?\( ?\))
      (?{ ?})
      (?\" ?\")
      (?' ?')
      (?` ?')
      (?| ?|)
      (?* ?*)
      (?/ ?/)
      (?- ?-)
      (?_ ?_)
      (?~ ?~)))
      (char (char-after))
      (stab nil)) ;;;
      Syntax
      table we  use
      (unless
      (setq
      pair (assoc char pairs)) ;;; Not on a delimiter 
      (error
      "Point is not on
      a supported delimiter"))
      (setq
      stab (copy-syntax-table))
      (with-syntax-table stab
      (cond
      ((= (cl-first pair) (cl-second pair)) ;;;Like quotes
      (modify-syntax-entry (cl-first pair) "\"" ) 
      (modify-syntax-entry (cl-second pair) "\"" ))
      (t;;;
      Like
      parens 
      (modify-syntax-entry (cl-first pair) "(")
      (modify-syntax-entry (cl-second pair) ")")))
      (save-excursion;;; We have our sexp 
      (forward-sexp) ;;;
      Will
      error out if delims dont match
      (cond
      (delete ;;;
      Clear
      sexp contents 
      (kill-region (1+ orig) (1- (point))))
      (t ;;;
      Copy sexp
      contents
      (kill-ring-save (1+ orig) (1- (point)))))))))
      
      

2.1 Key Take-Aways

  • S-expressions are a key Emacs concept with extensive built-in support.
  • S-expressions are determined by matching delimiters.
  • Delimiters are defined by the syntax-table in effect.
  • Emacs-lisp primitives let us define and manipulate temporary syntax-tables.
  • Putting it all together, the underlying task of snarfing the contents within a pair of delimiters reduces to a few calls to the underlying primitives.
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T. V. Raman at

2021-09-18T09:46:00.001-07:00

Contextual Context Switching For An Efficient Workflow


Contextual Context Switching For An Efficient Workflow

1 Executive Summary

Context switching in an Emacs workflow comes down to switching buffers — and Emacs provides a large number of built-ins and extensions packages for switching buffers. One can put together numerous workflows by picking among thesee to make context switching contextual — using the most appropriate workflow can lead to being able to focus much better on the core task of creating, editing, reviewing and publishing all forms of content ranging from research papers and presentations to Open Source Software.

This article summarizes my present workflow — it's entirely keyboard driven and optimized for an eyes-free workflow.

2 Where Does Context Come From?

Context as used in this article can be traced back to the current task at hand — here are some illustrative examples:

  1. Editing a set of related files. (.c, .h)
  2. Switching among a collection of chat buffers. (major-mode)
  3. Switching among a collection of mail folders. (major-mode)
  4. Switching among a collection of open Web pages. (major-mode)
  5. Switching among a small number of recently used buffers. (recency)
  6. Switching among buffers in the same project (project)
  7. Switching between project-specific shells and buffers. (project)

3 Building Blocks For Context Switching

Here are some of the building blocks I use to construct workflows that meet the use-cases enumerated in the previous section. Many of thesee are built into Emacs; some come from extra packages and a few are implemented in Emacspeak to fill the gaps. See the related article Search, Input, Filter, Target (SIFT) interaction described in a previous article for a more detailed explanation or properties that characterize effective eyes-free interaction.

  1. Built-in Command next-buffer and previous-buffer bound to hyper-, and hyper-..
  2. Builtin Command ~ other-window bound to C-x o.
  3. Emacspeak Commands emacspeak-wizards-cycle-to-next-buffer and emacspeak-wizards-cycle-to-previous-buffer bound to Alt-n and Alt-p.
  4. Emacspeak Command emacspeak-wizards-shell-toggle bound to Super-,.
  5. Emacspeak Command emacspeak-wizards-shell-by-key bound to C-c [1-9].

3.1 Things To Note

  1. Notice that many of thesee commands come in pairs and use key-bindings that also pair-up with respect to muscle memory; over time I have found this type of pairing to be essential for them to become part of one's daily habit.
  2. And when thesee task-specific commands dont get you the buffer you want with one or two keystrokes, one can always fallback to switch-to-buffer.
  3. Built-in Command switch-to-buffer bound to C-x b which in my environment maps to ido-switch-buffer with fuzzy completion.

3.2 Related Packages

There are of course many alternatives to the building blocks above, here is a non-exhaustive list:

  • Package helm with ivy, counsel and friends.
  • Package selectrum.
  • Additionally organizing one's workspace using Emacs Frames with each frame dedicated to tasks like email — visual workspaces.

    In general, I've not found any of the above adding much in the context of eyes-free interaction.

4 Conclusion

Emacs has a large number of facilities that lend themselves to multiple workflows. Investing some time in putting together workflows that suit one's needs has a large pay-back over time.

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T. V. Raman at

2021-08-01T09:39:00.002-07:00

Announcing Emacspeak 54.0 (EZDog)


Announcing Emacspeak 54.0—EZDog!

The enjoyment of one's tools is an essential ingredient of successful work. – Donald E. Knuth

1 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, CA, (May 3, 2021)

1.1 Emacspeak 54.0 (EZDog) Unleashed! 🦮

— Making Accessible Computing EZ Again!

Advancing Accessibility In The Age Of User-Aware Interfaces — Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak announces immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 54.0 (EZDog) 🦮 — a powerful audio desktop that leverages today's evolving Data, Social and Assistant-Oriented Internet cloud to enableworking efficiently and effectively from anywhere!

2 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net atlevels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of May 2021 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

3 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as ubiquitous assistance, Web-surfing, blogging, remote software development, social computing and electronic messaging into the audiodesktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving assistant-oriented social Internet cloud.

4 Major Enhancements:

  1. Faster Startup 🛱
  2. MP3 Files In Dired 🎹
  3. Dynamic playlist support with m-player 🎶
  4. Gopher And Gemini ♊
  5. Emacs 28 with native compilation 🚅
  6. Updated Soundscapes 🐦
  7. Updated wizards🧙
  8. Updated URL templates 🕷
  9. Capitalization And AllCaps 💼
  10. Updated keymaps and keybindings ⌨

    — And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞

Note: This version requires emacs-27.1 or later.

5 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform and the underlying GIT versioning software used to develop and distribute the system.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free Assistance and social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

6 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; “It is the user — and not the computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!”.

6.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

7 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub — see https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list — emacspeak@emacspeak.org. The Emacspeak Blog is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to use them.

The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available at GitHub.

8 History:

  • Emacspeak 54.0 (EZDog) learns to take it easy from Tilden.
  • Emacspeak 53.0 (EfficientDog) focuses on efficiency.
  • Emacspeak 52.0 (WorkAtHomeDog) makes working remotely a pleasurable experience.
  • Bigger and more powerful than any smart assistAnt, AssistDog provides

instant access to the most relevant information at all times.

  • Emacspeak 50.0 (SageDog) embraces the wisdom of stability as opposed to rapid change and the concomitant creation of bugs.🚭: Naturally Intelligent (NI)™ at how information is spoken, Emacspeak

is entirely free of Artificial Ingredients (AI)™.

  • Emacspeak 49.0 (WiseDog) leverages the wisdom gleaned from earlier releases to provide an enhanced auditory experience.
  • Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog) builds on earlier releases to provide continued end-user value.
  • Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) goes the next step in being helpful while letting users learn and grow.
  • Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) heralds the coming of Smart Assistants.
  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs' excellent integration with various programming language environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient, light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access — technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion inan eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfetteredinformation access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed YellowLab– was the closing release of the 20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

9 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) — http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub —https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users. Note that we are currently looking for a new home for the mailing list — stay tuned; in the meantime, the list is available via nntp+news.gmane.io:gmane.emacs.emacspeak.general from within Gnus.

10 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop (🦮) and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

*About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2021-05-02T11:29:00.000-07:00

Emacspeak 53.0 EfficientDog Unleashed!


Announcing Emacspeak 52.0—WorkAtHomeDog!

The enjoyment of one's tools is an essential ingredient of successful work. – Donald E. Knuth

1 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, CA, (Nov 22, 2020)

1.1 Emacspeak 53.0 (EfficientDog) 🦮 Unleashed!

— Making Telecommuting Fun Again!

Advancing Accessibility In The Age Of User-Aware Interfaces — Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak — announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 53.0 (EfficientDog) 🦮 — a powerful audio desktop that leverages today's evolving Data, Social and Assistant-Oriented Internet cloud to enable working efficiently and effectively from anywhere!

2 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net atlevels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of Nov 2020 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

3 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as ubiquitous assistance, Web-surfing, blogging, remote software development, social computing and electronic messaging into the audiodesktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving assistant-oriented social Internet cloud.

4 Major Enhancements:

This version requires emacs-26.1 or later.

  1. Speech-Enabled Haskell Mode ⁡
  2. Speech-Enable VTerm 🖳
  3. Speech-Enable Package Syslog 
  4. Speech-enable Package hide-lines 𐇪
  5. Speech-Enable Racer 🖹
  6. Speech-Enable Eglot 󠀁
  7. speech-Enable project.el 📽
  8. Speech-Enable rust-mode 🦊
  9. Emacspeak-sdcv — speech-Enable Stardict Interaction 🤩
  10. Add CTL-Z As A New Prefix Keymap ⌨

— And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞

5 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform and the underlying GIT versioning software used to develop and distribute the system.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free Assistance and social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

6 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; “It is the user — and not the computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!”.

6.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

7 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub — see https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak Blog is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to use them.

The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available at GitHub.

8 History:

  • Emacspeak 53.0 (EfficientDog) focuses on efficiency.
  • Emacspeak 52.0 (WorkAtHomeDog) makes working remotely a pleasurable experience.
  • Bigger and more powerful than any smart assistAnt, AssistDog provides

instant access to the most relevant information at all times.

  • Emacspeak 50.0 (SageDog) embraces the wisdom of stability as opposed to rapid change and the concomitant creation of bugs.🚭: Naturally Intelligent (NI)™ at how information is spoken, Emacspeak

is entirely free of Artificial Ingredients (AI)™.

  • Emacspeak 49.0 (WiseDog) leverages the wisdom gleaned from earlier releases to provide an enhanced auditory experience.
  • Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog) builds on earlier releases to provide continued end-user value.
  • Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) goes the next step in being helpful while letting users learn and grow.
  • Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) heralds the coming of Smart Assistants.
  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs' excellent integration with various programming language environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient, light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access — technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion inan eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfetteredinformation access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed YellowLab– was the closing release of the 20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

9 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) — http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub —https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users. Note that we are currently looking for a new home for the mailing list — stay tuned; in the meantime, the list is available via nntp+news.gmane.io:gmane.emacs.emacspeak.general from within Gnus.

10 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop (🦮) and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

*About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2020-11-21T09:28:00.004-08:00

Web: Data Tables Can Be More Than Screen-Deep


Web: Data Tables Can Be More Than Screen-Deep

1 Executive Summary

A few years ago, layout tables made speaking Web content difficult; that phase has now morphed into an even more horrifying soup of div and span tags styled by CSS. This also means that now, if you encounter a table element, it likely contains some useful data; also, deeply nested tables are beginning to feel like a thing of the past.

Sadly, this has not made getting data out of HTML tables any easier. A combination of badly created markup, many redundant DOM nodes that exist purely for enabling DOM scripting, and heavy-weight DOM structures that result from code-generation have mostly created a different, but equally appalling situation .

One of the primary reasons to do everything in a rich end-user environment like Emacs is the ability to share data across tasks and being able to manipulate data as data, rather than working with that data's underlying visual representation. Emacs can now render Webdocuments that are content focused, so the next immediate desire is to be able to extract data in a useful form from EWW rendered pages. This article describes one simple approach that lets me turn HTML tables found in the willd into a coherent tabular data structure that I can access meaningfully via emacspeak to obtain multiple spoken views of the data.

2 Initial Approach That Failed

I first tried to see if I could make EWW annotate the rendered table data with text properties — sadly that proved impossible to do in the current implementation. Note however that Emacspeak does use textproperties to provide access to other aspects of HTML document structure such as section headers, and moving through the rendered tables in an EWW buffer.

3 Ensuring That EWW Rendered Tables Are More than Screen-Deep

I implemented the approach described below a couple of weeks ago and it appears to work well barring a few known limitations.

  1. I advice EWW to store a pointer to the Table DOM in the EWW buffer.
  2. I defined a function that converts the DOM nodes from the table-dom into a two-dimensional vector.
  3. I then pass this structure to Emacspeak's Table-UI module to obtain a browsable two-dimensional structure.
  4. Module emacspeak-table-ui enables the user to obtain multiple spoken views of the tabular data.

See the following sections for details on each of thesee steps.

3.1 Storing A Pointer To The Table-DOM

(defadvice shr-tag-table-1
      (around emacspeak pre act comp) 
      "Cache pointer to
      table dom as a text property"
      (let
      ((table-dom (ad-get-arg 0))
      (start (point)))
      ad-do-it
      (unless
      (get-text-property start 'table-dom)
      (put-text-property start (point)
      'table-dom table-dom))
      ad-return-value))
      

This advice stores a pointer to the DOM of the table being rendered over the region containing the rendering.

3.2 Generate A Tabular Structure From The Dom

Function emacspeak-eww-table-table generates a two-dimensional vector that encaspulates the tabular data.

(defun emacspeak-eww-table-table ()
      "Return table
      cells as a table, a 2d structure."
      (let*
      ((data nil)
      (table (get-text-property (point) 'table-dom))
      (head (dom-by-tag table 'th)))
      (cl-assert table t "No table
      here.")
      (setq
      data          (cl-loop
      for r in (dom-by-tag table 'tr) collect
      (cl-loop
      for c in
      (append
      (dom-by-tag r 'th)
      (dom-by-tag r 'td))
      collect
      (string-trim (dom-node-as-text c)))))
      ;;;
      handle
      head case differently:
      (if head
      (apply #'vector (mapcar #'vconcat  (cdr data)))
      (apply #'vector (mapcar #'vconcat  data)))))
      

The above code handles the case where there are header (i.e., th) cells specially to avoid a bug where we get two copies of the data. The nested loops generates a list of lists, and the final call turns this into a two-dimensional vector.

3.3 Browsing Tables As Data

Interactive command emacspeak-eww-table-data (bound to C-t) takes the table at point, i.e. when point is anywhere within a table rendering, and creates a browsable table buffer as implemented by module emacspeak-table-ui.

(defun emacspeak-eww-table-data ()
      "View  table at
      point as a data table using Emacspeak Table UI."
      (interactive)
      (let
      ((data (emacspeak-eww-table-table))
      (data-table nil)
      (inhibit-read-only  t)
      (buffer
      (get-buffer-create
      (format  "Table:
      %s" (emacspeak-eww-current-title)))))
      (setq
      data-table (emacspeak-table-make-table data))
      (emacspeak-table-prepare-table-buffer data-table buffer)))
      

The two-dimensional vector described earlier is now converted to a tabular structure as expected by module emacspeak-table-ui, the primary difference being that this structure explicitly captures row and column headers.

3.4 Browsing The Tabular Data

Emacspeak's Table UI allows one to:

  1. Move through table cells, either by row or column.
  2. Determine what is spoken during such navigation,
  3. Spoken views can include cell value, row header and column header.
  4. For more advanced use-cases, one can define a row filter or column filter, think of thesee as specialized formatters that can format selected cells and their headers into a natural-sounding sentence.
[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2020-11-02T10:54:00.001-08:00

Extracted A Light-Weight Key-Reader By Progressive Simplification


Extracting A Light-Weight Key-Sequence Reader By Progressive Simplification

1 Background

In the previous article entitled On Defining Keys In Emacs I covered the issue of declaring key-sequences when defining keyboard short-cuts. During the last week, I took the underlying Emacs Lisp function edmacro-parse-key and via a process of progressive simplification derived a new new-kbd function that is much simpler and consequently easier to understand. You can see the step-by-step simplification via the Git history for file new-kbd.el (note: used to be called ems-kbd.el). That file contains the final version of the simplified function, along with a test-suite that verifies that it's behavior is convenient with the solution built into Emacs. The updated function is now part of Emacspeak and is named ems-kbd in that package.

The next section gives a high-level overview of the steps that led to the final version.

2 Steps Toward Simplification

2.1 Separate Tokenization From Processing

Function edmacro-parse-keys interweaves the process of tokenizing its input string and how various parts of that string are processed in a single while loop.

The first step in simplification was to separate thesee steps, by using function split-string to split the input string on whitespace to generate a list of words.

A simple cl-loop is then used to turn each word into a key that is accumulated into a result vector.

2.2 Refactoring Case Analysis

Once tokenization is factored out, the remainder of function edmacro-parse-keys converts each key-specification into either the corresponding string or vector representation.

The original requirement of parsing the serialization of keyboard-macros brought along additional logic that I first eliminated, since my goal was to create a function to be used in defining keyboard-shortcuts.

  • I eliminated code that handled invocation of M-x execute-extended-command during a keyboard-macro.
  • I eliminated processing of comments within the keyboard-macro serialization.

2.3 Rearranging Conditionals

Next, I rearranged conditionals and in that process eliminated cond clauses that were now effectively dead-code.

In the process, I also eliminated test-predicates that had side-effects to hopefully result in less fragile code.

2.4 Lexically Bind Regex Patterns

To improve readability, I created let-bindings to some of the regex patterns used to identify key-sequence patterns. In the process, I also made thesee more readable by using [:space:] for white-space tests.

2.5 Always Return A Vector

Finally, I setup the new function to always return a vector; functionedmacro-parse-keys returns either a string or a vector based on how it is called. Since Emacs now takes a vector in every context where a key-sequenceis expected, this simplification does not break when using our simplified function for defining keys.

   (defun new-kbd
      (string )
      "Simplified and hopefully more robust kbd function.
      Always returns a vector i.e. like passing need-vector to
      edmacro-parse-keys. "
      (let ((res [])
      (special-char-reg
      "^\\(NUL\\|RET\\|LFD\\|ESC\\|SPC\\|DEL\\)$")
      (modifier+angle-reg
      "^\\(\\([ACHMsS]-\\)*\\)<\\(.+\\)>$"))
      (cl-loop
      for word in (split-string string)
      do
      (let* ((key nil))
      (cond 
      ((and ;;; modifier+-<key> without DEL etc
      (not (string-match special-char-reg word))
      (string-match modifier+angle-reg word))
      (setq key
      (list
      (intern 
      (concat ;;; strip < and >
      (substring word (match-beginning 1) (match-end 1))
      (substring word (match-beginning 3) (match-end 3)))))))
      (t
      (let ((prefix 0)
      (bits 0))
      (while ;;; calculate modifier bits
      (string-match "^[ACHMsS]-." word)
      (cl-incf bits
      (cdr
      (assq (aref word 0)
      '((?A . ?\A-\^@)
      (?C . ?\C-\^@)
      (?H . ?\H-\^@)
      (?M . ?\M-\^@)
      (?s . ?\s-\^@)
      (?S . ?\S-\^@)))))
      (cl-incf prefix 2)
      (cl-callf substring word 2))
      (when (string-match "^\\^.$" word)
      (cl-incf bits ?\C-\^@)
      (cl-incf prefix)
      (cl-callf substring word 1))
      (when-let
      (found
      (assoc word
      '(("NUL" . "\0")
      ("RET" . "\r")
      ("LFD" . "\n")
      ("TAB" . "\t")
      ("ESC" . "\e")
      ("SPC" . " ")
      ("DEL" . "\177"))))
      (setq word (cdr found)))
      (cond ;;; apply modifiers 
      ((= bits 0) (setq key word))
      ((/= (length word) 1)
      (error "%s: Prefix  must precede a single character, not
      %s"
      string word))
      ((and
      (/= (logand bits ?\C-\^@) 0)
      (string-match "[@-_a-z]" word))
      (setq key
      (list (+ bits (- ?\C-\^@)
      (logand (aref word 0) 31)))))
      (t (setq key (list (+ bits (aref word 0)))))))))
      ;;; push key on to the result vector 
      (when key (cl-callf vconcat res key))))
      res))
      

You can verify the code above by running the tests found at the end of file new-kbd.el — the tests were extracted from the various patterns described in the Elisp Reference, as well as by reading thecode in edmacro-parse-keys.

2.6 Closing Thoughts

The above simplification exercise was done by:

  1. Starting with the original edmacro-parse-keys copied over to a new file and renamed to function new-kbd.
  2. Adding a set of tests at the end of file, essentially this is a let that binds a set of tests, then compares the result of calling our new function on each value with that returned by the original.
  3. Modifying and simplifying our new function and running eval-buffer after each step.
  4. It was a fun exercise to see order emerge from chaos at each step!
[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2020-10-10T07:52:00.000-07:00

On Defining Keys In Emacs


On Defining Keys In Emacs

1 Overview

Emacs is extremely flexible with respect to letting you bind keys to commands. Interestingly, and perhaps because of its history tracing back to keyboard macros, naming the key you wish to bind is not so straight-forward as it appears on the surface. Here are things I've used and learnt over the last 30 years of Emacs hackery:

  1. The most basic way of naming a key is via a string of the form \C-a or \M-\C-a where \C denotes the Control Modifier.
  2. This notation gets unwieldy fast when using multiple modifiers as in the \M-\C-a example.
  3. It gets worse, under X, you can bind \C- / for /Control Space — notice that the space character here which is easy to miss as white-space is significant.
  4. The \<modifier>-char notation mostly appears to date back to the age of the terminal emulator (tty), so for example, it cannot denote Control+Right for example.
  5. The Emacs and Elisp info manuals recommend using function kbd for this reason, this function on the surface provides a unified interface for naming keys.

If you look no further, you remain happy, but …

2 Function kbd

But if you do peel the onion, here is what you find:

  1. Function kbd does nothing more than calling function read-kbd-macro.
  2. Function read-kbd-macro documents itself as reading the region as a keyboard macro.
  3. The above overloading is achieved by the call to function edmacro-parse-keys.
  4. And finally we reach the scary core of the onion that is sufficient to make your eyes water!
  5. Function edmacro-parse-keys is an inscrutable piece of code that both looks extremely clever and magical and like all clever code, feels fragile.

3 Understanding And (Hopefully) Simplifying Function kbd

A simplified ems-kbd function that is free from the complexity resulting from reading in a saved keyboard macro feels like a worthwhile goal. I started down this road both to understand function edmacro-parse-keys — sadly, I haven't yet found a specification for naming all available keys outside of the implementation of that function. So I started ems-kbd.el along with a simple test-suite to see how far I could get toward the goal of creating an equivalent kbd function.

3.1 Steps So Far

  1. Documented the implementation.
  2. Added a simple set of tests in the file.
  3. Changed if to cond or when as appropriate.
  4. Eliminated the logic that handled the keyboard macro serialization for repeated keys.
  5. Removed the logic for handling invocations of execute-extended-command — otherwise known as M-x.
  6. A lot more remains, e.g.,
    • simplifying how modifier bits are handled,
    • Simplifying how special patterns like SPC or TAB are handled.
    • And likely a lot more.

An alternative approach might be to rewrite it from scratch, but thatfeels intractable unless I can track down a specification for naming keys that is exhaustive with respect to the various conventions thathave been used over the years.

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T. V. Raman at

2020-10-05T17:32:00.000-07:00

Searching GMail From GNUS


Using GMail Search Operators In GNUS

1 Executive Summary

I have been using the following to search GMail from GNUS for over 8 years now. The recent announcement of the nnselect back-end reminded me that I had never gotten to writing this up formally, So here goes. With the described solution in place, you can search your GMail from within GNUS using the same GMail Search operators that you're familiar with from within your Web Browser, e.g. searches of the form from: foo, subject:bar, after:date and combinations of the above.

2 Background

You can read email with GNUS, and many people read GMail with GNUS, however, the details of GMail setup with GNUS won't fit this margin. For my own GMail setup using Caesar's excellent auth-xoauth2 package, see filegnus-gmail-prepare.el.

3 Leveraging GNUS Back-end NNIR To Search GMail

GMail is accessed from GNUS using the imap protocol. The imap specification defines a set of standard search operators; GMail itself defines a slightly different and arguably easier to use set of search operators. Module gm-nnir himplements both the standard IMap search operator as well as GMail's search operators; in practice, I have mostly only used the GMail Search operators in the last 8 years since implementing this module.

Without further ado, here is the code to enable GMail Search:

(defun
      gm-nnir-group-make-gmail-group (query)
      "Use GMail search syntax.
      See https://support.google.com/mail/answer/7190?hl=en for syntax.
      "
      (interactive "sGMail Query: ")  
      (let ((nnir-imap-default-search-key "imap")
      (q (format "X-GM-RAW \"%s\"" query)))
      (cond
      ((gnus-group-group-name)           ; Search current group
      (gnus-group-make-nnir-group
      nil                              ; no extra params needed
      `(nnir-specs (nnir-query-spec (query ,q)))))
      (t (error "Not on a group.")))))
      

I bind the above to / by using

(define-key
      gnus-group-mode-map "/"
      'gm-nnir-group-make-gmail-group)
      

4 Example Of Use

I am subscribed to list emacs-devel@gnu.org and email sent to that list gets GMail Label emacs-devel. In Gnus, I open that label as group emacs-devel@gnu.org. Typing / on the group line and entering

      from:rms after:2020/09/01
      

in the minibuffer results in the following:

      1.1 Re: Good first issues to contribute Richard Stallman 05-Sep
      [5.3k]
      2.1 Lars Ingebrigtsen is now one of the Emacs maintainers Richard
      Stallman 06-Sep [4.9k]
      3.1 Re: A new user perspective about "Changes for emacs
      28"      Richard Stallman 07-Sep [5.5k]
      4.5 Re: Changes for emacs 28 Richard Stallman 07-Sep [5.3k]
      5.1  Richard Stallman 07-Sep <6.2k>
      6.1  Richard Stallman 07-Sep <6.0k>
      7.1  Richard Stallman 07-Sep <5.5k>
      8.1  Richard Stallman 07-Sep <5.7k>
      
      

The search above creates an ephemeral group with matching messages appearing as shown above, you can read messages, reply to them and do anything else that you might ordinarily do within the GNUS interface.

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T. V. Raman at

2020-09-08T16:26:00.000-07:00

Start Emacs In A Defun


Start Emacs In A Defun

1 Summary

This is a follow-up to my earlier article titled Speeding Up Emacs Startup from August 2017. Three years later, I once again spent time cleaning up and refactoring the results as described below. The end-result is to once again speed up Emacs startup, (about 25% faster on my laptop)while making the setup cleaner and easier to maintain than before.

2 Start Emacs In A Defun

This startup file is set up with the following goals:

  1. Speed up emacs startup — setting environment variableTVR_TIME_EMS before starting emacs produces detailed timing information in the Messages buffer.
  2. Customize packages via Custom as far as possible.
  3. Keep the custom settings in a separate file, with a later goal of turning that into a theme.
  4. After converting to a theme, Move machine-specific custom settings into a separate host-specific custom file, thus making the earlier theme host-independent. Place host-specific non-customizable bits in default.el (not done yet).
  5. Define package-specific settings not available via Custom in a package-specific <package>-prepare.el file.
  6. Install everything from elpa/melpa as far as possible. (vm is anexception at present) — I have nearly 200 packages activated.
  7. The startup file is a collection of functions with entry-point tvr-emacs.
  8. The only top-level call is (tvr-emacs).
  9. Function tvr-emacs starts up Emacspeak, and sets up two hooks:
    • after-init-hook to do the bulk of the work.
    • emacs-startup-hook to set up initial window configuration.
  10. Function tvr-after-init-hook on after-init-hook does the following:
    • Load package-specific prepare.el files.
    • Load the custom settings file.
    • Starts up things like the emacs server.
    • Some of thesee tasks are done on a separate thread using make-thread.
  11. The work of loading files etc., is done within macro tvr-fastload

which sets up an efficient environment for loading files.

3 Conclusion

With this setup, M-x emacs-init-time shows init-time as

      1.288381225 seconds
      

on my laptop with an SSD. Setting package-quickstart to T is a major win when running with a spinning-disk instead of an SSD. But the biggest win is that I no longer have to go hunting to find out where something in emacs got configured a given way — AKA, there are a limited number of places I need to look.

4 Wish-List

  1. Remembering the name of a custom-setting you set up a while ago is still a challenge, You can't find it unless you remember its approximate name.
  2. Command emacspeak-wizards-customize-saved bound to C-h C-s helps some in this regard but is a stop-gap solution.
  3. Custom themes are not easy to use.
  4. I keep my custom-file checked into a local Git repository and is the only part of my setup that I cannot publish — since thatfile tends to hoover up information that you shouldn't publish, e.g., aPI keys and other private/personal bits.
  5. Perhaps Emacs needs at least two custom-files, a public and a private custom-file.
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T. V. Raman at

2020-08-16T12:18:00.001-07:00

Learning Rust: Programming The Pick-Up Sticks Game


Learning Rust: The Pick-Up Sticks Game

1 Overview

This directory contains an implementation of the Pick Up Sticks game
described in my paper Thinking Of Mathematics (Section 5).


It's an interesting experience writing it in Rust as I learn the
language. The original implementation described in my paper was
written in 1987 in Fortran-77, and consisted of one single
function. Though that style of programming would be frowned upon today
and is clearly not advisable for programming in the large, it's
interesting to observe that a more structured implementation as seen
in this Rust implementation qrequires a lot more fore-thought with
respect to code organization.


2 Programming Environment

here is a short overview of the programming environment used:


  1. Emacs 28.0.50 with emacspeak 52.0.
  2. Package eglot for managing the project with an LSP server.
  3. Rust Language Server (RLS) as the LSP server.
  4. Package company for completion.
  5. Package yasnippet for code templates.
  6. Package rust-mode for Rust editing smarts.
  7. Package racer for additional cross-referencing and
    documentation support.
  8. Package cargo for cargo integration from inside Emacs.

In the process of setting up my Rust environment, I also
speech-enabled Emacs packages rust-mode, racer and cargo for Emacspeak.



3 Books

I downloaded The Rust Programming Language (2018) from Bookshare
and it's what I am still using as I write this. Note that this book is
also available in the Rust distribution. The version in the Rust
distribution is a little less usable since it's split into multiple
smaller HTML files with each file repeating a lot of navigational
boiler-plate at the top.


4 Experience Learning Rust

I usually find that I learn a language better if I write some code as
I learn the language.
In this instance, I decided to program the pick-up-sticks game — a
simple game that I programmed in 1987 for the final class project for
CS-101 at IIT-Bombay. Here are the rules of the game:


  1. This is a two-player game and the game starts with \(n\) sticks.
  2. The first player can pick at most \(n-1\) sticks.
  3. Assume a player picks \(k\) sticks. At the subsequent turn, opponent
    can pick at most \(2 * k\) sticks.
  4. The player who is able to clean-up the remaining sticks while
    adhering to the rules is the winner.

Read Thinking Of Mathematics (Section 5) for a description of an
algorithm that is guaranteed to win.


5 The Implementation

Learning Rust's ownership rules for memory management, and learning to
use references the Rust way were some of the things that were unique
to this learning experience.
Rust has some unique features including declaring lifetimes that are
typically needed in more advanced cases; however in my initial
attempts, not doing things the Rust way caused compile-time errors
that initially guided me toward using and declaring
lifetimes. Eventually, all of those declarations became unnecessary.
More generally, the Rust compiler turns out to be a very good Rust
teacher.


6 Crux Of The Implementation

See module game.rs for the implementation. The core of the
implementation is still a handful of lines to implement the winning
strategy of:


  1. If the number of sticks at the start is a Fibonacci number, ask
    the opponent to play first.
  2. At each turn, force the opponent toward the closest Fibonacci number.
  3. Do above while respecting the limit rule, i.e. if you pick \(k\)
    sticks, the opponent can pick up to \(2k\) sticks, so never pick \(k\)
    where \(3k >= n\).
  4. The result of (3) is to subdivide the game into smaller games
    when playing with larger values of \(n\) — see the while loop in
    method my_move.

7 Closing Thoughts

  1. The computing environment I now have is far more sophisticated
    than what I had in 1987.
  2. Today, I have interactive completion, source-code
    cross-references, on-the-fly access to documentation, and a fully
    accessible book where I can look up things whenever I want.
  3. In 1987, I did most of my thinking and problem-solving in my
    dorm-room with no computer to hand. When ready with the solution,
    I made a few notes in Braille using a pocket-slate and stylus,
    then went to the computer room with a volunteer reader and typed
    up the program, with the student volunteer providing high-quality
    interactive spoken feedback.
  4. Interestingly, I think it took me less time from memory to
    implement the solution in 1987 — perhaps this is time shrinking
    with number of years passed.
  5. Either way, the primary take-away is that it pays to analyse a
    problem before one actually starts writing code. Writing code is
    always fun, and today, even more so given the excellent array of
    tools — but unless one focuses on the problem at hand, one can
    spend a lot of time sharpening one's pencils as opposed to
    writing something useful.

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T. V. Raman at

2020-06-16T10:13:00.001-07:00

Viewing Data Records As Forms --- Old Is Gold


Viewing Data Records As Forms: Old Is Gold!

1 Executive Summary

Given a file containing data records made up of multiple fields, you
can easily view them using Emacs' forms library.


2 Background: BBC Program Listings

I use Perl utility get_player to fetch details of BBC Radio
programs. When I was using this frequently, I had installed package
iplayer.el from Melpa — that package presented the data as a
nicely organized Org document. Time passed, and I somehow stopped
using it, until … last week. Then I discovered that package
iplayer on Melpa hadn't been updated in a few years, and worse had
broken because package org no longer includes now obsoleted
sub-module orgstruct.



3 Task: Viewing BBC Program Listings

When I realized package iplayer was broken, I tried to make up for
its loss for a few days by using shell-level utilities like cut. But
then I missed the convenience of being able to work with the data with
all of Emacs' power and was initially tempted to write a new package
— after all, how hard is it to take a record, split it into fields
and display it in a desired form? Fortunately, I remembered another of
my favorite edicts from the creator of Perl (Larry Wall)

Lazy
      Programmer Is A Good
      Programmer
      


At the same time I had a strong sense of dejavu — in the early daysa
of Emacspeak (approx 1995), I remembered demonstrating the power of
Emacs to manipulate and display data records by using file
/etc/passwd as an example.


4 The Free Solution

So the completely free (AKA zero-work) solution I used was to leverage
Emacs' built-in forms library — the solution
as created
in
get-iplayer.el is below:




(setq forms-read-only t)
      (setq
      forms-file (expand-file-name "~/.get_iplayer/radio.cache"))
      (setq
      forms-number-of-fields 16)
      (setq
      forms-field-sep "|")
      (setq
      forms-format-list
      (list
      "Id:
      "  1 "\t" "Name: " 3 "\n"
      "Episode:
      " 4 "\t" "Description: "  12
      "\n"))
      


With the above in place, you can:


  1. M-x forms-find-file RET get-iplayer.el
  2. This displays one record at a time as specified by forms-format-list.
  3. You can search through records etc.

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T. V. Raman at

2020-06-03T08:28:00.004-07:00

Magit/Forge Cheatsheet For GitHub Workflow


Magit/Forge Fork And Create Pull-Request Cheat-Sheet For GitHub

The previous article covered the fork/create-pullreq workflow for
GitHub without using a browser.
It turns out that in learning by doing, I had made a few mis-steps
that made things a lot more convoluted. Here is a quick cheat-sheet on
how to do this exclusively with Magit/Forge.


  1. Run M-x magit-status on your Git clone of the project to
    which you wish to contribute.
  2. Add your GitHub user-id "tvraman" in my case to forge custom
    option forge-owned-accounts.
  3. In the magit-status buffer above, type 'cf to create the fork
    and answer the prompts with the defaults as they appear in the minibuffer.
  4. Create your feature branch, add your contribution and check-in.
  5. In the magit-status buffer, type 'cp to create the
    pull-request.

Share And Enjoy!


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T. V. Raman at

2020-05-30T09:27:00.001-07:00

GitHub Standard Fork And Pull-Request Workflow From Emacs



GitHub Standard Fork And Pull Request From Inside Emacs

1 Executive Summary

Collaborating via GitHub (and similar platforms) requires
understanding and following a somewhat standardized fork, create, push
workflow. Most of the gory details of this workflow typically get
hidden by instructions of the form

Sign in to GitHub in
      your
      browser and /push/ the button on the  top-left
      

or something similar.
I live exclusively in Emacs and use Chrome as the weapon of
last-resort, this article details how to perform the afore-mentioned
GitHub collaboration workflow from within Emacs. Caveat — you may
still need to resort to Chrome or Firefox to set up GitHub tokens etc.


2 The Standard GitHub Workflow

The GitHub collaboration workflow is documented (if somewhat sparsely)
on GitHub, and it's augmented by many excellent tutorials on the
Web. I will avoid repeating that information, other than to link to
them below and point out that reading those is essential to build a
clear mental picture of how things work. The remainder of this article
will focus on how to achieve the equivalent without having to push
buttons on the GitHub web site.




3 Collecting The Needed Tools

Here are the tools I needed to achieve the goal of achieving the above
workflow from within Emacs and without resorting to a Web browser.


  1. Package Magit from Melpa.
  2. Package Magit/Forge from Melpa.
  3. Command-Line tool hub from GitHub
  4. Newer Command-Line tool gh from GitHub.


Command-line tools gh and hub are written in go and implement
the GitHub API.
At the time of writing, hub appears more complete, but gh is
catching up fast.


4 Implementing The GitHub Workflow

I'll use a concrete example to avoid introducing additional confusing
terminology. In my own learning journey, I often got confused by
terminology such as name, remote, etc. each of which were being
used in a specialized sense.


4.1 Task:

Create a Pull-Request to project speech-rule-engine from user
zorkow/ — the project repository is
Speech Rule Engine from user zorkow.



Fork
Fork the project you wish to contribute to. I found multiple ways of doing this (eventually).
  1. magit/forge inside emacs:
'cf RET RET
      

This invokes command M-x forge-fork which prompts for two name
arguments. The meaning of those arguments are somewhat
non-obvious which is why I failed initially. To use it
successfully, set Forge Custom option forge-owned-accounts to
your GitHub user-id — in my case tvraman. Note that this
variable can hold a list of GitHub user-ids that you use.

(setq
      forge-owned-accounts
      '(("tvraman")))
      

With the above in place, go to where you have the source
repository checked out, in my case:

cd
      ~/sources/zorkow/speech-rule-engine
      

and open the magit status buffer by executing

M-x magit-status
      

and execute Emacs command forge-fork — by default
magit/forge binds this to 'cf. The minibuffer shows the
user-id you set up in forge-owned-accounts/ earlier as the
default, press RET to accept the user-id value for both the
fork and remote arguments.

  • The above flow works once it's all set-up — note however that
    if you are happier to just do this at the shell, you can use
    either hub or gh — read the documentation for those
    commands. Either way, you now have a copy of the
    speech-rule-engine project under your list of GitHub
    repositories — in my case at https://github.com/tvraman/speech-rule-engine.
Clone
Next, git clone the fork you just created. This is just a regular clone operation, in my case I did:
mkdir -p
      ~/sources/tvraman; cd ~/sources/tvraman; git clone
      https://github.com/tvraman/speech-rule-engine
      

Create Your Changes
Follow the steps from the earlier tutorials to do your work, i.e., creating a feature-branch to hold your changes,etc. Note that all this work is being done in your fork, i.e., in this example, within ~/sources/tvraman/speech-rule-engine.
Create Pull Request
When ready, open the magit-status buffer for your fork, and create the pull-request using magit/forge — in the magit status buffer, type 'cp.
Uploading The Pull Request
Now, you need to send the pull-request to the author of the project you are contributing to — this is again one of those steps that all the docs talk aboutpushing a button on GitHub.com. The easiest means I found to do this was via command-line tool hub:
cd
      ~/sources/tvraman/speech-rule-engine; hub pull-request 
      

Assuming you have emacsclient configured as your EDITOR, this opens
a standard commit-like message buffer that lets you complete the
action. Result: a new, shiny pull-request shows up in the target
project — in this case in zorkow/speech-rule-engine.


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T. V. Raman at

2020-05-28T10:05:00.000-07:00

Emacspeak 52.0 (WorkAtHomeDog) Unleashed!


Announcing Emacspeak 52.0—WorkAtHomeDog!

The enjoyment of one's tools is an essential ingredient of successful work. – Donald E. Knuth


1 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, CA, (May 4, 2020)


1.1 Emacspeak 52.0 (WorkAtHomeDog) 🦮 Unleashed!

— Making Telecommuting Great Again!


Advancing Accessibility In The Age Of User-Aware Interfaces — Zero
cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!




Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak
— announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 52.0
(WorkAtHomeDog) 🦮 — a powerful audio desktop that leverages today's evolving
Data, Social and Assistant-Oriented Internet cloud to enable working
effectively from anywhere!


2 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak,
NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net at
levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of
May 2020 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once
better known stocks in the tech sector.


3 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete
eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By
seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as
ubiquitous assistance, Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and
electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech
access to local and remote information with a consistent and
well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools
provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving
assistant-oriented social Internet cloud.


4 Major Enhancements:

This version requires emacs-26.1 or later.


  1. Emacs 27 Support 🤻
  2. Updated URL templates 🕷
  3. Updated websearch wizards 🧙
  4. Updated EWW support 🕸
  5. Speech-enables Emacs Chess ♕ ♔
  6. Speech-enables package Vuiet for music discovery and playback
    using LastFM 🎼
  7. Smart templates for accessing Hacker News ⎔
  8. Updated support for Emacs Ipython Notebooks 📓
  9. Works fluently with Sage Notebooks  


— And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞


5 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free Assistance and social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface
features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


6 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; “It is the user — and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!”.


6.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


7 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub — see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the
WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak
mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the
list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak Blog is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to
use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available at
GitHub.


8 History:

  • Emacspeak 52.0 (WorkAtHomeDog) makes working remotely a pleasurable experience.
  • Gigger and more powerful than any smart assistAnt, AssistDog provides

instant access to the most relevant information at all times.

  • Emacspeak 50.0 (SageDog) embraces the wisdom of stability as
    opposed to rapid change and the concomitant creation of bugs.🚭: Naturally Intelligent (NI)™ at how information is spoken, Emacspeak

is entirely free of Artificial Ingredients (AI)™.

  • Emacspeak 49.0 (WiseDog) leverages the wisdom gleaned from
    earlier releases to provide an enhanced auditory experience.
  • Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog) builds on earlier releases to provide
    continued end-user value.
  • Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) goes the next step in being helpful
    while letting users learn and grow.
  • Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) heralds the coming of Smart Assistants.
  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs'
    excellent integration with various programming language
    environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice
    for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the
    audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

9 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) —
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday,
April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent
Research Collection
on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


10 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop (🦮) and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.

Author: T.V Raman

Created: 2020-04-27 Mon 08:27

Validate

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2020-05-03T10:56:00.000-07:00

Speaking Of Chess: Speech-Enabling Emacs Chess In Emacspeak


Speaking Of Chess: Speech-Enabling Emacs Chess In Emacspeak

1 Overview

1.1 Research question:

What type of spoken feedback does one need to:


  1. Learn Chess.
  2. Examine and learn from games.
  3. Play effectively.
  4. View the state of the game from different perspectives during a game.
  5. Provide auditory feedback that is both succinct and maximally informative.
  6. Arrive at a spoken notation for speaking various game states
    that is both expressive and time-efficient.


1.2 Speech-Enabling Chess In Emacspeak

To answer some or all of the above questions, I speech-enabled Emacs
Chess last weekend via module emacspeak-chess.el — see User Manual
for complete end-user documentation.


Module emacspeak-chess speech-enables Emacs Chess by:


  1. Providing interactive commands that let the user navigate and browse the
    chessboard along the eight compass directions from the current square.
  2. Spoken output uses audio-formatting — subtle changes in voice
    characteristics backed up by auditory icons — to indicate the
    color of squares and pieces.
  3. Speaking each current move as it happens.
  4. Adding the same spoken output to emacs chess commands for
    moving back and forth through a game.


In the above, all of the heavy lifting is done by three functions:




Share And Enjoy!


[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2019-12-18T09:24:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak 51.0 (AsssistDog) Unleashed!


Announcing Emacspeak 51.0—AssistDog!

1 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, CA, (Nov 27, 2019)


1.1 Emacspeak 51.0 (AssistDog) Unleashed!

Advancing Accessibility In The Age Of User-Aware Interfaces — Zero
cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!


Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak
— announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 51.0
(AssistDog) — a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving
Data, Social and Assistant-Oriented Internet cloud.


Bigger and more powerful than any smart assistAnt, AssistDog provides
instant access to the most relevant information at all times.


2 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak,
NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net at
levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of
November 2019 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once
better known stocks in the tech sector.


3 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete
eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By
seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as
ubiquitous assistance, Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and
electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech
access to local and remote information with a consistent and
well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools
provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving
assistant-oriented social Internet cloud.


4 Major Enhancements:

This version requires emacs-26.1 or later.


  1. Emacs 26 Support 🤻
  2. Updated URL templates 🕷
  3. Updated websearch wizards 🧙
  4. Updated EWW support 🕸
  5. Speech-enables nov.el for a second means of reading EPubs 🕮
  6. Speech-enables module deadgrep
  7. Speech-Enables Emacs Tabs found in emacs 27 ˆ


— And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞


5 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free Assistance and social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface
features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


6 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; “It is the user — and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!”.


6.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


7 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub — see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the
WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak
mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the
list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak
Blog
is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to
use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available at
GitHub.


8 History:

  • Gigger and more powerful than any smart assistAnt, AssistDog provides

instant access to the most relevant information at all times.

  • Emacspeak 50.0 (SageDog) embraces the wisdom of stability as
    opposed to rapid change and the concomitant creation of bugs.🚭: Naturally Intelligent (NI)™ at how information is spoken, Emacspeak

is entirely free of Artificial Ingredients (AI)™.

  • Emacspeak 49.0 (WiseDog) leverages the wisdom gleaned from
    earlier releases to provide an enhanced auditory experience.
  • Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog) builds on earlier releases to provide
    continued end-user value.
  • Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) goes the next step in being helpful
    while letting users learn and grow.
  • Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) heralds the coming of Smart Assistants.
  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs'
    excellent integration with various programming language
    environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice
    for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the
    audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

9 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) —
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday,
April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent
Research Collection
on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


10 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop (🦮) and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2019-11-26T10:11:00.001-08:00

Meta-Programming In Emacs Using Defadvice



Meta-Programming In Emacs Using defadvice

1 Introduction

This blog article Meta Programming In Python reminded me to write up
the equivalent for Emacs Lisp.
Decorators in Python enable you to modify the vehavior of existing
functions without changing the original function; Advice in Lisp
which traces back to the 80's enables similar functionality —
incidentally, Advice was the inspiration behind Aspect Oriented
Programming in Java.


2 Advice And Emacs Lisp

Advice came to Emacs lisp in the summer of 1994, when module
advice.el shipped as part of Emacs 19.23. A few weeks later, a
colleague at work (Win Treese) wrote up a simple example that added
a before advice to the vc-checkin functions of the time to create
an RCS subdirectory if one did not exist. This was such a neat
trick that all of us in our Lab adopted it — and having random
RCS*,v* files lying around in the working directory became history.


3 Emacspeak And Advice — Fall 1994

And then I decided to make Emacs speak to me.
Module advice.el provided the ability to add before, after, or
around advice. In brief, Emacspeak used thesee three classes of
advice as follows:


  1. Speak line moved to after next-line and previous-line — add
    an after advice that called function emacspeak-speak-line.
  2. Speak character being deleted — Add a before advice that
    speaks the character under point before it is deleted.
  3. Get various types of completion spoken — Add an around advice
    that remembers the current context, calls the original function
    being advised, and finally speak the current context that now
    reflects the completion.

The rest of the story was written up a few years ago as Emacspeak At
Twenty
. Fast-forwarding 25 years, present versions of Emacs still
include module advice.el as well as an arguably simplified front-end
implemented by module nadvice.el that enables the definition of
custom functions that are then attached to existing code via advice.


4 References

  1. Emacspeak At Twenty, Looking Back, Looking Forward.
  2. emacspeak: The Complete Audio Desktop. Chapter from the book
    entitled Beautiful Code, OReilly.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2019-10-16T14:33:00.002-07:00

Emacspeak 50.0 (SageDog) Unleashed!



Announcing Emacspeak 50.0—SageDog!

1 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (May 4, 2019)


1.1 🦮 Emacspeak 50.0 (SageDog) Unleashed!

Advancing Accessibility In The Age Of User-Aware Interfaces — Zero
cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!


Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak
— announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 50.0
(SageDog) — a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving
Data, Social and Assistant-Oriented Internet cloud.


🚭: Naturally Intelligent (NI)™ at how information is spoken, Emacspeak
is entirely free of Artificial Ingredients (AI)™.


2 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak,
NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net at
levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of
May 2019 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once
better known stocks in the tech sector.


3 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete
eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By
seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as
ubiquitous assistance, Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and
electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech
access to local and remote information with a consistent and
well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools
provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving
assistant-oriented social Internet cloud.


4 Major Enhancements:

This version requires emacs-26.1 or later.

  1. Emacs 26 Support 🤻
  2. Updated URL templates 🕷
  3. Updated websearch wizards 🧙
  4. Updated Bookshare support 📚
  5. Updated EWW support 🕸
  6. Smart tabs for EWW 📑
  7. Speech-enables Forge for software development 🏭
  8. The ESpeak server now builds on the Mac 🔈
  9. Updated DBus support 🚌
  10. Speech-enable Github-Explorer 🤯
  11. Speech-enabled navi-mode 🌲

— And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞


5 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free Assistance and social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface
features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


6 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; “It is the user — and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!”.


6.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


7 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub — see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the
WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak
mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the
list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak
Blog
is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to
use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available at
GitHub.


8 History:

  • Emacspeak 50.0 (SageDog) embraces the wisdom of stability as
    opposed to rapid change and the concomitant creation of bugs.
  • Emacspeak 49.0 (WiseDog) leverages the wisdom gleaned from
    earlier releases to provide an enhanced auditory experience.
  • Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog) builds on earlier releases to provide
    continued end-user value.
  • Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) goes the next step in being helpful
    while letting users learn and grow.
  • Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) heralds the coming of Smart Assistants.
  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs'
    excellent integration with various programming language
    environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice
    for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the
    audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

9 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) —
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday,
April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent
Research Collection
on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


10 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop (🦮) and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.


[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2019-05-03T11:30:00.002-07:00

Emacspeak 49.0 (WiseDog) Unleashed



Emacspeak 49.0—WiseDog—Unleashed!

*For Immediate Release:


San Jose, Calif., (Nov 21, 2018)


Emacspeak 49.0 (WiseDog):
Advancing Accessibility In The Age Of User-Aware Interfaces
— Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!


Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak
— announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 49.0
(WiseDog) — a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's
evolving Data, Social and Assistant-Oriented Internet cloud.


1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak,
NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net at
levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of
November 2018 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once
better known stocks in the tech sector.


2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete
eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By
seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as
ubiquitous assistance, Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and
electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech
access to local and remote information with a consistent and
well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools
provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving
assistant-oriented social Internet cloud.


3 Major Enhancements:

This version requires emacs-26.1 or later.

  1. Emacs 26 Support 🤻
  2. Updated URL templates 🕷
  3. Speech-enabled SageMath ⟬⟭
  4. Updated folding-mode support 🙏
  5. Speech-enabled Lispy ƛ
  6. Updated websearch wizards 🕷
  7. Updated Bookshare support 📚
  8. Updated EWW support 🕸
  9. Updated DBus support 🚌

— And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞


4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free Assistance and social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface
features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; “It is the user — and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!”.


5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub — see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the
WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak
mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the
list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak
Blog
is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to
use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via
Git from GitHub at
Emacspeak GitHub .


7 History:

  • Emacspeak 49.0 (WiseDog) leverages the wisdom gleaned from
    earlier releases to provide an enhanced auditory experience.
  • Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog) builds on earlier releases to provide
    continued end-user value.
  • Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) goes the next step in being helpful
    while letting users learn and grow.
  • Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) heralds the coming of Smart Assistants.
  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs'
    excellent integration with various programming language
    environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice
    for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the
    audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

8 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) —
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday,
April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent
Research Collection
on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


9 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.


[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2018-11-20T13:08:00.001-08:00

Using Emacs Threads To Execute Commands Asynchronously


Using Emacs Threads To Execute Commands Asynchronously

1 Executive Summary

Emacs 26 has threads for executing functions asynchronously. Emacs
commands that call an external process and wait for that process to
finish make a good candidate for asynchronous execution — e.g.,
smtpmail-send-it for sending mail. The arrival of threads provides
an interesting option for running such commands asynchronously.



2 First Attempt — Custom Async gnus Command

I initially wrote a custom command for launching gnus asynchronously
— it was a one-line function that ran the following:

(make-thread #'gnus)
      

The above worked well — except when command gnus needed user input
— so I just had to be thoughtful about when I called it. But a few
weeks later, I wanted the equivalent for function smtpmail-send-it
for sending mail. I almost wrote myself one more command before
stepping back to create a more generic solution.


3 One Command To Thread Them All

I have now defined command emacspeak-wizards-execute-asynchronously
bound to C-' a.
Note that this command, though part of module emacspeak-wizards, has
no emacspeak dependencies.


(defun emacspeak-wizards-execute-asynchronously
      (key)
      "Read
      key-sequence,
      then execute its command on a new thread."
      (interactive
      (list (read-key-sequence "Key Sequence: ")))
      (let ((l 
      (local-key-binding key))
      (g (global-key-binding key)))
      (cond
      ( (commandp l)
      (make-thread l)
      (message "Running
      %s
      on a new thread." l))
      ((commandp g)
      (make-thread g)
      (message "Running
      %s
      on a new thread." g))
      (t (error "%s is not bound to a
      command."
      key)))))
      
      (global-set-key (kbd "C-' a")
      'emacspeak-wizards-execute-asynchronously)
      

With this command bound to C-' a, I can now get rid of my custom
gnus-async command and its associated key-binding. I already have
command gnus bound to C-; g, so I can just press C-' a C-; g to
fetch news/mail asynchronously.


Similarly, when sending mail using smtpmail I can press C-' a C-c
C-c
in the *mail* buffer to send mail without Emacs blocking.


4 Final Caveats

Like other asynchronous solutions (see package async for instance)
one needs to make sure that the command being executed asynchronously
will not require user input. In the case of package async, the
asynchronous Emacs will block waiting for input; in the case of
make-thread, Emacs enters a blocking loop with the minibuffer
continuously displaying

No catch for ...
      
      

The only way to come out is to kill Emacs — so make sure to use
command emacspeak-wizards-execute-asynchronously only when you're
sure that the command being run asynchronously will not require user
input.

Date: 2018-07-03 Tue 00:00

Author: T.V Raman

Created: 2018-07-03 Tue 14:37

Validate



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T. V. Raman at

2018-07-03T14:57:00.001-07:00

Effective Suggest And Complete In An Eyes-Free Environment


Effective Suggest And Complete In An Eyes-Free Environment

1 Executive Summary

Emacs has always provided a wealth of techniques for rapid keyboard
input (abbrev, dabbrev, hippie-expandand completion come to mind)
alongside a rich collection of tools for navigating among open
buffers. And thesee affordances have significantly increased over the
last few years with the arrival of packages like ido, company,
helm etc., each replete with different strategies for rapid task
completion such as flex and fuzzy matching. This article investigates
thesee tools in an eyes-free environment, specifically in the context
of Emacspeak and rapid task completion. I've not investigated every
possible package in this space — instead, I've picked a collection
of packages and techniques that have worked well in an eyes-free
context. Finally, the ultimate metric I use in each case is the time
to successful task completion — since at the end of the day, that's
the only metric that counts when it comes to user productivity.


2 Terminology

For this article, I will use terms suggestion and completion to
mean subtly different concepts. I'll also use terms explore and
filter in describing various phases in user interaction.


Suggestion
Offer the user some suggestions that help explore the space of choices. (metaphor: avoid the blank sheet of paper syndrome).
Completion
Filter the available choices based on user input with the goal of reaching the target as rapidly as possible.
Explore
User does not necessarily know what he is looking for, but expects to be able to recognize what he wants from the displayed choices.
Target
User knows exactly what he wants, e.g., filename, or function-name, but would still like to get there with the fewest possible number of keystrokes, along with the needed memory aids to guide the decision.


Note that in practice, suggestions and completions work
hand-in-hand, with the visual display playing a central role in
guiding the user through the pace of available choices. In a typical
user interaction session, the space of suggestions gets filtered by
user input to produce the available completions (choices) for the next
round of user input — think of this as a
Suggest/Input/Filter/Target (SIFT) interaction loop. Similarly, explore and
target type activities typically go hand-in-hand, with explore
serving as a memory-aid for locating the target.



3 Tasks Where Suggestions And Completions Help Speed Up Task Completion

Here are exemplars of tasks that I perform often and where I require
all the help that Emacs can provide in completing the task as rapidly
as possible:


File Navigation
Navigating to and opening a file — either code or prose.
Content Navigation
Jump to a specific location (section, function, class/method, or pattern-match) in that file.
Buffer Navigation
Jump to an already open buffer in a long-running Emacs.

If that buffer existed — but has since been killed (by
midnight for example), then re-open that buffer.
I do everything in Emacs, so open buffers include a large
number of ORG and LaTeX documents, Web Pages opened in EWW
(news sites, documentation, blog articles), IM Chats (I use
jabber), Mail Buffers — both open folders and previously
sent messages, and much, much more.

Media
Easily launch media streams including local and streaming media.
EBooks
Open (or jump to an already open) EBook to continue reading.
Code Completion
Complete function/method-name as I type, with an easy affordance to move among the available choices. The Suggest/Input/Filter/Target interaction loop applies here as well.


Notice that as one performs all of thesee tasks, every target is an
Emacs buffer or Emacs buffer location. In the case of completion, the
target is a string that gets inserted at the current location.


4 Features Of Eyes-Free Interaction

Using spoken output — as opposed to a rich visual display — has
the following special features and/or drawbacks:


  1. A large visual display can offer the user many choices at a time,
    and the eye's ability to rapidly scan thesee choices makes for an
    extremely fast Suggest/Input/Filter/Target loop. As an example, an
    interface like helm can display a large number of initial
    choices, with the user filtering thesee down with a few strategic key-presses.
  2. Spoken output takes time — and there is simply no way around
    this — speeding up speech-rate helps to a point, but speaking
    50 choices very fast does not help the user in the explore
    phase. This means that effective filtering and ranking of the available
    choices takes on added importance.
  3. More importantly, picking a Suggest/Input/Filter/Target (SIFT)
    interaction loop that depends on a large display is sub-optimal
    for eyes-free interaction.
  4. Given (2,3), smart filtering, flex/fuzzy matching, and ranking
    based on past user behavior take on added importance in an
    eyes-free environment. As an aside, I have high hopes in this
    area for package prescient — though in my few days of usage,
    it has yet to make a difference in my productivity.
  5. For many of the tasks enumerated in the previous section, (2, 3
    and 4) make ido with flex and fuzzy matching extremely
    effective. In contrast, helm with similar flex and fuzzy
    matching (via packages helm-flx and helm-fuzzier) adds little
    extra benefit — and the fractional extra time to compute and
    display the choices can even lead to a minor productivity hit.
  6. When it comes to writing code with completion, package company
    has proven extremely effective. Notice that when writing code,
    one rarely if ever resorts to fuzzy matching — this may well
    be subjective. Speaking for myself, I cannot think of function
    or method names in the context of fuzzy matching — said
    differently, it's hard to think xl for function-name
    next-line — even though in a given filtering context, xl
    might define the shortest path through the available choices to
    the target next-line. Given this, emacspeak implements a
    company front-end that allows the user to navigate through the
    available choices with succinct spoken feedback, and I use those
    choices only after I have typed sufficiently many characters to
    have a manageable number of choices — said differently, though
    package company is set up to trigger after 3 characters have
    been typed, I usually end up typing more — and often resort to
    dabbrev or hippee-expand to input this longer prefix.
  7. Some of the shortcomings with eyes-free interaction enumerated
    above lead to my looking for effective work-arounds that might
    well work well outside the eyes-free context, e.g. when the
    available choices are too large to fit on a typical visual
    display. Interestingly, most of thesee have also been solved by
    mainstream Emacs developers in their never-ending/unerring quest for increased
    productivity — package ido and company are excellent exemplars.


  • Mapping Solutions To Tasks

This section maps the various solutions I use to speed up the tasks
enumerated earlier in this article.


4.1 File And Buffer Navigation

I use package ido with add-ons flx-ido and ido-completing-read+
(formerly ido-ubiquitous) as my primary/only solution for this
task. I've dabbled with package helm — primarily via command
helm-mini but have found almost no use-cases where I did better with
helm. I also use command org-switchb to quickly jump to any of my
open org buffers – since that automatically filters the choices
down for me — I can then get to the org-mode buffer I want with
one or two keystrokes. Notice that in all of thesee cases, I'm relying
on the fact that I mostly know what I want, i.e., the explore phase
does not start with an entirely blank sheet of paper.


4.2 Content Navigation

Incremental search is your biggest and most effective friend in
effective eyes-free interaction — this simply cannot be stressed
enough. That everything in Emacs is searchable via
incremental-search is a big win for eyes-free interaction. When you
have a large visual display, the human eye is the search interface of
first resort – you typically use a search-command only if the
target is below the fold or far away from the cursor. Because spoken
output takes time, I use isearch even when the target is one or two
lines away.


Structured navigation comes next in my toolbox for navigating content
imenu for code, and section navigation for documents (org,
LaTeX). I also use command occur to advantage since that provides a
quick way of finding all the desired targets in a document. Given that
program source-code uses indentation for displaying structure,
hbuilt-in command selective-display remains one of Emacs' hidden
treasures with respect to expanding/collapsing source-code.


Finally, I
use a combination of isearch and structured navigation in
org-mode buffres by collapsing the document, and then using
isearch to reveal the desired content fragment.
In the case of LaTeX documents, I use package reftex to
generate a navigation buffer that functions as an interactive table
of contents.


4.3 Locating And Playing Media

  1. I keep all my music content organized under ~/mp3.
  2. I keep playlist files that contain stream-links to my favorite
    Internet streams under emacspeak/media.
  3. The afore-mentioned techniques using ido enables me to launch
    local and streaming media with a small number of keystrokes. Once
    selected, the content is played via package emacspeak-m-player
    which provides Emacs bindings to all mplayer functionality
    via that program's slave-mode. In addition, Emacspeak also
    implements a smart emacspeak-m-player-locate-media which uses
    Emacs' integration with command locate to turn the located
    files matching a given pattern into an interactive play-list.

4.4 EBooks

Jumping to already open ebooks is no different than buffer
navigation. I organize all my ebooks under a single directory
tree, and module emacspeak-epub implements a bookshelf that
allows me to organize and browse my collection along various
axies. Finally, Emacspeak implements a light-weight bookmark
facility that works with eww so that I can save my place in an
ebook across Emacs sessions.


4.5 Code Completion

As covered earlier, I use company along with dabbrev and
hippee-expand while writing code. I also use yasnippet to
generate skeleton code. I use auto-correct-mode to
automatically correct repeated errors, and add abbrevs for
commonly occurring typos.


5 Summary

  1. Emacs' Suggest/Input/Filter/Target (SIFT) interaction loop is just as
    effective in eyes-free interaction — in fact more so .
  2. Fuzzy matching when filtering is a big win when working with spoken
    output — it leads to faster task completion.
  3. Navigating ones computing environment based on the underlying
    structure and semantics of electronic content is a major win —
    both when working with a visual or spoken display. The advantages
    just become evident far sooner in the eyes-free context due to the
    inherently temporal nature of spoken interaction.

Date: 2018-06-22 Fri 00:00

Author: T.V Raman

Created: 2018-06-23 Sat 17:22

Validate

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T. V. Raman at

2018-06-22T14:47:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog) Unleashed!


Emacspeak 48.0—ServiceDog—Unleashed!

*For Immediate Release:


San Jose, Calif., (May 04, 2018)


Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog):
Redefining Accessibility In The Age Of User-Aware Interfaces
–Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!


Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak
— announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 48.0
(ServiceDog) — a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's
evolving Data, Social and Assistant-Oriented Internet cloud.


1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak,
NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net at
levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of
May
2018 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known
stocks in the tech sector.


2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete
eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By
seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as
ubiquitous assistance, Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and
electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech
access to local and remote information with a consistent and
well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools
provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving
assistant-oriented social Internet cloud.


3 Major Enhancements:

This version requires emacs-25.1 or later.

  1. Emacs 26 Support 🤻
  1. Locate And Play Media ᭳
  2. Updated EPub Support 🕮
  3. Updated Outloud TTS Server 💬
  4. Espeak-NG support📢
  5. Smart TTS Prompts 🙊
  6. DBus Integration including screenlock via Gnome-ScreenSaver 🚌
  7. MPlayer And Equalizer Presets ≝
  8. VLC front-end 🎹
  9. Updated URL templates 🕷
  10. Updated websearch wizards 🕸


    — And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞



4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free Assistance and social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface
features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; “It is the user –and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!”.


5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub –see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the
WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak
mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the
list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak
Blog
is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to
use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via
Git from GitHub at
Emacspeak GitHub .


7 History:

  • Emacspeak 48.0 (ServiceDog) builds on earlier releases to provide
    continued end-user value.
  • Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) goes the next step in being helpful
    while letting users learn and grow.
  • Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) heralds the coming of Smart Assistants.
  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs'
    excellent integration with various programming language
    environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice
    for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the
    audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

8 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) —
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday,
April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent
Research Collection
on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


9 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.

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T. V. Raman at

2018-05-03T13:38:00.004-07:00

Updating Voxin TTS Server To Avoid A Possible ALSA Bug


Updating Voxin TTS Server To Avoid A Possible ALSA Bug

1 Summary

I recently updated to a new Linux laptop running the latest Debian
(Rodete). The upgrade went smoothly, but when I started using the
machine, I found that the Emacspeak TTS server for Voxin (Outloud)
crashed consistently; here, consistently equated to crashing on short
utterances which made typing or navigating by character an extremely
frustrating experience.


I fixed the issue by creating a work-around in the TTS server
atcleci.cpp::xrun
— if you run into this issue, make sure to update and rebuild
atcleci.so from GitHub; alternatively, you'll find an updated
atcleci.so in the servers/linux-outloud/lib/ directory after a
git update that you can copy over to your servers/linux-outloud
directory.


2 What Was Crashing

I use a DMIX plugin as the default device — and have many ALSA
virtual devices that are defined in terms of this device — see my
asoundrc. With this configuration, writing to the ALSA device was
raising an EPIPE error — normally this error indicates a buffer
underrun — that's when ALSA is starved of audio data. But in many
of thesee cases, the ALSA device was still in a RUNNING rather than
an XRUN state — this caused the Emacspeak server to
abort. Curiously, this happened only sporadically — and from my
experimentation only happened when there were multiple streams of
audio active on the machine.
A few Google searches showed threads on the alsa/kernel devel lists
that indicated that this bug was present in the case of DMIX devices
— it was hard to tell if the patch that was submitted on the
alsa-devel list had made it into my installation of Debian.


3 Fixing The Problem

My original implementation of function xrun had been cloned from
aplay.c about 15+ years ago — looking at the newest aplay
implementation, little to nothing had changed there. I finally worked
around the issue by adding a call to

snd_pcm_prepare(AHandle) 
      
      

whenever ALSA raised an EPIPE error during write — with the ALSA
device state in a RUNNING rather than an XRUN state. This
appears to fix the issue.

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T. V. Raman at

2018-01-08T10:06:00.002-08:00

Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) Unleashed!


Emacspeak 47.0—GentleDog—Unleashed!

*For Immediate Release:


San Jose, Calif., (November 22, 2017)


Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog):
Redefining Accessibility In The Age Of User-Aware Interfaces
–Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!


Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak
— announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 47.0
(GentleDog) — a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's
evolving Data, Social and Assistant-Oriented Internet cloud.


1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak,
NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net at
levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of
November
2017 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known
stocks in the tech sector.


2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete
eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By
seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as
ubiquitous assistance, Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and
electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech
access to local and remote information with a consistent and
well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools
provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving
assistant-oriented social Internet cloud.


3 Major Enhancements:

This version requires emacs-25.1 or later.


  1. speech-Enable Extensible EVIL — VI Layer: ⸎
  2. Bookshare — Support Additional downloads (epub3,mp3): 🕮
  3. Bookmark support for EBooks in EWW 📔
  4. Speech-Enable VDiff — A Diff tool: ≏
  5. Speech-enable Package shx —Shell Extras For Emacs: 🖁
  6. Updated IDO Support: ⨼
  7. Implemented NOAA Weather API: ☔
  8. Speech-Enable Typographic Editing Support: 🖶
  9. Speech-Enable Package Origami: 🗀
  10. Magit Enhancements for Magitians: 🎛
  11. Speech-Enable RipGrep Front-End: ┅
  12. Added SmartParen Support: 〙
  13. Speech-enabled Minesweeper game: 🤯

    • And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞


4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free Assistance and social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface
features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".


5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub –see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the
WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak
mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the
list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak
Blog
is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to
use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via
Git from GitHub at
Emacspeak GitHub .


7 History:

  • Emacspeak 47.0 (GentleDog) goes the next step in being helpful
    while letting users learn and grow.
  • Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) heralds the coming of Smart Assistants.
  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs'
    excellent integration with various programming language
    environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice
    for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the
    audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

8 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) —
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday,
April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent
Research Collection
on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


9 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2017-11-21T14:44:00.000-08:00

Emacs Start-Up: Speeding It Up


Emacs Start-Up: Speeding It Up

1 TL;DR:

Describes my Emacs start-up file, and what I did to speed it up from
12 seconds to under 4 seconds.

2 Overview Of Steps

  • Byte-compile start-up files.
  • Temporarily increase gc-cons-threshold during startup.
  • Load package autoloads (not packages) during start-up.
  • Use eval-after-load to advantage for post-package setup.
  • Lexically bind file-name-handler-alist to nil if start-up
    is split across many files.
  • Used memoization to avoid network lookup of current location during startup.


I have a large number of elpa/melpa packages installed:

(length load-path)
      
400
      
      

With the above, my emacs (Emacs 26 built from Git) startup time is on
average 4 seconds. This includes starting up emacspeak (including
speech servers), as well as launching a number of project-specific
shell buffers. Given that I rarely restart Emacs, the startup time is
academic — but speeding up Emacs startup did get me to clean-up my
Emacs setup.


3 Introduction

I have now used Emacs for more than 25 years, and my Emacs start-up
file
has followed the same structure through this time.


  1. The init file defines a start-up-emacs function that does the
    bulk of the work.
  2. Package-specific configuration is split up into
    <package>-prepare.el files.
  3. All of thesee files are byte-compiled.

As a first step, I added code to my start-up file to time the loading
of various modules.


4 Load Byte-Compiled Start-Up File

I keep my emacs-startup.el checked into GitHub.
My Emacs init-file is a symlink to the byte-compiled version of the
above — this is something that goes back to my time as a
grad-student at Cornell (when GitHub of course did not exist).
That is also when I originally learnt the trick of temporarily setting
gc-cons-threshold to 8MB — Emacs' default is 800K.


5 Package Autoloads And eval-after-load

Over time, some of the package-specific setup files had come to
directly load packages — it just made it easier to do
package-specific setup at the time. As part of the cleanup, I updated
thesee to strictly load package-autoload files and wrapped post-package
setup code in eval-after-load — this is effectively the same as
using use-package.



6 Loading Files Faster

Emacs has an extremely flexible mechanism for loading files — this
means you can load compressed, encrypted or remote files without
having to worry about it. That flexibility comes at a cost — if you
are sure you dont need this flexibility during start-up, then locally
binding file-name-handler-alist to nil is a big win — in my
case, it sped things up by 50%.


7 Avoid Network Calls During Start-Up

In my case, I set calendar-latitude and calendar-longitude by
geocoding my address — geocoding is done by calling the Google Maps
API. The geocoding API is plenty fast that you normally dont notice
it — but it was adding anywhere from 1–3 seconds during
startup. Since my address doesn't change that often, I updated module
gmaps to use a memoized version. My address is set via Customize,
and the geocoded lat/long is saved to disk automatically.





8 References

  1. Emacs Speed What got it all started.
  2. file-name-handler-alist The article that gave me the most useful
    tip of them all.


Net

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2017-08-21T13:01:00.002-07:00

Data-Binding In Emacs Lisp: let-alist When Processing JSON Data


Data-Binding In Emacs Lisp: let-alist When Processing JSON Data

1 Summary

Module json-read consumes JSON data structures and transforms them
into their elisp equivalent, where JSON dictionaries become alists and
JSON arrays become vectors. Accessing that data from lisp would
ordinarily require using lisp accessors such as assoc, car and
cdr. With let-alist, we get data-binding for free — the result
is elisp code that uses dotted-variables to directly access specific
slots in a deeply nested data structure. Thus, processing data
available as JSON via Web APIs is a really good use-case for
let-alist. Long-standing wish — I wish Emacs' JSON parsing were
implemented in native code rather than in elisp.


1.1 A Working Example

I recently implemented myself a NOAA Weather API Client — it pulls
the NOAA Weather Forecast (weekly and hourly) as JSON objects, and
produces an org-mode buffer that renders the data.
Note that though the above is part of a much larger
emacspeak-wizards module, the above function and its dependencies
are themselves mostly independent of Emacspeak, except for the last
two forms in the weather forecast function.
Here is an annotated version of the function that gets NOAA data and
leverages let-alist to process the results:


(defun ems--noaa-get-data (ask)
      "Internal function that gets NOAA data and returns a results
      buffer."
      (declare (special gweb-my-address))
      (let* ((buffer (get-buffer-create "*NOAA Weather*"))
      (inhibit-read-only  t)
      (date nil)
      (start (point-min))
      (address (when ask (read-from-minibuffer "Address:")))
      (geo  (when ask (gmaps-geocode address))))
      (unless address (setq address gweb-my-address))
      (with-current-buffer buffer
      (erase-buffer)
      (special-mode)
      (orgstruct-mode)
      (setq header-line-format (format "NOAA Weather For %s"
      address))      (insert (format "* Weather Forecast For
      %s\n\n"
      address))
      ;;; produce Daily forecast
      (let-alist (g-json-from-url (ems--noaa-url geo))
      (cl-loop
      for p across .properties.periods do
      (let-alist p
      (insert
      (format
      "** Forecast For %s: %s\n\n%s\n\n"
      .name .shortForecast .detailedForecast)))
      (fill-region start (point)))
      (insert
      (format "\nUpdated at %s\n"
      (ems--noaa-time "%c" .properties.updated))))
      (let-alist ;;; Now produce hourly forecast
      (g-json-from-url (concat (ems--noaa-url geo) "/hourly"))
      (insert
      (format "\n* Hourly Forecast:Updated At %s \n"
      (ems--noaa-time "%c" .properties.updated)))
      (cl-loop
      for p across .properties.periods do
      (let-alist p
      (unless (and date (string= date (ems--noaa-time "%x"
      .startTime)))
      (insert (format "** %s\n" (ems--noaa-time "%A
      %X"      .startTime)))
      (setq date (ems--noaa-time "%x" .startTime)))
      (insert
      (format
      "  - %s %s %s:  Wind Speed: %s Wind Direction: %s\n"
      (ems--noaa-time "%R" .startTime)
      .shortForecast
      .temperature .windSpeed .windDirection)))))
      (goto-char (point-min)))
      buffer))
      


  1. In the above_ /gweb-my-address_ is a Lat/Lng pair as returned by
    gmaps-geocode defined in g-client/gmaps.el. That is used as the
    default location for which we retrieve the forecast.
  2. Parameter ask if non-nil results in the user being prompted
    for the address — that address is then geocoded using
    the Google Maps API.
  3. The weather forecast display will leverage org-mode for
    structured navigation; however we dont want that buffer to be
    editable in general; moreover special-mode gives us nice
    features such as q for quitting that window. So we use
    special-mode as the major mode, and orgstruct-mode as a minor
    mode to get the best of both worlds.
  4. The API call to NOAA results in a JSON data structure where
    result.properties.periods holds an array of forecast
    objects. Using that result in let-alist gives us data binding
    for free! Notice the following:
    1. We can use .properties.periods in the cl-loop as the list
      to iterate over.
    2. Within that loop body, a second let-list enables data
      binding over the forecast object that we are processing in the
      loop body.
    3. Data accesses inside the loop body are again simple given the
      data binding created by the let-alist.

The code for generating the hourly forecast is similar in spirit —
the main take-away here is that let-alist saves a lot of
boiler-plate code that would have been otherwise required to take
apart the nested list structure we got back with our data.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2017-07-27T14:09:00.001-07:00

Spatial Audio: ALSA Virtual Devices Using LADSPA



Spatial Audio: ALSA Virtual Devices Using LADSPA

1 Overview

I have long wanted to apply HRTF filters to soundscapes on the
Emacspeak Audio Desktop to produce effects that are better
spatialized. I just got this working over the weekend using LADSPA
Plugin ZamHeadX2-ladspa.so from package zam-plugins.


2 Getting ZAM Plugins

git
      clone
      https://github.com/zamaudio/zam-plugins.git 
      

And follow the instructions in the README file.


Next, do

sudo make install
      

to install the plugins.


Finally, make sure that the install location is on your LADSPA path.


2.1 Adding HRTF Virtual Devices Via ASOUNDRC

After updating Emacspeak from GitHub,
open file servers/linux-outloud/asoundrc
and copy the section marked HRTF to your personal .asoundrc
this defines a number of virtual devices that use the newly installed
LADSPA plugin.
Beware: Back-up your .asoundrc first and make sure you can restore
it even if you lose speech.


3 Spatialized Soundscapes

In a running Emacspeak session, invoke command

soundscape-restart
      

with an interactive prefix arg and specify one of the available
devices using standard Emacs completion.


For use with Soundscapes, I recommend one of the devices that place
sound directly in front of the listener (azimuth 0) but with a non-0
elevation.


The HRTF devices are named with prefix tts because I would like to
use thesee with software TTS; but for now the result with TTS is not
as good as it is with Soundscapes.


Notice that command soundscape-restart offers a number of virtual
ALSA devices based on your .asoundrc; see the next section for a
summary.

4 Virtual ALSA Devices For Use As A Soundscape Filter

Here is a list of available LADSPA devices in my setup that can be
used to add additional effects to Soundscapes:


  • crossfeed: Apply a BS2B filter.
  • default: No filters, vanilla audio.
  • tap-reverb: Reverb filter from package tap-plugins.
  • reverb-crossfeed: Reverb filter followed by BS2B.
  • tts-a0-e15: HRTF at (0, 15).
  • tts-a0-e30: HRTF at (0, 30).
  • tts-a0-e60: HRTF at (0, 60).
  • tts-a0-e90: HRTF at (0, 90).
  • tts-a0-em15: HRTF at (0, -15).
  • tts-a0-em30: HRTF at (0, -30).
  • tts-a0-em45: HRTF at (0, -45).
  • tts-a135-e45: HRTF at (135, 45).
  • tts-a135-em45: HRTF at (135, -45).
  • tts-a225-e45: HRTF at (225, 45).
  • tts-a225-em45: HRTF at (225, -45).
  • tts-a45-e45: HRTF at (45, 45).
  • tts-a45-em45: HRTF at (45, -45).
  • tts-am45-e45: HRTF at (-45, 45).
  • tts-am45-em45: HRTF at (-45, -45).

5 Other Uses Of HRTF Devices

You can experiment with thesee devices using aplay e.g.:

aplay -Dtts_a0_e0
      filename.wav
      

You can also apply the HRTF Ladspa plugin from within MPlayer when
using emacspeak.
To try this, use C-e ; f and pick the Zam effect when prompted.
Invoke that command with an interactive prefix arg — C-u C-e ; f
— to edit the params passed to the Zam filter.


HRTF filters when playing media are mostly useful to position a
radio station in 3d space when playing more than one station
simultaneously.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2017-07-24T18:49:00.002-07:00

Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) Unleashed


Emacspeak 46.0—HelpfulDog—Unleashed!

For Immediate Release:


San Jose, Calif., (May 1, 2017)


Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog): Redefining Accessibility In The Age Of Smart Assistants
–Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!


Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak — announces the
immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) — a
powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social
and service-oriented Internet cloud.


1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of
#emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over
the social net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom
high-fliers—and as of May 2017 is trading at levels close to
that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.


2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete
eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By
seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as
Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into
the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote
information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A
rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled
access to the evolving service-oriented social Internet cloud.


3 Major Enhancements:

This version requires emacs-25.1 or later.


  1. Audio-formatted Mathematics using NodeJS. ⟋🕪
    1. DBus integration for handling DBus events. 🚌
    2. Outloud is Easier To Install On 64-Bit Systems. ʕ
    3. Managing Shell Buffers across multiple projects. 📽
    4. EWW loads EBook settings when opening EPub files. 🕮
    5. Bash Utils for power users. 🐚
    6. Speech-Enabled Elisp-Refs. 🤞
    7. Updated C/C++ Mode Support. ䷢
    8. Updated EShell Support. ︹
    9. Speach-Enabled Clojure. 𝍏
    10. Speech-Enabled Geiser For Scheme Interaction. ♨
    11. Speech-Enabled Cider. 🍎
    12. Speech-Enable Racket IDE. ƛ
    13. Parameterized auditory icons using SoX-Gen. 🔊
    14. IHeart Radio wizard. 📻
    15. Speech-Enabled Projectile. 🢫
    16. Spoken notifications are cached in a special buffer. ⏰
    17. Flycheck And Interactive Correction. 𐄂

      • And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞


4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free Assistance and social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface
features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".


5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub –see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the
WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak
mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the
list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak
Blog
is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to
use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via
Git from GitHub at
Emacspeak GitHub .


7 History:

  • Emacspeak 46.0 (HelpfulDog) heralds the coming of Smart Assistants.
  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs'
    excellent integration with various programming language
    environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice
    for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the
    audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

8 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) —
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday,
April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent
Research Collection
on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


9 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2017-04-30T08:12:00.002-07:00

Mail On The emacspeak Audio Desktop


Email On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Overview

This question comes up every few months on the emacspeak mailing
list. In general, see
Emacspeak Tools to quickly discover available speech-enabled
applications. This article outlines some of the available email setups
given the wide degree of variance in this space.


2 Background

How one puts together an email environment is a function of the
following:


  1. How email is retrieved.
  2. How email is stored (if storing locally).
  3. How email is sent.

Here is an overview of what is available as viewed from the world of
Linux in general and Emacs in particular:



2.1 Email Retrieval

Email can be retrieved in a number of ways:


  • IMap via Emacs This is implemented well in GNUS, and poorly in
    Emacs/VM. Note that Emacs is single-threaded, and fetching large
    volumes of email via IMap is painful.
  • Batch Retrieval: IMap Tools like fetchmail, offlineimap and friends that live
    outside of Emacs can be used to batch-retrieve email in the
    background. The retrieved mail gets delivered locally as in the past.
  • Mail Filtering: UNIX procmail enables filtering of locally
    delivered email into separate folders for automatically organizing
    incoming email.


2.2 Sending Email

Sending email involves:


  1. Composing email — typically invoked via key-sequence C-x m
    (command: compose-mail). Emacs email packages implement
    specific versions of this command, e.g. vm-mail from package
    emacs/vm, message-mail from the message package etc.
  2. Sending email: This is specific to the email provider being used,
    e.g., GMail. In the past, UNIX machines could talk SMTP to
    the Mail Gateway, but this has mostly disappeared over time. For
    an example of how to configure Emacs to send email via GMail
    using SMTP , see file tvr/gm-smtp.el in the emacspeak repository.



2.3 Local Storage Format

  • UNIX Mail: An email folder is a file of messages. This
    format is used by clients like Emacs/VM, UNIX Mail etc.
  • Maildir: A mail folder is a directory, with
    individual email messages living in files of their
    own. Sample clients include MH-E (UNIX MH), MU4E.
  • RMail This is Emacs' original email format.


3 Putting It All Together

The next sections show my present email setup put together using the
building blocks described above.


  1. I use Linux on all my machines, and Android on my phone.
  2. I mostly limit email usage on my phone to get a quick overview of email that might require immediate attention — toward this end, I have a to-mobile GMail label that collects urgent messages.
  3. Linux is where I handle email in volume.
  4. I use my Inbox as

my ToDo list — which means that I leave little or no email in my
Inbox unless I'm on vacation and disconnected from email.


3.1 Desktop: Batch Retrieval And Emacs/VM

This is the email setup on my workstation. See next section for the
email setup while mobile.


  1. I batch-retrieve email using fetchmail.
  2. This email gets filtered through procmail and auto-filed into
    several folders based on a set of procmail rules. Typical rules
    include separating out various email lists into their respective folders.
  3. Note that this does not preclude using IMap via GNUS to read
    email while online.
  4. Email that is not filtered into separate folders e.g. email that
    is sent directly to me, email regarding projects that need
    immediate attention etc., land up in folder ~/mbox.
  5. So when I launch emacs/vm on my desktop, the above is all I
    need to deal with at any given moment.
  6. I typically read Auto-filed mailing lists using emacs/vm about once a day or
    less — I use package mspools to get a quick overview of the
    state of those mail folders.

3.2 Mobile AccessOn Laptop: GNUS And IMap

See gnus-prepare.el for my gnus configuration for accessing GMail
via imap. That configuration is setup to access multiple GMail accounts.


  1. I see each GMail label as a separate group in GNUS.
  2. I only sync high-priority labels — this works well even
    over slow WIFI connections while on the road. As an example, the
    afore-mentioned to-mobile GMail label is a high-priority group.
  3. Module gm-nnir defines a GNUS/GMail extension that enables
    one to search GMail using GMail's search operators — that is my
    preferred means of quickly finding email messages using
    search. This is very fast since the search happens server-side,
    and only email headers are retrieved when displaying the search
    hits.
  4. Note that this solution is not laptop/mobile specific — I use
    this setup for searching GMail from my desktop as well.

3.3 Composing And Sending EMail

  1. I use compose-mail to compose email.
  2. I optionally activate orgtbl-mode and/or orgstruct-mode if
    editing structured content within the email body.
  3. I send email out using the setup in gm-smtp.el.

4 Conclusion

  1. Email in Linux/Emacs is composed of a set of
    independent building blocks — this gives maximal flexibility.
  2. That flexibility allows one to put together different email
    workflows depending on the connectivity environment in use.
[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2017-04-22T20:19:00.004-07:00

Emacs: Check Interactive Call For Emacspeak


Emacs: Check Interactive Call For Emacspeak

1 Background

Emacspeak uses advice as the means to speech-enable Emacs.
Emacspeak's advice forms need to check if the function being
speech-enabled is being called interactively — otherwise one would
get a lot of chatter as thesee functions get called from within elisp
programs, e.g. functions like forward-sexp or kill-sexp, that play
the dual role of both an interactive command, as well as a convenient
elisp function.



Until Emacs 24, the solution used was to write code that did the
following check:


(when (interactive-p) ...
      

In Emacs-24, interactive-p was made obsolete and replaced with

(called-interactively-p
      'interactive)
      

Emacspeak initially used the above form to perform the equivalent
check. However, around the same time, Emacs' advice implementation
went through some changes, and there was an attempt to replace
advice.el with nadvice.el.


At the end of that round of changes, some problems emerged with the
new called-interactively-p implementation; specifically, calling
:called-interactively-p_ within around advice forms resulted in hard
to debug errors, including one case of infinite recursion involving
library smie.el when invoked from within ruby-mode.


After studying the problem in depth in 2014, I decided to create an
Emacspeak-specific implementation of the is-interactive check.


The resulting implementation has worked well for the last 30 months;
this article is here mostly to document how it works, and the reason
for its existence. Note that Emacspeak uses this custom predicate
only within advice forms. Further, this predicate has been coded
to only work within advice forms created by emacspeak. This
constraint can likely be relaxed, but the tighter implementation is
less risky.


2 Implementation — ems-interactive-p

2.1 Overview

Within an advice forms defined by Emacspeak, detect if the enclosing
function call is the result of explicit user interaction, i.e. by
pressing a key, or via an explicit call to
call-interactively. Emacspeak produces auditory feedback only if
this predicate returns t.


We first introduce a flag that will be used to record if the enclosing
(containing) function has an Emacspeak-defined advice on it and is
called interactively — thesee are the only cases that our predicate
needs to test.

(defvar
      ems-called-interactively-p nil
      "Flag that records if containing function was called
      interactively."
      

Next, we define a function that checks if interactive calls to a
function should be recorded. We're only interested in functions that
have an advice form defined by Emacspeak — all Emacspeak-defined
advice forms have the name emacspeak.


(defun ems-record-interactive-p
      (f)
      "Predicate to test if we need to record interactive calls of
      this function. Memoizes result for future use by placing a
      property 'emacspeak on the function symbol."
      (cond
      ((not (symbolp f)) nil)
      ((get f 'emacspeak) t) ; already memoized
      ((ad-find-some-advice f 'any  "emacspeak") ; there is
      an
      emacspeak advice
      (put f 'emacspeak t)) ; memoize for future and return true
      (t nil)))
      

This is a memoized function that remembers earlier invocations by
setting property emacspeak on the function symbol.


All advice forms created by Emacspeak are named emacspeak, so we
can test for the presence of such advice forms using the test:


(ad-find-some-advice f 'any
            "emacspeak")
      

If this test returns T, we memoize the result and return it.


Next, we advice function call-interactively to check
if the function being called interactively is one of the functions
that has been advised by Emacspeak. If so, we record the fact in the
previously declared global flag
ems-called-interactively-p.



(defadvice call-interactively
      (around emacspeak  pre act comp)
      "Set emacspeak  interactive flag if there is an Emacspeak
      advice 
      on the function being called."
      (let ((ems-called-interactively-p ems-called-interactively-p)) ;
      preserve
      enclosing state
      (when (ems-record-interactive-p (ad-get-arg 0))
      (setq ems-called-interactively-p (ad-get-arg 0)))
      ad-do-it))
      

We define an equivalent advice form on function
funcall-interactively as well. Now, whenever any function that has
been advised by Emacspeak is called interactively, that interactive
call gets recorded in the global flag. In the custom Emacspeak
predicate we define, we check the value of this flag, and if
set, consume it, i.e. unset the flag and return T.


(defsubst ems-interactive-p ()
      "Check our interactive flag.
      Return T if set and we are called from the advice for the current
      interactive command. Turn off the flag once used."
      (when ems-called-interactively-p                 ; interactive call
      (let ((caller (cl-second (backtrace-frame 1))) ; name of containing
      function
      (caller-advice  ;advice generated wrapper
      (ad-get-advice-info-field ems-called-interactively-p 
      'advicefunname))          (result nil))
      (setq result
      (or (eq caller caller-advice) ; called from our advice
      (eq ems-called-interactively-p caller))) ; called from advice
      wrapper      (when result
      (setq ems-called-interactively-p nil) ; turn off now that we used 
      it      result))))
      

The only fragile part of the above predicate is the call to
backtrace-frame which we use to discover the name of the enclosing
function. Notice however that this is no more fragile than the current
implementation of called-interactively-p — which also uses
backtrace-frame; If there are changes in the byte-compiler, this
form may need to be updated. The implementation above has the
advantage of working correctly for Emacspeak's specific use-case.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2017-03-01T09:24:00.001-08:00

Audio Deja Vu: Audio Formatted Math On The Emacspeak Desktop



Audio Deja Vu: Audio Formatted Math On The Emacspeak Desktop

1 Overview

This article previews a new feature in the next Emacspeak release —
audio-formatted Mathematics using Aural CSS. Volker Sorge worked
at Google as a Visiting Scientist from Sep 2012 to August 2013, when
we implemented math
access in ChromeVox
— see this brief overview. Since leaving
Google, Volker has refactored and extended his work to create an Open
Source Speech-Rule-Engine implemented using NodeJS. This
speech-rule-engine can be used in many different environments;
Emacspeak leverages that work to enable audio-formatting and
interactive browsing of math content.



2 Overview Of Functionality

Math access on the Emacspeak desktop is implemented via module
emacspeak-maths.el — see js/node/Readme.org in the Emacspeak GitHub
repository for setup instructions.


Once loaded, module emacspeak-maths provides a Math Navigator that
implements the user interface for sending Math expressions to the
Speech-Rule-Engine, and for interactively browsing the resulting
structure. At each step of the interaction, Emacspeak receives math
expressions that have been annotated with Aural CSS and produces
audio-formatted output. The audio-formatted text can itself be
navigated in a special Spoken Math emacs buffer.


Module emacspeak-maths.el implements various affordances for
dispatching mathematical content to the Speech-Rule-Engine — see
usage examples in the next section.


3 Usage Examples

3.1 The Emacspeak Maths Navigator

  • The maths navigator can be invoked by pressing S-SPC (hold
    down Windows key and press SPC) — this runs the command emacspeak-maths-navigator/body.
  • Once invoked, the /Maths Navigator can be used to enter an
    expression to read.
  • Pressing SPC again prompts for the LaTeX math expression.
  • Pressing RET guesses the expression to read from the current context.
  • The arrow keys navigate the expression being read.
  • Pressing o switches to the Spoken Math buffer and exits the
    navigator.

See the relevant chapter in the online Emacspeak manual for details.


3.2 Math Content In LaTeX Documents

  1. Open a LaTeX document containing math content.
  2. Move point to a line containing mathematical markup.
  3. Press S-SPC RET to have that expression audio-formatted.
  4. Use arrow keys to navigate the resulting structure.
  5. Press any other key to exit the navigator.

3.3 Math Content On Wikipedia

  1. Open a Wikipedia page in the Emacs Web Wowser (EWW) that has
    mathematical content.
  2. Wikipedia displays math as images, with the alt-text giving the
    LaTeX representation.
  3. Navigate to some math content on the page, then press S-SPC
    a to speak that content — a is for alt.
  4. As an example, navigate to Wikipedia Math Example, locate math expressions on that page, then
    press S-SPC a.

3.4 Math Content From The Emacs Calculator

  1. The built-in Emacs Calculator (calc) provides many complex
    math functions including symbolic algebra.
  2. For my personal calc setup, see tvr/calc-prepare.el in the
    Emacspeak GitHub repo.
  3. This setting below sets up the Emacs Calculator to output results
    as LaTeX: (setq calc-language 'tex)
  4. With the above setting in effect, launch the emacs Calculator by
    pressing M-##.
  5. Press ' — to use algebraic mode — and enter sin(x).
  6. Press a t to get the Taylor series expansion of the above
    expression, and press x when prompted for the variable.
  7. This displays the Taylor Series expansion up to the desired
    number of terms — try 7 terms.
  8. Now, with Calc having shown the results as TeX, press S-SPC
    RET to browse this expression using the Maths Navigator.



4 And The Best Is Yet To Come

This is intentionally called an early preview because there is still
much that can be improved:


  1. Enhance the rule engine to infer and convey more semantics.
  2. Improved audio formatting rules to better present the available information.
  3. Update/tune the use of Aural CSS properties to best leverage
    today's TTS engines.
  4. Integrate math-reading functionality into more usage contexts in
    addition to the ones enumerated in this article.


5 References

  1. Youtube Video from early 2013 demonstrating Math Access in Chrome
  2. AllThings Digital outlining math access — published June 2013.
  3. Assets 2016 publication describing this work.
  4. js/node/aster-math-examples.tex Collection of math examples in
    LaTeX from AsTeR. Used to progressively improve speech-rules and
    the resulting audio-formatted output
  5. Speech-Rule-Engine on github.
  6. Speech-Rule-Engine in action: Accessible Maths in all browsers

Date: 2017-02-08 Wed 00:00

Author: T.V Raman


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T. V. Raman at

2017-02-10T11:22:00.000-08:00

Fun With TTS (Voxin) And Ladspa


Fun With TTS (Voxin) And Ladspa

1 Executive Summary

Voxin 1.6 — AKA ViaVoice Outloud — no longer requires that the
Emacspeak TTS server be built as a 32-bit binary. This means that
installing Voxin on 64-bit systems is now significantly easier since
you no longer need to install 32-bit versions of TCL, TCLX, and the
dependencies needed by library libibmeci.so. In addition to
easing the installation process, not needing 32-bit binaries means
that the Emacspeak Outloud server can now take advantage of audio
processing such as that provided by LADSPA.


2 Going 64-Bit: Upgrading To Voxin 1.6

  1. Install Voxin-1.6 or later from Voxin.
  2. Update Emacspeak from GitHub (this will be part of the next
    public release).
  3. Rebuild the atcleci.so binary in the servers/linux-outloud
    directory:
cd
      servers/linux-outloud
      && make clean && make
      

If all goes well, you'll now have a 64-bit version of atcleci.so.
You can now run the Outloud server as servers/outloud.
In about a year's time, servers/32-outloud will move to
servers/obsolete, as will the associated servers/32-speech-server
and servers/ssh-32-outloud.



3 Applying LADSPA Effects Processing To TTS

With a 64-bit build of atcleci.so in place, we can now call on
installed LADSPA plugins to apply digital sound processing to TTS
output. To experiment with the possibilities, see some of the
virtual sound devices defined in servers/linux-outloud/asoundrc.
Copy over that file to your ~/.asoundrc after updating it to match
your sound setup — you'll likely need to change the default
sound-card to match your setup.
You can now set environment variable ALSA_DEFAULT to one of the
tts_<effect> virtual devices — and have the Outloud server apply
the specified LADSPA effect to the generated TTS. Here is an example:


cd servers 
      (export ALSA_DEFAULT=tts_reverb; ./outloud)
      tts_selftest
      

4 The Best Is Yet To Come …

The possibilities are endless — ALSA with LADSPA provides a rich
suite of audio processing possibilities.


5 Acknowledgements

I'd like to acknowledge Gilles Casse for his work over the years on
ensuring that Linux users have access to good quality TTS. Outloud
would have been dead a long time ago if it weren't for his continued
efforts toward keeping the lights on. His newest creation, libvoxin
that forms the crux of Voxin-1.6 is an excellent piece of engineering
that is likely to help Outloud survive for the future on modern Linux
distros. Note that Gilles is also the primary author of the Emacspeak
ESpeak server.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2017-01-04T11:09:00.001-08:00

Follow-Up: Soundscapes On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop


Follow-Up: Soundscapes On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Executive Summary

Nearly a year ago, I blogged here about Soundscapes on the emacspeak
Audio Desktop. That article ended with this following paragraph:


I implemented package
      soundscape to
      create a platform that would let me experiment
      with different tools that aid in concentration. After using
      Soundscapes
      for about a week,
      I have also found that it reduces some of the fatigue that results
      from
      having to listen
      to synthetic text-to-speech for extended periods. The true value (if
      any)
      of this package
      will be a function of how heavily I find myself using it six months
      from
      now --- as a
      metric, complete success might mean that in mid-2016, I still have
      automatic soundscapes
      turned on.
      


2 And Nearly A Year Later …

I have not found the need to turn off Soundscapes in Emacspeak. As
conjectured, it has definitely increased my productivity, specifically
in terms of staying focused on a given task at hand. Over the year,
I've also augmented the emacspeak Audio Desktop with support for
binaural audio — see module sox-gen — which provides a collection of
binaural themes for use during different times of the day. Binaural
themes generated by that module overlay Emacspeak Soundscapes to
provide an ideal auditory environment for use over headphones.


3 Soundscape Enhancements

Since the publication of the original article, Emacspeak Soundscapes
have been enhanced with additional sounds from
Freesound.org. Emacspeak Soundscapes have been updated to take
advantage of Boodler's limited abilities in the areas of spatial
positioning. I typically use Soundscapes with one of several virtual
ALSA devices that have been configured to apply different Ladspa
effects such as reverb or crossfeed depending on the ambient
environment where I am working — this significantly improves the
spatialization of soundscapes being played — see file
ladspa-asoundrc. Finally, the mapping of Soundscapes to various Emacs
modes has also been tuned. — see table below.



Soundscape (Mood) List Of Major Modes
BirdSongs shell term
BlopEchoes elfeed-search
Bonfire calendar diary
BuddhaLoop comint
Cavern prog
ChangingLoops special
ChangingLoopsPitches lisp-interaction
Drip message gnus-summary gnus-article gnus-group mspools vm-presentation vm mail twittering jabber-roster jabber-chat erc
LoopStew emacspeak-m-player
NoStormYet fundamental
RainForever Info help Man Custom messages-buffer
RainSounds magit vc
Still text view
SurfWaves w3 eww
TonkSpace tabulated-list
WaterFlow dired


4 Summary

As outlined in a previous article, sound on Linux provides unending
possibilities with respect to innovation, here's looking forward to
better things to come.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2016-11-29T15:01:00.000-08:00

Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) Unleashed!


Emacspeak 45.0—IdealDog—Unleashed!

For Immediate Release:


San Jose, Calif., (Nov 21, 2016)


Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of (Real)Intelligent Computing
–Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!


Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) — http://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak — announces the
immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) — a
powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social
and service-oriented Internet cloud.


1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of
#emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over
the social net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom
high-fliers—and as of Nov 2016 is trading at levels close to
that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.


2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete
eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By
seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as
Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into
the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote
information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A
rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled
access to the evolving service-oriented social Internet cloud.


3 Major Enhancements:

  • Speech-enabled tide for typescript development. 🌊
  • Speech-enabled jade for Javascript WebApp development. ⺩
  • Improved slime support for Lisp programming. Λ
  • Support for rst-mode for editing ReST files.🖹
  • Version control info in modeline.⎔
  • Speech-enabled elisp-refs to aid in refactoring. ※
  • GPG integration including pinentry support. 🔐
  • ElScreen support for window-layout management. 🆜
  • Updated Librivox client for audio books. 🔊🕮
  • Updated sound themes. 🔉
  • Support for Emacs' visual-line-mode. 🎁
  • Speech-enabled Threes game. 🎮
  • Updated Google News support. 📰
  • Binaural audio support including several predefined binaural themes. ℗
    • Updated multilingual support for ESpeak. 󠀁
  • Script etc/bootstrap.sh for bootstrapping into Emacspeak on a well-configured Linux system. 👢
  • And a lot more than will fit this margin. … 🗞


4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user
interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".


5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub –see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the
WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak
mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the
list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak
Blog
is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to
use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via
Git from GitHub at
Emacspeak GitHub .


7 History:

  • Emacspeak 45.0 (IdealDog) is named in recognition of Emacs'
    excellent integration with various programming language
    environments — thanks to this, Emacspeak is the IDE of choice
    for eyes-free software engineering.
  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the
    audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 — AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

8 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) —
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday,
April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent
Research Collection
on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


9 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2016-11-20T08:43:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak 44.0 (SteadyDog) Unleashed



Emacspeak 44.0—SteadyDog—Unleashed!

For Immediate Release:


San Jose, Calif., (May 1, 2016)
Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of (Real)Intelligent Computing
–Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!


Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net– announces the
immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 44.0 (SteadyDog) –a
powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social
and service-oriented Internet cloud.


1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of
#emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over
the social net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom
high-fliers—and as of May 2016 is trading at levels close to
that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.


2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete
eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By
seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as
Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into
the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote
information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A
rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled
access to the evolving service-oriented social Internet cloud.


3 Major Enhancements:

  • Enable playing multiple media streams using mplayer. 🔊
  • Smart Ladspa effects in mplayer, including panning. 🕪
  • Sound theme chimes has been spatialized to create theme pan-chimes. 🕭-
  • Package elpy has been speech-enabled. 🐍
  • Emacspeak now implements automatic soundscapes. 🏙
  • Speech-enables package helm.𝍎
  • Emacs EWW: Consume Web content efficiently. 🕷
  • Updated Info manual 🕮
  • emacspeak-url-templates: Smart Web access. ♅
  • emacspeak-websearch.el Find things fast. ♁
  • And a lot more than will fit this margin. …

4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user
interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".


5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub –see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the
WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak
mailing list — emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu — by sending mail to the
list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak
Blog
is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to
use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via
Git from GitHub at
Emacspeak GitHub .


7 History:

  • Emacspeak 44.0 continues the steady pace of innovation on the
    audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 – AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

8 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) —
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW, - Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday,
April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent
Research Collection
on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's
National Museum of American History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


9 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2016-04-30T10:51:00.000-07:00

Augmented Headphone Listening On Linux For The Emacspeak Audio Desktop


Augmented Headphone Listening On Linux For The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Executive Summary

A combination of ALSA, Ladspa and OpenAL can provide an enhanced
headphone listening experience on Linux — this article summarizes
various tools and techniques for leveraging thesee affordances on the
Emacspeak Audio Desktop.


2 Glossary

ALSA
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. This is my preferred means of controlling audio, and I entirely avoid Pulseaudio on all my machines.
Ladspa
Linux Audio Developer's Simple Plugin API. Enables the injection of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) when playing media. It is a layer that sits above ALSA. Ladspa filters can be used by user-space applications like MPlayer and SoX when playing media. They can also be used within the user's ASoundRC to define virtual audio devices that inject DSP plugins into the media stream.
OpenAL
OpenAL is an API for enabling cross-platform 3D audio. User-space applications like MPlayer can use OpenAL as the audio output driver — note that OpenAL on Linux writes to ALSA under the covers.

3 Playing Media Using MPlayer

  1. With Ladspa and its associated plugins installed — at the minimum
    I would recommend installing tap-plugins, module
    emacspeak-m-player provides a number of affordances for
    interactively applying Ladspa filters. See commands
    emacspeak-m-player-apply-reverb-preset_(bound to _P in M-Player)
    and command emacspeak-m-player-add-filter (bound to f in
    M-Player).
  2. Command emacspeak-m-player-apply-reverb-preset lets you pick
    among a total of 42 reverb presets defined by Ladspa module tap_reverb.
  3. Command emacspeak-m-player-add-filter lets you add some of the
    more commonly used Ladspa effects with smart minibuffer
    prompts. Use tab completion to discover some of the predefined
    filters — thesee are just convenience shortcuts — and you can
    add any filters you use commonly to this list.
  4. Note that mplayer also has its own
    HRTF filter, but that filter requires that the stream being played is
    a 48K stream.
  5. Command emacspeak-m-player-using-openal bound by default to
    Hyper ; launches mplayer with OpenAL as the audio output
    driver — adding the following line

to your _~/.alsoftrc~ file will apply a suitable HRTF filter for
augmented headphone listening.

hrtf=true
      

4 Defining Virtual Audio Devices For Use With Soundscapes

I use soundscapes to provide a pleasant auditory background as I work
— see earlier blog article that describes Soundscapes On The
Emacspeak Audio Desktop
. Defining virtual ALSA devices that inject
Ladspa plugins into the output processing chain is an elegant means
for enhancing the auditory experience provided by thesee
soundscapes. In this instance, I apply one of the predefined reverb
effects (Ambiance) from Ladspa module tap-plugins and pass the
results through a BS2B (Bauer Stereo To Binaural) filter — see file
scapes/ladspa-asoundrc in the emacspeak Github Repo. Notice that that
file defines a number of virtual audio devices and can serve as a
template for injecting any installed Ladspa plugins — you can first
experiment with filters using Emacspeak's Laudible module to find
settings that work for you before applying them via a virtual device
defined in your asoundrc file. Finally, you can customize option
soundscape-manager-options to add –device <devicename> to have
the soundscapes use the desired virtual device.



5 Summary

Laptops today have plenty of processing power and some really nice
audio hardware. Linux has a powerful audio processing stack in ALSA,
Ladspa and OpenAL. Connecting the dots can be fun and provide an
enhanced auditory environment.

Date: <2016-02-25 Thu>

Author: raman

Created: 2016-02-25 Thu 17:47

Validate

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T. V. Raman at

2016-02-25T17:56:00.001-08:00

Soundscapes On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop


Soundscapes On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Executive Summary

Emacspeak module soundscape adds the ability to automatically switch
Soundscapes based on the current buffer. A Soundscape can be any
continuously playing stream of audio; in practice, using nature sounds
that repeat softly in a pseudo-random manner appears to be
effective. Soundscapes are activated based on the currently active
Emacs Major Mode and as a consequence directly mirror the user's
current activity. The present implementation uses Python package
Boodler to generate soundscapes.


2 Usage

Note that package soundscape.el does not have any Emacspeak
dependencies. See the package documentation for details on installing
and configuring Boodler.


You can experiment with installed Boodler agents using command
soundscape and soundscape-stop. You can enable and disable
automatic soundscapes using command soundscape-toggle. The
currently active default Soundscape theme can be inspected via command
soundscape-display — this produces a buffer that lists the
currently defined /major-mode -> Soundscape mapping.


Package soundscape.el considers the inheritance relationship among
Emacs major-modes when computing the set of soundscapes to
activate.As an example, eww-mode inherits from special-mode — as
a consequence, two soundscapes (LightWind and BackgroundWaves)
become active when reading Web content.


3 Default Major-Mode->Soundscape (Mood) Mapping:

Here is a table showing the mapping of major-mmodes to Soundscape
moods at the time of writing. For readability, I have stripped out the
package-name for thesee soundscapes.



Soundscape (Mood) List Of Major Modes
BuddhaLoop fundamental
LightStorm special
RainForever Info help Man Custom messages-buffer
LightWind comint elfeed-search
TonkSpace tabulated-list
Cavern prog
Drip message gnus-summary gnus-article gnus-group mspools vm-presentation vm mail twittering jabber-roster jabber-chat erc
Still text
Water dired
Steady calendar diary
BackgroundWaves w3 eww

4 Soundscape Research

I implemented package soundscape.el to create a platform that would
let me experiment with different tools that aid in
concentration. After using Soundscapes for about a week, I have also
found that it reduces some of the fatigue that results from having to
listen to synthetic text-to-speech for extended periods.
The true value (if any) of this package will be a function of how heavily
I find myself using it six months from now — as a metric, complete
success
might mean that in mid-2016, I still have automatic
soundscapes turned on.
As I type this article in Emacs org-mode, I hear the sound of
water-drops falling softly in the background, and I take note
that I have not switched tasks for the entire time I have spent
writing this article.


Other success metrics — harder to measure — might include how
effective Soundscapes are in helping the user stay focused on a
given activity for extended periods of time. In an ever-connected
world buzzing with a constant stream of distractions ranging from
incoming email and instant-messages to a flood of twitter updates,
this is likely the most relevant metric.

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T. V. Raman at

2015-12-18T11:07:00.004-08:00

A Ladspa Work-Bench For The Emacspeak Desktop


A Ladspa Work-Bench For The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Executive Summary

Module ladspa.el in the Emacspeak GitHub repository implements a
high-level interface for experimenting with Ladspa Plugins using
MPlayer and SoX.


2 Module ladspa.el

This module implements the following functionality:


  1. Builds up a table of installed Ladspa plugins along with their
    associated metadata.
  2. Command M-x ladspa displays installed Ladspa Plugins in a
    special *Ladspa* buffer.
  3. Plugins can be instantiated by pressing RET.
  4. Instantiating a plugin prompts for its arguments and displays the
    instantiated plugin in a new buffer.
  5. This plugin can then be applied to a running MPlayer media
    stream by pressing a.
  6. The effect can be deleted by pressing d.
  7. Plugin parameters can be edited by pressing e with point on
    the parameter to edit.

3 Interfacing With SoX

Module sox.el implements an Audio Workbench using SoX. Module
ladspa.el integrates with that module by allowing the addition of
ladspa as a supported SoX effect. Adding a ladspa effect results
in a completion interface for picking one of the available Ladspa
plugin; once selected, that plugin then prompts for its parameters as
needed.

Date: <2015-12-04 Fri>

Author: raman

Created: 2015-12-04 Fri 20:03

Validate


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T. V. Raman at

2015-12-04T20:09:00.003-08:00

Generating Spatialized Auditory Icons Using MPlayer And Ladspa


Generating Spatialized Auditory Icons Using MPlayer And Ladspa

1 Executive Summary

The Emacspeak GitHub repository now includes a new auditory icon theme
pan-chimes — thesee are the result of spatializing theme chimes.


2 Fun With Ladspa, MPlayer and Library tap-plugins

Here is the result of some fun with MPlayer and Ladspa over the
Thanksgiving weekend. Package tap-plugins provides a number of
interesting Ladspa plugins; one of thesee, tap_reverb is used in
module emacspeak-m-player to provide a variety of predefined
effects.


Library tap-plugins also includes Ladspa filter tap_autopan that
pans the input audio signal — see that plugin's documentation for
details.


The Linux media player mplayer allows the injection of ladspa
plugins
in its processing chain.
Combining thesee, I have created theme pan-chimes that provides a
spatialized version of sound-theme chimes.



See script apply-pan.sh in the Github repository to see how this new
theme was generated.

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T. V. Raman at

2015-11-30T17:21:00.003-08:00

Listening To Multiple Media Streams On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop


Listening To Multiple Media Streams On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Executive Summary

The GitHub version of Emacspeak now supports launching and controlling
multiple media streams. This enables one to listen to the news while
playing a music stream, or relaxing nature sounds.


2 Sample Usage

Here are some examples of using this feature:


  1. Launch your favorite news station — BBC World Service in my
    case — C-e ; RET.
  2. Place the News on the left channel — C-e ; (.
  3. Persist the currently playing News stream by invoking command
    emacspeak-m-player-persist-stream bound to C-e ; \. This lets
    you launch a second stream via Emacspeak media key C-e ; rather
    than controlling the currently playing stream.
  4. Launch a classical music media-stream — C-e ; lu RET for a lullaby
    media stream.
  5. Now Emacspeak M-Player commands will control the most recently
    launched stream; you can once again invoke command
    emacspeak-m-player-persist-stream if you wish.
  6. The previously launched (and still playing) News stream is now in a
    buffer named *Persistent-...*. Command
    emacspeak-wizards-view-buffers-filtered-by-m-player-mode can be
    used to list buffers that hold a live m-player instance. It is
    bound to b in emacspeak-m-player-mode. I also bind this command
    to C-; ; in my global keymap.
  7. You can make an M-Player instance current by switching to its
    buffer and invoking command emacspeak-m-player-restore-process
    bound to / in emacspeak-m-player-mode.

Share And Enjoy–

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T. V. Raman at

2015-11-23T15:25:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak 43.0 (SoundDog) Unleashed!


Emacspeak 43.0—SoundDog—Unleashed!

For Immediate Release:


San Jose, Calif., (Nov 20, 2015)
Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of Internet Computing
–Zero cost of Ownership makes priceless software Universally affordable!


Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net/– announces the
immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 43.0 (SoundDog) –a
powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social
and service-oriented Internet cloud.


1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of
#emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over
the social net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom
high-fliers—and as of Nov 2015 is trading at levels close to
that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.


2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides
complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating
environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects
of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing
and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak
enables speech access to local and remote information with a
consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of
task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to
the evolving service-oriented social Internet cloud.


3 Major Enhancements:

  • Multiple spatially located TTS streams for efficient communication. 🕪
  • Refactored, improved sound themes.℗
  • Updated org-mode support. 🎶
  • Speech-enables package helm.𝍎
  • Speech-enable package yasnippet for smart templates. ䷾
  • Context-sensitive keyboard shortcuts via package emacspeak-muggles. ⌨
  • Speech-enables lua-mode for LUA programming. Ÿ
  • Speech-enable package projectile for software project

management. 📽

  • Speech-enable package slime for Lisp programming. Λ
  • Updated Librivox support to the new API. 📖
  • Package XBacklight for controlling LCD brightness. ⎚
  • Updated NPR client for one-click access to present and past NPR content.📻
  • BBC radio programs via IPlayer and friends. 📢
  • Emacs EWW: Consume Web content efficiently. 🕷
  • Updated Info manual 🕮
  • Speech-enabled Elfeed, an Emacs Feed Reader 🗞
  • emacspeak-url-templates: Smart Web access. ♅
  • emacspeak-websearch.el Find things fast. ♁
  • And a lot more than will fit this margin. …

4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all
major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular,
distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated
system without any undue pressure—a documented success for
the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system
evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at
the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak
codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform
used to develop and distribute the software.


Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users
consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this
wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless
as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as
previous releases.


At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of
eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user
interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.


On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone
but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from
the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual
candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular
idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the
Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted
press releases.


5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and
not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These
same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped
functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of
Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the
user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the
computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".


5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a
video demonstrating such complete user failure.


6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub –see
https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit
Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net/. You can subscribe
to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending
mail to the list request address
emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The
Emacspeak Blog is a good source
for news about recent enhancements and how to use them.


The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via
Git from GitHub at
Emacspeak GitHub .


7 History:

  • Emacspeak 43.0 brings even more end-user efficiency by leveraging the
    ability to spatially place multiple audio streams to provide timely
    auditory feedback.
  • Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to
    innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient,
    light-weight Internet access.
  • Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve
    on the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access —
    technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the
    human ability.
  • Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling
    efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content.
  • Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of
    user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary
    bloatware.
  • Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of
    delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name.
  • Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full
    EPub support — hence the name EPubDog.
  • Emacspeak 35.0 is all about
    teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in
    on of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles)
    established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in
    an eyes-free environment.
  • Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings
    unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop.
  • Emacspeak 32.0 AKA
    LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better
    access.
  • Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak
    desktop.
  • Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the
    audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak!
  • Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation
    embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the
    thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains
    one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of
    the oldest.
  • Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of
    development evinced by Open Source software.
  • Emacspeak 27.0—AKA
    FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous
    releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary.
  • Emacspeak 26—AKA
    LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access
    solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in
    traditional adaptive technologies.
  • Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog
    —re-activates open, unfettered access to online
    information.
  • Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered
    information access with a series of live updates that once again
    demonstrate the power and agility of open source software
    development.
  • Emacspeak 23.0 – AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in
    fetching full access.
  • Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users
    navigate the Web more effectively than ever before.
  • Emacspeak 21.0
    —AKA PlayDog —continued the
    Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced
    productivity to liberate users.
  • Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues
    the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to
    create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free
    interaction.
  • emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance
    user productivity at work and leisure.
  • Emacspeak-18.0 –code named
    GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user
    productivity and thereby reducing total cost of
    ownership.
  • Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user
    productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW
    standards.
  • Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to
    SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster,
    smarter.
  • Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog
    as the next in a continuing series of award-winning audio desktop
    releases from Emacspeak Inc.
  • Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was

the first release of this millennium.

  • Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed
    YellowLab– was the closing release of the
    20th. century.
  • Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began
    leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech
    access to Webformation.
  • Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the
    final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for
    blind and visually impaired users.
  • Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of
    award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a
    productive and pleasurable experience.
  • Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA
    Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas
    of speech interaction and interactive accessibility.
  • Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to
    the speech output extension to Emacs.
  • Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
    the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface
    to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code
    named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant
    enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went
    further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98
    integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop
    to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

8 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY)
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman –home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW– Emacspeak is now maintained on
GitHub --https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak —and
Sourceforge —http://emacspeak.sf.net/. The system is mirrored
world-wide by an international network of software archives and
bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On
Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the
Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information
Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American
History.


The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the
Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a
valuable knowledge base for new users.


9 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on
setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and
promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting
power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.


*About This Release:



Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see
http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on
the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.


CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to
their respective owners.


m
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T. V. Raman at

2015-11-20T08:59:00.001-08:00

Using Multiple TTS Streams On The emacspeak Audio Desktop


Using Multiple TTS Streams On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Executive Summary

Emacspeak now uses multiple text-to-speech streams — as an example,
this enables spoken notifications that do not interrupt ongoing spoken
output. To make such notifications more perceivable, Emacspeak places
notifications to the right of the user by leveraging Linux-ALSA
features that allow one to scale the amplitude of the left and right
audio channels.


2 Background

Until now, Emacspeak has used a single instance of a Text-To-Speech
(TTS) engine to produce all spoken feedback. An unfortunate
consequence is that any spoken announcement necessarily interrupts
ongoing speech; as an example, an incoming instant-message (e.g.,
Jabber notification) can interrupt what you're currently
reading.


Emacs itself produces a large number of asynchronous messages
depending on the number of processes running within Emacs; at present,
all Emacs generated messages are equal though there are ongoing
plans to improve this situation going forward, e.g., using package
alert. With Emacspeak now able to use multiple TTS streams, arrival
of package alert within Emacs should facilitate smarter handling of
different categories of messages over time.


Playing multiple TTS streams simultaneously can make it hard to
understand the resulting output; Emacspeak leverages underlying ALSA
functionality to send notifications to a virtual ALSA device that
places the auditory output mostly on the right channel. See the
following paragraphs on setup/configuration. I'm presently using this
on Linux with the linux-outloud voice — you need to have a copy of
this TTS engine installed and working — see Voxin for details on
obtaining that engine. Note: the Emacspeak espeak server does not
use raw ALSA for its output — consequently, notifications produced
by espeak play on both left and right channels, making it
impossible to understand. The mac server may be able to support
this functionality using something Mac-specific — patches welcome.


3 Emacspeak Setup

  • Emacspeak now adds user-option
    emacspeak-tts-use-notify-stream. If this is set to t in the
    user's initialization file before Emacspeak is loaded, Emacspeak
    checks to see if the user's selected TTS engine supports multiple
    instances, and if so launches a second instance of the TTS engine
    for use as a Notification TTS Stream. See my
    tvr/emacs-startup.el in the Emacspeak Git Repository for an
    example setup.
  • The Notification TTS Stream can be restarted via command
    dtk-notify-initialize bound to C-e d C-n. You should
    ordinarily not need to invoke this command.
  • The Notification TTS Stream can be shut-down using command
    dtk-notify-shutdown bound to C-e d C-s. When the /Notification
    TTS Stream is not available, Emacspeak defaults to using a single
    TTS stream for all spoken output — i.e., no change.
  • At present, emacspeak tries to use a separate Notification TTS
    Stream
    when the selected TTS engine is a software TTS
    running locally.
  • File servers/linux-outloud/notify-asoundrc contains the
    .asoundrc that I am using on my thinkpad. To have Emacspeak
    place the Notification TTS Stream mostly on the right, the
    contents of that file (suitably modified for your sound card)
    need to be placed in file $HOME/.asoundrc. Warning: Handle with
    care — a broken .asoundrc can kill all audio output.
  • The .asoundrc scales left and right amplitude to place the
    output mostly on the right — to change this behavior, you can
    edit the Transformation Table for virtual device tts_mono in
    the .asoundrc file.
  • This set-up has not been tested with pulseaudio.

4 Summary

Share and enjoy —

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T. V. Raman at

2015-11-10T18:07:00.000-08:00

Smart Actions In Directory Buffers For The Emacspeak Audio Desktop


Smart Actions In Directory Buffers For The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Overview

Emacspeak now provides a smart actions feature in Emacs' Directory
Editor (DirEd) buffers.
Pressing key Ctrl-RET in DirEd buffers now invokes
an appropriate Emacspeak action on the current file.


2 Background

Over time, Emacspeak has come to include a number of smart handlers
for different file types:


  • An MPlayer interface for media files.
  • An EPub reader for electronic books.
  • A light-weight PDF viewer.
  • A table browser for csv files.

Command emacspeak-dired-open-this-file bound to Ctrl-RET in
DirEd buffers unifies this functionality by invoking the appropriate
Emacspeak action on the file on the current line.

3 Extending To *Locate* Buffers

This facility is also available in locate-mode
buffers. Emacspeak provides two content-specific
Locate commands:


  • Command emacspeak-m-player-locate (I have this bound to key
    ~Super-l
    ) for locating media files that match a pattern.
  • Command emacspeak-epub-locate-epub bound to l in EPub
    Interaction
    for locating epub files.

Pressing key Ctrl-RET in the resulting *Locate* buffers invokes
the afore-mentioned smart action.

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T. V. Raman at

2015-10-16T15:46:00.002-07:00

Announcing Emacspeak-Muggles: Keyboard Conveniences For Emacspeak


Announcing Emacspeak-Muggles: Keyboard Conveniences For Emacspeak

1 Announcing Emacspeak-Muggles: Keyboard Conveniences For Emacspeak

1.1 Executive Summary:

new module emacspeak-muggles uses package hydra to provide keyboard conveniences.


1.2 Overview:

Package hydra allows convenient grouping of keyboard commands, see that package's description for details. It can be installed by executing


M-x package-install hydra
      

Module emacspeak-muggles implements a set of convenience hydras that make invoking groups of related commands easy. Here are the Muggles currently implemented:


Brightness
Control laptop display brightness using xbacklight.
view-mode
Access view-mode functionality without invoking view-mode explicitly.
org-table-ui
Access Emacspeak Table UI functionality for org-mode tables.
And a lot more to come.


1.3 Blogger Note:

Going forward, thesee articles will be published via GitHub – rather than Blogspot — the new Blogspot API requires browser-based authentication that is beyond Emacs.

Date: <2015-07-13 Mon>

Author: raman

Created: 2015-07-13 Mon 09:17

Emacs 25.0.50.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)

Validate

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T. V. Raman at

2015-09-21T11:24:00.000-07:00

Emacspeak: An Overview Of Voice-Lock Over The Years


Emacspeak: An Overview Of Voice-Lock Over The Years

1 Executive Summary

Audio formatted output is provided via voice-lock in Emacspeak.
The feature was originally implemented in 1994 and significantly
overhauled in 2002 (with no change in functionality). Now, in 2015,
the implementation has been reworked to be once again simpler — but
with the same functionality.


2 1994: Original Implementation

Font-lock was a new feature in Emacs 19 — it was introduced right
around the time the Emacspeak project was started.
At the time, there were multiple font-lock packages in
Emacs. Emacspeak implemented voice-lock via a stand-alone module
that attached property personality to buffer contents. The
dtk-speak Text-To-Speech module treated strings annotated with
property personality as an aural display list when producing
spoken output.


In the winter of 1995, I implemented Aural CSS in emacspeak, and
this resulted in module acss.el — that module provides a clean
abstraction for defining values that can be assigned to property
personality. Next, the rest of emacspeak was overhauled to
express all voice-lock features via the ACSS abstraction.


3 2002 Overhaul

With feature font-lock now mature, Emacs itself converged on a
single font-lock module with jit-lock.el providing just-in-time font
locking. This meant that Emacspeak's voice-lock feature could now be
more easily implemented by attaching appropriate advice to lisp
functions put-text-property and friends — this led to the deletion
of module voice-lock.el and the creation of module
emacspeak-personality.el.


That module provided multiple options for how faces were mapped to
personalities:


  • Cumulative where property personality was either appended or
    prepended to the list of personalities at any given position.
  • Simple: where the new personality directly replaced any previously
    applied personality property.
  • None: Where faces were not mapped to personalities.

4 2015 Overhaul

And now, in 2015, the code in module dtk-speak.el that implements
audio-formatting has been overhauled to directly map faces to
personalities. This implementation can be enabled by setting the
option emacspeak-personality-voiceify-faces provided in module
emacspeak-personality.el to All. This means that the new
implementation can co-exist (at least for a while) with the earlier
advice-based implementation from module emacspeak-personality.el.


once deemed to be stable, the new implementation will become the
default — by changing the default value of
emacspeak-personality-voiceify-faces to none.

5 Summary

From an end-user's perspective, nothing has changed in 21 years. From
the perspective of implementing voice-lock for Emacs modules, nothing
has changed — all that an Emacspeak extension for a specific package
needs to do to enable voice-lock is to set up a face->personality
mapping as before via function voice-setup-add-map. Note that
property personality will continue to have higher precedence than
property face with respect to the audio formatting that gets applied
i.e. Emacspeak first consults value of property personality, and if
that is not set, but there is a face property set, then that
face->personality mapping (if defined) is used as the aural style.

Date: <2015-08-18 Tue>

Author: T.V Raman

Created: 2015-08-21 Fri 10:18

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2015-09-21T11:22:00.000-07:00

Emacspeak:Setting up StumpWM as a speech-enabled Window Manager.



Emacspeak support for StumpWM

1 Summary:

Describes my Linux X-Windowing setup using lightdm to initialize the desktop and StumpWM configured as a talking Window Manager.
These files can be found under emacspeak/stumpwm in your Emacspeak installation, or in the source code cloned from https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak.


2 Overview

File stumpwmrc is my StumpWM init file that I use to set up
StumpWM as a talking window manager. With this setup, I run Emacs in
one window and Chrome+ChromeVox in another window.


File xsession is my .xsession file — it launches StumpWM once lightdm has finished authentication.
You can find my lightdm setup files in directory emacspeak/tvr/lightdm.



3 Contents

tts.lisp
Interface to Emacspeak TTS servers.
stumpwmrc
Code to insert into personal =.stumpwmr
xsession-
My= .xsession= file.
xlock
A light-weight screen-lock script.



4 Resulting Functionality

To set this up, You should only need to edit the value of
*emacspeak-dir* in the stumpwmrc file for setup.


  1. All Keybindings match my usual screen setup, including the window-manager prefix-key.
  2. C-\ is the window-manager key.
  3. Switching windows speaks the title of the new window.
  4. Stumpwm command for displaying window list C-\w also speaks the output.
  5. The init file provides a simple lock-screen command bound to C-\d.
  6. The above lock command invokes shell script xlock — that script takes care of playing an auditory icon when the desktop is locked or unlocked.
  7. Window manager messages speak automatically; this can be toggled with C-\t.
  8. If there is a lot of activity in a window that is not focused,
    you can turn off automatic speaking of messages using C-\t to
    avoid distraction.
  9. StumpWM is set up to deny raise-focus requests — this is so that activity in a window doesn't automatically grab focus.
    I typically run with only one window displayed at a time.

Date: <2015-09-07 Mon>

Author: raman

Created: 2015-09-07 Mon 14:44

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2015-09-21T11:20:00.002-07:00

Setting Up An X Environment For Using With Emacspeak, ChromeVox and StumpWM



Setting Up An X Environment For Using With Emacspeak, ChromeVox and StumpWM

1 Executive Summary

This is a follow-up to the article on my Window Manager set-up
and details the setup of my X environment. This setup is specifically geared around the following use-cases:


  1. Emacspeak running in a window to provide a local audio desktop.
  2. ChromeVox running in a second window to provide access to JS-powered WebApps. Note that for the content-oriented Web, I use Emacs' built-in EWW browser.
  3. SSH running in an XTerm to my remote Linux desktop in a third window. The remote desktop runs Emacspeak and produces auditory feedback through a local speech server.

The setup described below is implemented via my personal .XResources
file — that file along with my .xsession file that loads it are
both checked into the GitHub repo under emacspeak/stumpwm along with any needed helper files.


The remaining sections give a brief descriptive overview of the
.XResources and .xsession files as they exist at the time of
writing.



2 Resulting Functionality: What This Gives Us

  1. You can cut-and-paste between the local Chrome and local Emacspeak using standard clipboard copy/paste commands. Make sure Emacs is set up to use the clipboard, and not the primary X selection.
  2. Output displayed in the Xterm, e.g., by the remote Emacspeak session, can be brought into the local Emacspeak session by hitting PrintEverything bound to Ctrl-Return in the XTerm window.
  3. Contents of the local clipboard, i.e. Chrome, Emacspeak etc., can be pasted into the remote Emacspeak running in the XTerm using key Ctrl-Shift-Space.


3 Initializing X Session Via File .xsession

#!/bin/sh
      #Caps Lock is Control
      setxkbmap -option ctrl:nocaps       
      #load in XResources to customize X environment 
      xrdb -merge $HOME/.Xresources &
      #Display locks after  30 minutes of inactivity
      xautolock -detectsleep -time 30  -locker 
      "$HOME/bin/xlock"      & 
      # Launch Emacs 
      emacs  -title Emacs &
      # XTerm for SSH to remote desktop
      xterm  -title Retriever &
      # StumpWM Setup: Use SBCL 
      export LISP=sbcl
      # Export our  X auth environment 
      ${HOME}/bin/export_x_info &
      # Launch StumpWM
      exec  /usr/local/bin/stumpwm
      

4 Customizing X Environment Via File .XResources

! Setup Emacs Visual Look And Feel
      Emacs*font:    
      -adobe-Utopia-normal-normal-normal-*-*-*-*-*-*-0-iso10646-1
      Emacs.FontBackend:      xft,x
      Emacs.menuBar:  off
      Emacs.toolBar:  off
      Emacs.verticalScrollBars:       off
      

:! Setup XTerm Look And Feel:


XTerm*Background:       black
      XTerm*Foreground:       white
      ! Setup XTerm key-bindings to match Emacspeak
      XTerm*VT100.translations:       #override \n\
      Ctrl <Key>semicolon: string(0x18)
      string("@h")
      \n\Ctrl <Key>comma: string(0x18)
      string("@a") \n\
      Ctrl <Key>period: string(0x18) string("@s")
      \n\
      Ctrl <Key>apostrophe: string(0x18)
      string("@s")
      \n\
      Shift <Key>Return: string(0x18) string("@s")
      string(0x0d)\n\
      Ctrl <Key>Return: print-everything()\n\
      Ctrl Shift <Key>space:    insert-selection(CLIPBOARD) 
      

:! Configure rest of XTerm

XTerm*eightBitInput: 
       
      false
      XTerm*faceName: xft:Inconsolata:pixelsize=14
      XTerm*metaSendsEscape:  true
      

! emacs-pipe.pl is under
      emacspeak/etc in the Emacspeak Git Repository
      ! This helps us view XTerm output in a buffer in the locally running
      Emacspeak
      

XTerm.*.printerCommand:    
      /usr/local/bin/emacs-pipe.pl
      XTerm.*.printAttributes: 0
      

!X Font environment
      Xft*antialias:  true
      Xft*dpi:        96
      Xft*hinting:    true
      Xft*hintstyle:  hintfull
      Xft*rgba:       rgb
      

Date: <2015-09-21 Mon>

Author: raman

Created: 2015-09-21 Mon 09:14

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2015-09-21T11:18:00.001-07:00

Announcing Emacspeak 42.0 (AnswerDog)


Emacspeak 42.0—AnswerDog—Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-42.0 (AnswerDog) Unleashed!

** For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (May 1, 2015) Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of Internet Computing –Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net– announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 42.0 (AnswerDog) –a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Internet cloud.

1.1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of May 2015 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

1.2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented social Internet cloud.

1.3 Major Enhancements:

  • Emacs EWW: Consume Web content efficiently. 🕷
  • Updated Info manual 🕮
  • SoX integration for generating auditory feedback ℗
  • Speech-enabled Elfeed, an Emacs Feed Reader 🗞
  • CSound generated 3d Auditory Icons ⟀
  • Audacious — An Audio Workbench using SoX 🝧
  • Audio presets for MPlayer using Ladspa filters ♮
  • emacspeak-url-templates: Smart Web access. ♅
  • Integrated TuneIn Radio search, browse and play 📻
  • emacspeak-websearch.el Find things fast. ♁
  • Calibre integration for searching and viewing epub 📚 📔
  • Complete anything via company integration ∁
  • Emacs 24.4: Supports all new features in Emacs 24.4. 🌚
  • And a lot more than will fit this margin. …

1.4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform used to develop and distribute the software.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

1.5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".

1.5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

1.6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from GitHub –see https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak you can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak Blog is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to use them.

The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via Git from GitHub at Emacspeak GitHub .

1.7 History:

Emacspeak 42.0 while moving to GitHub from Google Code continues to innovate in the areas of auditory user interfaces and efficient, light-weight Internet access. Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve upon the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access — technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the human ability. Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content. Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary bloatware. Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name. Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full EPub support — hence the name EPubDog. Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in honor of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in an eyes-free environment. Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop. Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access. Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop. Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak! Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest. Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software. Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary. Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies. Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information. Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered information access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development. Emacspeak 23.0 – AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access. Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before. Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhancedproductivity to liberate users. Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction. emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure. Emacspeak-18.0 –code named GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards. Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter. Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing a series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was the first release of this millennium. Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed YellowLab– was the closing release of the 20th. century. Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation. Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience. Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.

Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

1.8 About Emacspeak:

Originally based at Cornell (NY) http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman –home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW– Emacspeak is now maintained on GitHub --https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak —and Sourceforge —http://emacspeak.sf.net. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

1.9 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

**About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

Author: T.V Raman

Created: 2015-04-30 Thu 15:35

Emacs 25.0.50.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)

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2015-04-30T15:37:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak 3.0: Released 20 Years Ago Today!


twenty-years-after

1 Emacspeak Was Released Twenty Years Ago Today

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Emacspeak was released 20 years ago on April 25, 1995 with this announcement. The Emacspeak mailing list itself did not exist in its present form — note that the original announcement talks about a mailing list at DEC CRL. When Greg started the mailing list at Vassar, we seeded the list from some/all of the messages from the archive for the mailing list at DEC.e

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2015-04-25T09:49:00.001-07:00

HowTo: Log Speech Server Output To Aid In Developing TTS Servers


HowTo: Log TTS Server Output To Aid In TTS Server Development

1 HowTo: Log TTS Server Output To Aid In TTS Server Development

This is mostly of interest to developers of Emacspeak speech servers. This article outlines how one can log TTS server output to a file. The loggeds record all commands send by Emacspeak to the TTS server. It is best to generate the logs in an Emacs session that is separate from the Emacs session where you are developping your code. This keeps the logs short, and makes isolating problems much easier.

1.1 How It Works

The emacspeak/servers directory now contains log_<tts-name> servers for the various supported speech servers. When selected, thesee log-speech servers produce no speech output; instead, they output the speech server commands received from Emacspeak to a file in /tmp named tts-log-$$. Once you're done logging, you can examine this file from the primary Emacs session.

1.2 Typical Workflow

Assume you want to see the speech-server commands sent by Emacs when you perform a specific action, in this instance, pressing C-e m to execute command emacspeak-speak-mode-line.

  1. In a separate Linux console or X-Window, launch Emacs with Emacspeak loaded — this is separate from your primary Emacs session.
  2. In this Emacs session, use C-e d d (command dtk-select-server) and select log-<tts-name> as the speech server, where tts-name corresponds to the speech engine you're testing.
  3. Emacspeak will now start the logging server, and fall silent; all commands sent by Emacspeak to the speech-server will be logged to a file in /tmp.
  4. Press C-e m – to produce the log output you want to see.
  5. Use command _emacspeak-emergency-tts-restart to get speech back.
  6. Open a dired buffer on /tmp, press s to sort files by date, and find your generated log output at the top of the list.
  7. Note: It is useful to configure your default speech engine via Custom – see user option emacspeak-emergency-tts-server. It provides a quick-fire means to get speech back if you ever switch to a speech-server that fails for some reason.

Share And Enjoy

Date: <2015-04-15 Wed>

Author: raman

Created: 2015-04-15 Wed 17:33

Emacs 25.0.50.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)

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2015-04-15T17:37:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak Development Is Moving To GitHub


Emacspeak Development Is Moving To GitHub

1 Summary:

Emacspeak development is moving from Google Code Hosting to GitHub. If you have been running from the SVN repository, I recommend you switch to the GitHub version by executing:

 
      git clone https://github.com/tvraman/emacspeak.git 
      make config 
      make -j 
      
  • If using Outloud TTS:
 
      cd servers/linux-outloud  &&  make 
      
  • If using Espeak TTS:
 
      cd servers/linux-espeak && make 
      
  • After this, all you should need to stay up to date is a periodic
 
      git pull; make config; make  
      

2 A Brief History

  • The first five years of Emacspeak development used a local RCS repository on my home machine (1994 –1999).
  • The first few releases of Emacspeak were distributed through the Web site and FTP server at Digital Research; they were also mirrored at Cornell.
  • After moving to Adobe Systems in the fall of 1995, Emacspeak was distributed exclusively through my Web page on the Cornell CS Department Web server, which also hosted my personal Web site.
  • In 2000, I created Emacspeak On SourceForge

and used that site for both hosting the Emacspeak source code as well as the Web site — coincidentally, I lost the ability to update my Web site at Cornell CS around the same time.

  • Over time it became harder and harder to publish new Emacspeak releases through the SourceForge interface. Luckily, Google Code Hosting came along a few months after I joined Google, and moving the source code repository to Google Code SVN was a no-brainer.
  • My friend and colleague Fitz helped me migrate the 5+ years of CVS history to SVN; this meant that the source code repository on Google Code also recorded all of the development history that had been built up on Sourceforge.
  • Now, it's time to move to GitHub. I've been using Git for most of my work the last few years, but was simply too lazy to move Emacspeak development from SVN to Git on GoogleCode.
  • But over time, the advantages present in Git as a source control system and GitHub as a hosting service have increased — primary among thesee — a rich set of Emacs tools that have been written to leverage the GitHub API.
  • For Git integration in Emacs, my personal preference is package Magit available through Elpa —
 
      M-x package-install magit in Emacs. 
      
  • The GitHub Web site itself is fairly heavy-weight in terms of its use of scripting, i.e. performing all operations through the github.com Web site from within Emacs is fairly unpleasant. But the afore-mentioned GitHub API makes this a non-issue at this point with respect to the type of workflow I prefer.
  • So this week, I did the work to migrate Emacspeak development to Emacspeak On GitHub.

3 Status Of Migration

  • With help from some of the kind folk at Google Code Hosting, I've successfully migrated the source code repository including all release tags to GitHub.
  • I am now checking in changes into GitHub; the SVN repository on Google Code Hosting is now frozen, and I do not plan to make any commits there.
  • I presently have no immediate plans to start using features of GitHub like the Issue Tracker; for now we will continue to use the Emacspeak mailing list which has served us well for 20 years.
  • I have also taken this opportunity to prune out legacy portions of the Emacspeak codebase by moving modules to obsolete at each level of the directory tree.
  • Since starting the Emacspeak Blog in late 2005, I have published a sequence of articles describing Emacspeak features and usage patterns; I felt that having thesee articles for local reference made a useful supplement to the emacspeak online documentation. Toward this end, I have downloaded all articles published so far and checked in both XML and HTML versions into sub-directory blogs.
  • Note that newer articles are also available as .org files under sub-directory announcements.

4 Next Steps

  • I still need to learn how to do software releases on GitHub.

Share And Enjoy!

Date: <2015-03-06 Fri>

Author: raman

Created: 2015-03-07 Sat 08:12

Emacs 25.0.50.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)

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2015-03-09T08:39:00.001-07:00

Enhanced Audio On The Emacspeak Desktop


Enhanced Audio On The Emacspeak Desktop

1 Enhanced Audio On The Emacspeak Desktop

I recently added a set of modules to Emacspeak to leverage some of the high-end audio functionality available on Linux machines on modern hardware. As an example, applying effects such as 3D spatialization, high-end reverb effects etc. once consumed CPU cycles to the extent where it was not possible to play with thesee in realtime. All thesee now take less than 1–5% of the CPU, and that when my laptop is running in power-save mode!

1.1 An Audio Workbench Using SoX

Sound Exchange (SoX), described as the Swiss army knife of sound processing, has been around since the time I was a graduate student. Today it provides a versatile set of tools for editing and manipulating both wave and mp3 files. Module sox.el implements a simple Audio Workbench for the Emacspeak desktop.

1.1.1 Pre-Requisites

SoX with all available auxiliary packages for adding support for various filetypes such as mp3. The various Ladspa related packages for installing additional audio effect filters.

1.1.2 Usage Instructions For SoX.el

  • Launch the Audio Workbench via by executing M-x sox.
  • Use f to open a wave or mp3 file you wish to manipulate.
  • Add any of the supported effects using e.
  • Use upper-case E to add more than one effect.
  • Hit p to play the result, s to save the result to a new file.

At present sox.el supports a few effects such as trim for clipping files, reverb for adding a reverb etc., with more to come as I use it.

1.2 Adding High-End Reverb When Playing Media Streams

I use mplayer to play both local and network media streams. MPlayer can apply a wide range of filters to the audio stream; more interestingly it can also apply effects implemented as Ladspa plugins. Package tap-plugins implements a large number of high-quality Ladspa filters, including a versatile Reverb filter.

Once you have package tap-plugins and its dependenciesinstalled, and a relatively new version of MPlayer (with support for Ladspa plugins), you can now apply various Reverb Presets to your media streams via Emacspeak MPlayer command emacspeak-m-player-apply-reverb-preset bound to P in Emacspeak MPlayer. Package tap-plugins defines a total of 42 Reverb Presets, experiment with thesee when wearing headsets. Once you have applied a Reverb Preset, you can edit its current settings via command emacspeak-m-player-edit-reverb bound to R in Emacspeak MPlayer. Alternatively, you can pick a default effect to use via Emacs' custom interface; see option emacspeak-m-player-reverb-filter.

1.3 Defining Convenient MPLayer Shortcuts

Finally, You can now bind shortcut keys for launching Emacspeak MPlayer from specific locations where you store media, e.g., you can have separate shortcuts for Music vs Audio Books – see command emacspeak-m-player-accelerator. This is best used by customizing Emacspeak option emacspeak-media-location-bindings — just use the Customize interface to specify pairs of shortcut keys and media locations.

Date: <2015-02-17 Tue>

Author: raman

Created: 2015-02-17 Tue 17:37

Emacs 25.0.50.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)

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T. V. Raman at

2015-02-17T17:40:00.001-08:00

Internet Radio: Tune-In For Emacspeak


Internet Radio: Tune-In For Emacspeak

1 Internet Radio: Tune-In For Emacspeak

I just checked in the ability to browse, search and play radio-stations from TuneIn on the Emacspeak Audio Desktop.

1.1 Pre-Requisites

  1. xsltproc for xsl stylesheet processing.
  2. Linux mplayer for playing streams, preferably the latest version

2 Simple Usage Summary

  • M-x emacspeak-wizards-tune-in-radio-browse brings up the browse interface.
  • M-x emacspeak-wizards-tune-in-radio-search prompts for a query and brings up search results.
  • Both browse and search get the results back as an OPML feed, which gets displayed as a simple Web page within the Emacs Web Browser (EWW if using 24.4).
  • Items identified as (link) are themselves OPML feeds and can be opened via command emacspeak-feeds-opml-display.
  • The initial browse buffer is set up to use opml-display when you click on link items.
  • You can play (audio) links by invoking command emacspeak-webutils-play-media-at-point — this command is bound to _; in EWW.
  • You need to provide an interactive prefix argument to the above command to indicate that it is a playlist — so you actually press C-u ; on audio links.
  • Many of the audio links do not return a playlist – they instead return a link that is a pointer to a playlist. Newer versions of mplayer will throw a security error — you can tell mplayer to follow them by invoking the earlier command with two prefix args so C-u C-u ;.
  • All this works about 90% of the time. In some cases – depending on whether the server failed to generate the right

mimetype for the play URL etc, you may need to run

      curl --silent <url> 
      

where <url> is the URL of the audio link, then pass that resulting URL to command emacspeak-m-player-url.

Share And Enjoy!

Date: <2015-02-17 Tue>

Author: T.V Raman

Created: 2015-02-17 Tue 16:41

Emacs 25.0.50.1 (Org mode 8.2.10)

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T. V. Raman at

2015-02-17T16:49:00.001-08:00

3D: A Spatial Auditory Icon Theme Generated Using CSound


Using CSound To Generate Auditory Icons

1 Auditory Icon Theme: 3d

CSound is a sophisticated music sound syntheseis system with a strong community of developers. I've played off and on with CSound ever since the early 90's and have always been intrigued by the possibility of algorithmically creating new auditory icon themes for Emacspeak using CSound.

Over the holidays last December, I finally got around to creating my first complete CSound-generated auditory icon theme – it is now checked into Emacspeak SVN as theme 3d. This theme is best experienced with headphones — many of the generated icons use spatial audio to good effect.

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T. V. Raman at

2015-01-06T09:15:00.001-08:00

Announcing Emacspeak 41.0: NiceDog


Emacspeak 41.0—NiceDog—Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-41.0 (NiceDog) Unleashed!

** For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (Nov 26, 2014) Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of Web Computing –Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net– announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 41.0 (NiceDog) –a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Web cloud.

1.1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of November 2014 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

1.2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented social Web cloud.

1.3 Major Enhancements:

  • Emacs EWW: Consume Web content efficiently. 📚
  • emacspeak-url-templates: Smart Web access. ♅
  • emacspeak-websearch.el Find things fast. ♁
  • emacspeak-google.el: Improved Google integration. ⁈
  • Calibre integration for searching and viewing epub 📚
  • Complete anything via company integration 🗜
  • Speech-enabled 2048 🂠
  • Emacspeak At Twenty -Historical Overview ⛬
  • gmaps.el: Find places, read reviews, get there. 🌐
  • Feed Browser Consume feeds post Google-Reader. ␌
  • Freebase Search: Explore freebase knowledge base. 🆓
  • Emacs 24.4: Supports all new features in Emacs 24.4. 🌚
  • And a lot more than will fit this margin. …

1.4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform used to develop and distribute the software.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

1.5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".

1.5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

1.6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from Google Code –see http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak/ You can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak Blog is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to use them. The WowDog release is at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/wiki/downloads/emacspeak-41.0.tar.bz2. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via Subversion from Google Code at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

1.7 History:

Emacspeak 41.0 continues to improve upon the desire to provide not just equal, but superior access — technology when correctly implemented can significantly enhance the human ability. Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content. Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary bloatware. Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name. Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full EPub support — hence the name EPubDog. Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in honor of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in an eyes-free environment. Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop. Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access. Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop. Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak! Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest. Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software. Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary. Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies. Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information. Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered information access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development. Emacspeak 23.0 – AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access. Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before. Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users. Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction. emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure. Emacspeak-18.0 –code named GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards. Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter. Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing a series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was the first release of this millennium. Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed YellowLab– was the closing release of the 20th. century. Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation. Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience. Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.

Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

About Emacspeak:


Originally based at Cornell (NY) http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman –home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW– Emacspeak is now maintained on GoogleCode --http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak —and Sourceforge —http://emacspeak.sf.net. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

1.8 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

**About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

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T. V. Raman at

2014-11-26T07:09:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak At Twenty: Looking Back, Looking Forward


Emacspeak At Twenty: Looking Back, Looking Forward

1 Introduction

One afternoon in the third week of September 1994, I started writing myself a small Emacs extension using Lisp Advice to make Emacs speak to me so I could use a Linux laptop. As Emacspeak turns twenty, this article is both a quick look back over the twenty years of lessons learned, as well as a glimpse into what might be possible as we evolve to a world of connected, ubiquitous computing. This article draws on Learning To Program In 10 Years by Peter Norvig for some of its inspiration.

2 Using UNIX With Speech Output — 1994

As a graduate student at Cornell, I accessed my Unix workstation (SunOS) from an Intel 486 PC running IBM Screen-Reader. There was no means of directly using a UNIX box at the time; after graduating, I continued doing the same for about six months at Digital Research in Cambridge — the only difference being that my desktop workstation was now a DEC-Alpha. Throughout this time, Emacs was my environment of choice for everything from software development and Internet access to writing documents.

In fall of 1994, I wanted to start using a laptop running Linux; a colleague (Dave Wecker) was retiring his 386mhz laptop that already had Linux on it and I decided to inherit it. But there was only one problem — until then I had always accessed a UNIX machine from a secondary PC running a screen-reader — something that would clearly make no sense with a laptop!

Another colleague, Win Treese, had pointed out the interesting possibilities presented by package advice in Emacs 19.23 — a few weeks earlier, he had sent around a small snippet of code that magically modified Emacs' version-control primitive to first create an RCS directory if none existed before adding a file to version control. When I speculated about using the Linux laptop, Dave remarked — you live in Emacs anyway — why dont you just make it talk!

Connecting the dots, I decided to write myself a tool that augmented Emacs' default behavior to speak — within about 4 hours, version 0.01 of Emacspeak was up and running.

3 Key Enabler — Emacs And Lisp Advice

It took me a couple of weeks to fully recognize the potential of what I had built with Emacs Lisp Advice. Until then, I had used screen-readers to listen to the contents of the visual display — but Lisp Advice let me do a lot more — it enabled Emacspeak to generate highly context-specific spoken feedback, augmented by a set of auditory icons. I later formalized this design under the name speech-enabled applications. For a detailed overview of the architecture of Emacspeak, see the chapter on Emacspeak in the book Beautiful Code from O'Reilly.

4 Key Component — Text To Speech (TTS)

Emacspeak is a speech-subsystem for Emacs; it depends on an external Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine to produce speech. In 1994, Digital Equipment released what would turn out to be the last in the line of hardware DECTalk syntheseizers, the DECTalk Express. This was essentially an Intel 386with 1mb of flash memory that ran a version of the DECTalk TTS software — to date, it still remains my favorite Text-To-Speech engine. At the time, I also had a software version of the same engine running on my DEC-Alpha workstation; the desire to use either a software or hardware solution to produce speech output defined the Emacspeak speech-server architecture.

I went to IBM Research in 1999; this coincided with IBM releasing a version of the Eloquennce TTS engine on Linux under the name ViaVoice Outloud. My colleague Jeffrey Sorenson implemented an early version of the Emacspeak speech-server for this engine using the OSS API; I later updated it to use the ALSA library while on a flight back to SFO from Boston in 2001. That is still the TTS engine that is speaking as I type this article on my laptop.

20 years on, TTS continues to be the weakest link on Linux; the best available solution in terms of quality continues to be the Linux port of Eloquence TTS available from Voxin in Europe for a small price. Looking back across 20 years, the state of TTS on Linux in particular and across all platforms in general continues to be a disappointment; most of today's newer TTS engines are geared toward mainstream use-cases where naturalness of the voice tends to supersede intelligibility at higher speech-rates. Ironically, modern TTS engines also give applications far less control over the generated output — as a case in point, I implemented Audio System For Technical Readings (AsTeR) in 1994 using the DECTalk; 20 years later, we implemented MathML support in ChromeVox using Google TTS. In 2013, it turned out to be difficult or impossible to implement the type of audio renderings that were possible with the admittedly less-natural sounding DECTalk!

5 Emacspeak And Software Development

Version 0.01 of Emacspeak was written using IBM Screen-Reader on a PC with a terminal emulator accessing a UNIX workstation. But in about 2 weeks, Emacspeak was already a better environment for developing Emacspeak in particular and software development in general. Here are a few highlights in 1994 that made Emacspeak a good software development environment, present-day users of Emacspeak will see that that was just scratching the surface.

  • Audio formatting using voice-lock to provide aural syntax highlighting.
  • Succinct auditory icons to provide efficient feedback.
  • Emacs' ability to navigate code structurally —

as opposed to moving around by plain-text units such as characters, lines and words. S-Expressions are a major win!

  • Emacs' ability to specialize behavior based on major and minor modes.
  • Ability to browse program code using tags, and getting fluent spoken feedback.
  • Completion everywhere.
  • Everything is searchable — this is a huge win when you cannot see the screen.
  • Interactive spell-checking using ISpell with continuous spoken feedback augmented by aural highlights.
  • Running code compilation and being able to jump to errors with spoken feedback.
  • Ability to move through diff chunks when working with source code and source control systems; refined diffs as provided by the ediff package when speech-enabled is a major productivity win.
  • Ability to easily move between email, document authoring and programming — though this may appear trivial, it continues to be one of Emacs' biggest wins.

Long-term Emacs users will recognize all of the above as being among the reasons why they do most things inside Emacs — there is little that is Emacspeak specific in the above list — except that Emacspeak was able to provide fluent, well-integrated contextual feedback for all of thesee tasks. And that was a game-changer given what I had had before Emacspeak. As a case in point, I did not dare program in Python before I speech-enabled Emacs' Python-Mode; the fact that white space is significant in Python made it difficult to program using a plain screen-reader that was unaware of the semantics of the underlying content being accessed.

5.1 Programming Defensively

As an aside, note that all of Emacspeak has been developed over the last 20 years with Emacspeak being the only adaptive technology on my system. This has led to some interesting design consequences, primary among them being a strong education in programming defensively. Here are some other key features of the Emacspeak code-base:

  1. The code-base is extremely bushy rather than deeply hierarchical — this means that when a module breaks, it does not affect the rest of the system.
  2. Separation of concerns with respect to the various layers, a tightly knit core speech library interfaces with any one of many speech servers running as an external process.
  3. Audio formatting is abstracted by using the formalism defined in Aural CSS.
  4. Emacspeak integrates with Emacs' user interface conventions by taking over a single prefix key C-e with all Emacspeak commands accessed through that single keymap. This helps embedding Emacspeak functionality into a large variety of third party modules without any loss of functionality.

6 Emacspeak And Authoring Documents

In 1994, my preferred environment for authoring all documents was LaTeX using the Auctex package. Later I started writing either LaTeX or HTML using the appropriate support modes; today I use org-mode to do most of my content authoring. Personally, I have never been a fan of What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) authoring tools — in my experience that places an undue burden on the author by drawing attention away from the content to focus on the final appearance. An added benefit of creating content in Emacs in the form of light-weight markup is that the content is long-lived — I can still usefully process and re-use things I have written 25 years ago.

Emacs, with Emacspeak providing audio formatting and context-specific feedback remains my environment of choice for writing all forms of content ranging from simple email messages to polished documents for print publishing. And it is worth repeating that I never need to focus on what the content is going to look like — that job is best left to the computer.

As an example of producing high-fidelity visual content, see this write-up on Polyhedral Geometry that I published in 2000; all of the content, including the drawings were created by me using Emacs.

7 Emacspeak And The Early Days Of The Web

Right around the time that I was writing version 0.01 of emacspeak, a far more significant software movement was under way — the World Wide Web was moving from the realms of academia to the mainstream world with the launch of NCSA Mosaic — and in late 1994 by the first commercial Web browser in Netscape Navigator. Emacs had always enabled integrated access to FTP archives via package ange-ftp; in late 1993, William Perry released Emacs-W3, a Web browser for Emacs written entirely in Emacs Lisp. W3 was one of the first large packages to be speech-enabled by Emacspeak — later it was the browser on which I implemented the first draft of the Aural CSS specification. Emacs-W3 enabled many early innovations in the context of providing non-visual access to Web content, including audio formatting and structured content navigation; in summer of 1995, Dave Raggett and I outlined a few extensions to HTML Forms, including the label element as a means of associating metadata with interactive form controls in HTML, and many of thesee ideas were prototyped in Emacs-W3 at the time. Over the years, Emacs-W3 fell behind the times — especially as the Web moved away from cleanly structured HTML to a massive soup of unmatched tags. This made parsing and error-correcting badly-formed HTML markup expensive to do in Emacs-Lisp — and performance suffered. To add to this, mainstream users moved away because Emacs' rendering engine at the time was not rich enough to provide the type of visual renderings that users had come to expect. The advent of DHTML, and JavaScript based Web Applications finally killed off Emacs-W3 as far as most Emacs users were concerned.

But Emacs-W3 went through a revival on the emacspeak audio desktop in late 1999 with the arrival of XSLT, and Daniel Veillard's excellent implementation via the libxml2 and libxslt packages. With thesee in hand, Emacspeak was able to hand-off the bulk of HTML error correction to the xsltproc tool. The lack of visual fidelity didn't matter much for an eyes-free environment; so Emacs-W3 continued to be a useful tool for consuming large amounts of Web content that did not require JavaScript support.

During the last 24 months, libxml2 has been built into Emacs; this means that you can now parse arbitrary HTML as found in the willd without incurring a performance hit. This functionality was leveraged first by package shr (Simple HTML Renderer) within the gnus package for rendering HTML email. Later, the author of gnus and shr created a new light-weight HTML viewer called eww that is now part of Emacs 24. With improved support for variable pitch fonts and image embedding, Emacs is once again able to provide visual renderings for a large proportion of text-heavy Web content where it becomes useful for mainstream Emacs users to view at least some Web content within Emacs; during the last year, I have added support within emacspeak to extend package eww with support for DOM filtering and quick content navigation.

8 Audio Formatting — Generalizing Aural CSS

A key idea in Audio System For Technical Readings (AsTeR) was the use of various voice properties in combination with non-speech auditory icons to create rich aural renderings. When I implemented Emacspeak, I brought over the notion of audio formatting to all buffers in Emacs by creating a voice-lock module that paralleled Emacs' font-lock module. The visual medium is far richer in terms of available fonts and colors as compared to voice parameters available on TTS engines — consequently, it did not make sense to directly map Emacs' face properties to voice parameters. To aid in projecting visual formatting onto auditory space, I created property personality analogous to Emacs' face property that could be applied to content displayed in Emacs; module voice-lock applied that property appropriately, and the Emacspeak core handled the details of mapping personality values to the underlying TTS engine.

The values used in property personality were abstract, i.e., they were independent of any given speech engine. Later in the fall of 1995, I re-expressed thesee set of abstract voice properties in terms of Aural CSS; the work was published as a first draft toward the end of 1995, and implemented in Emacs-W3 in early 1996. Aural CSS was an appendix in the CSS-1.0 specification; later, it graduated to being its own module within CSS-2.0.

Later in 1996, all of Emacs' voice-lock functionality was re-implemented in terms of Aural CSS; the implementation has stood the test of time in that as I added support for more TTS engines, I was able to implement engine-specific mappings of Aural-CSS values. This meant that the rest of Emacspeak could define various types of voices for use in specific contexts without having to worry about individual TTS engines. Conceptually, property personality can be thought of as holding an aural display list — various parts of the system can annotate pieces of text with relevant properties that finally get rendered in the aggregate. This model also works well with the notion of Emacs overlays where a moving overlay is used to temporarily highlight text that has other context-specific properties applied to it.

Audio formatting as implemented in Emacspeak is extremely effective when working with all types of content ranging from richly structured mark-up documents (LaTeX, org-mode) and formatted Web pages to program source code. Perceptually, switching to audio formatted output feels like switching from a black-and-white monitor to a rich color display. Today, Emacspeak's audio formatted output is the only way I can correctly write else if vs elsif in various programming languages!

9 Conversational Gestures For The Audio Desktop

By 1996, Emacspeak was the only piece of adaptive technology I used; in fall of 1995, I had moved to Adobe Systems from DEC Research to focus on enhancing the Portable Document Format (PDF) to make PDF content repurposable. Between 1996 and 1998, I was primarily focused on electronic document formats — I took this opportunity to step back and evaluate what I had built as an auditory interface within Emacspeak. This retrospect proved extremely useful in gaining a sense of perspective and led to formalizing the high-level concept of Conversational Gestures and structured browsing/searching as a means of thinking about user interfaces.

By now, Emacspeak was a complete environment — I formalized what it provided under the moniker Complete Audio Desktop. The fully integrated user experience allowed me to move forward with respect to defining interaction models that were highly optimized to eyes-free interaction — as an example, see how Emacspeak interfaces with modes like dired (Directory Editor) forbrowsing and manipulating the filesystem, or proced (Process Editor) for browsing and manipulating running processes. Emacs' integration with ispell for spell checking, as well as its various completion facilities ranging from minibuffer completion to other forms of dynamic completion while typing text provided more opportunities for creating innovative forms of eyes-free interaction. With respect to what had gone before (and is still par for the course as far as traditional screen-readers are concerned), thesee types of highly dynamic interfaces present a challenge. For example, consider handling a completion interface using a screen-reader that is speaking the visual display. There is a significant challenge in deciding what to speak e.g., when presented with a list of completions, the currently typed text, and the default completion, which of thesee should you speak, and in what order? The problem gets harder when you consider that the underlying semantics of thesee items is generally not available from examining the visual presentation in a consistent manner. By having direct access to the underlying information being presented, Emacspeak had a leg up with respect to addressing the higher-level question — when you do have access to this information, how do you present it effectively in an eyes-free environment? For this and many other cases of dynamic interaction, a combination of audio formatting, auditory icons, and the ability to syntheseize succinct messages from a combination of information items — rather than having to forcibly speak each item as it is rendered visually provided for highly efficient eyes-free interaction.

This was also when I stepped back to build out Emacspeak's table browsing facilities — see the online Emacspeak documentation for details on Emacspeak's table browsing functionality which continues to remain one of the richest collection of end-user affordances for working with two-dimensional data.

9.1 Speech-Enabling Interactive Games

So in 1997, I went the next step in asking — given access to the underlying information, is it possible to build effective eyes-free interaction to highly interactive tasks? I picked Tetris as a means of exploring this space, the result was an Emacspeak extension to speech-enable module tetris.el. The details of what was learned were published as a paper in Assets 98, and expanded as a chapter on Conversational Gestures in my book on Auditory Interfaces; that book was in a sense a culmination of stepping back and gaining a sense of perspective of what I had build during this period. The work on Conversational Gestures also helped in formalizing the abstract user interface layer that formed part of the XForms work at the W3C.

Speech-enabling games for effective eyes-free interaction has proven highly educational. Interactive games are typically built to challenge the user, and if the eyes-free interface is inefficient, you just won't play the game — contrast this with a task that you must perform, where you're likely to make do with a sub-optimal interface. Over the years, Emacspeak has come to include eyes-free interfaces to several games including Tetris, Sudoku, and of late the popular 2048 game. Each of thesee have in turn contributed to enhancing the interaction model in Emacspeak, and those innovations typically make their way to the rest of the environment.

10 Accessing Media Streams

Streaming real-time audio on the Internet became a reality with the advent of RealAudio in 1995; soon there were a large number of media streams available on the Internet ranging from music streams to live radio stations. But there was an interesting twist — for the most part, all of thesee media streams expected one to look at the screen, even though the primary content was purely audio (streaming video hadn't arrived yet!). Starting in 1996, Emacspeak started including a variety of eyes-free front-ends for accessing media streams. Initially, this was achieved by building a wrapper around trplayer — a headless version of RealPlayer; later I built Emacspeak module emacspeak-m-player for interfacing with package mplayer. A key aspect of streaming media integration in emacspeak is that one can launch and control streams without ever switching away from one's primary task; thus, you can continue to type email or edit code while seamlessly launching and controlling media streams. Over the years, Emacspeak has come to integrate with Emacs packages like emms as well as providing wrappers for mplayer and alsaplayer — collectively, thesee let you efficiently launch all types of media streams, including streaming video, without having to explicitly switch context.

In the mid-90's, Emacspeak started including a directory of media links to some of the more popular radio stations — primarily as a means of helping users getting started — Emacs' ability to rapidly complete directory and file-names turned out to be the most effective means of quickly launching everything from streaming radio stations to audio books. And even better — as the Emacs community develops better and smarter ways of navigating the filesystem using completions, e.g., package ido, thesee types of actions become even more efficient!

11 EBooks— Ubiquitous Access To Books

AsTeR — was motivated by the increasing availability of technical material as online electronic documents. While AsTeR processed the TeX family of markup languages, more general ebooks came in a wide range of formats, ranging from plain text generated from various underlying file formats to structured EBooks, with Project Gutenberg leading the way. During the mid-90's, I had access to a wide range of electronic materials from sources such as O'Reilly Publishing and various electronic journals — The Perl Journal (TPJ) is one that I still remember fondly.

Emacspeak provided fairly light-weight but efficient access to all of the electronic books I had on my local disk — Emacs' strengths with respect to browsing textual documents meant that I needed to build little that was specific to Emacspeak. The late 90's saw the arrival of Daisy as an XML-based format for accessible electronic books. The last decade has seen the rapid convergence to epub as a distribution format of choice for electronic books. Emacspeak provides interaction modes that make organizing, searching and reading thesee materials on the Emacspeak Audio Desktop a pleasant experience. Emacspeak also provides an OCR-Mode — this enables one to call out to an external OCR program and read the content efficiently.

The somewhat informal process used by publishers like O'Reilly to make technical material available to users with print impairments was later formalized by BookShare — today, qualified users can obtain a large number of books and periodicals initially as Daisy-3 and increasingly as EPub. BookShare provides a RESTful API for searching and downloading books; Emacspeak module emacspeak-bookshare implements this API to create a client for browsing the BookShare library, downloading and organizing books locally, and an integrated ebook reading mode to round off the experience.

A useful complement to this suite of tools is the Calibre package for organizing ones ebook collection; Emacspeak now implements an EPub Interaction mode that leverages Calibre (actually sqlite3) to search and browse books, along with an integrated EPub mode for reading books.

12 Leveraging Computational Tools — From SQL And R To IPython Notebooks

The ability to invoke external processes and interface with them via a simple read-eval-loop (REPL) is perhaps one of Emacs' strongest extension points. This means that a wide variety of computational tools become immediately available for embedding within the Emacs environment — a facility that has been widely exploited by the Emacs community. Over the years, Emacspeak has leveraged many of thesee facilities to provide a well-integrated auditory interface.

Starting from a tight code, eval, test form of iterative programming as encouraged by Lisp. Applied to languages like Python and Ruby to explorative computational tools such as R for data analysis and SQL for database interaction, the Emacspeak Audio Desktop has come to encompass a collection of rich computational tools that provide an efficient eyes-free experience.

In this context, module ein — Emacs IPython Notebooks — provides another excellent example of an Emacs tool that helps interface seamlessly with others in the technical domain. IPython Notebooks provide an easy means of reaching a large audience when publishing technical material with interactive computational content; module ein brings the power and convenience of Emacs ' editing facilities when developing the content. Speech-enabling package ein is a major win since editing program source code in an eyes-free environment is far smoother in Emacs than in a browser-based editor.

13 Social Web — EMail, Instant Messaging, Blogging And Tweeting Using Open Protocols

The ability to process large amounts of email and electronic news has always been a feature of Emacs. I started using package vm for email in 1990, along with gnus for Usenet access many years before developing Emacspeak. So thesee were the first major packages that Emacspeak speech-enabled. Being able to access the underlying data structures used to visually render email messages and Usenet articles enabled Emacspeak to produce rich, succinct auditory output — this vastly increased my ability to consume and organize large amounts of information. Toward the turn of the century, instant messaging arrived in the mainstream — package tnt provided an Emacs implementation of a chat client that could communicate with users on the then popular AOL Instant Messenger platform. At the time, I worked at IBM Research, and inspired by package tnt, I created an Emacs client called ChatterBox using the Lotus Sametime API — this enabled me to communicate with colleagues at work from the comfort of Emacs. Packages like vm, gnus, tnt and ChatterBox provide an interesting example of how availability of a clean underlying API to a specific service or content stream can encourage the creation of efficient (and different) user interfaces. The touchstone of such successful implementations is a simple test — can the user of a specific interface tell if the person whom he is communicating with is also using the same interface? In each of the examples enumerated above, a user at one end of the communication chain cannot tell, and in fact shouldn't be able to tell what client the user at the other end is using. Contrast this with closed services that have an inherent lock-in model e.g., proprietary word processors that use undocumented serialization formats — for a fun read, see this write-up on Universe Of Fancy Colored Paper.

Today, my personal choice for instant messaging is the open Jabber platform. I connect to Jabber via Emacs package emacs-jabber and with Emacspeak providing a light-weight wrapper for generating the eyes-free interface, I can communicate seamlessly with colleagues and friends around the world.

As the Web evolved to encompass ever-increasing swathese of communication functionality that had already been available on the Internet, we saw the world move from Usenet groups to Blogs — I remember initially dismissing the blogging phenomenon as just a re-invention of Usenet in the early days. However, mainstream users flocked to Blogging, and I later realized that blogging as a publishing platform brought along interesting features that made communicating and publishing information much easier. In 2005, I joined Google; during the winter holidays that year, I implemented a light-weight client for Blogger that became the start of Emacs package g-client — this package provides Emacs wrappers for Google services that provide a RESTful API.

14 The RESTful Web — Web Wizards And URL Templates For Faster Access

Today, the Web, based on URLs and HTTP-style protocols is widely recognized as a platform in its own right. This platform emerged over time — to me, Web APIs arrived in the late 90's when I observed the following with respect to my own behavior on many popular sites:

  1. I opened a Web page that took a while to load (remember, I was still using Emacs-W3),
  2. I then searched through the page to find a form-field that I filled out, e.g., start and end destinations on Yahoo Maps,
  3. I hit submit, and once again waited for a heavy-weight HTML page to load,
  4. And finally, I hunted through the rendered content to find what I was looking for.

This pattern repeated across a wide-range of interactive Web sites ranging from AltaVista for search (this was pre-Google), Yahoo Maps for directions, and Amazon for product searches to name but a few. So I decided to automate away the pain by creating Emacspeak module emacspeak-websearch that did the following:

  1. Prompt via the minibuffer for the requisite fields,
  2. Consed up an HTTP GET URL,
  3. Retrieved this URL,
  4. And filtered out the specific portion of the HTML DOM that held the generated response.

Notice that the above implementation hard-wires the CGI parameter names used by a given Web application into the code implemented in module emacspeak-websearch. REST as a design pattern had not yet been recognized, leave alone formalized, and module emacspeak-websearch was initially decryed as being fragile.

However, over time, the CGI parameter names remained fixed — the only things that have required updating in the Emacspeak code-base are the content filtering rules that extract the response — for popular services, this has averaged about one to two times a year.

I later codified thesee filtering rules in terms of XPath, and also integrated XSLT-based pre-processing of incoming HTML content before it got handed off to Emacs-W3 — and yes, Emacs/Advice once again came in handy with respect to injecting XSLT pre-processing into Emacs-W3!

Later, in early 2000, I created companion module emacspeak-url-templates — partially inspired by Emacs' webjump module. URL templates in Emacspeak leveraged the recognized REST interaction pattern to provide a large collection of Web widgets that could be quickly invoked to provide rapid access to the right pieces of information on the Web.

The final icing on the cake was the arrival of RSS and Atom feeds and the consequent deep-linking into content-rich sites — this meant that Emacspeak could provide audio renderings of useful content without having to deal with complex visual navigation! While Google Reader existed, Emacspeak provided a light-weight greader client for managing ones feed subscriptions; with the demise of Google Reader, I implemented module emacspeak-feeds for organizing feeds on the Emacspeak desktop. A companion package emacspeak-webspace implements additional goodies including a continuously updating ticker of headlines taken from the user's collection of subscribed feeds.

15 Mashing It Up — Leveraging Evolving Web APIs

The next step in this evolution came with the arrival of richer Web APIs — especially ones that defined a clean client/server separation. In this respect, the world of Web APIs is a somewhat mixed bag in that many Web sites equate a Web API with a JS-based API that can be exclusively invoked from within a Web-Browser run-time. The issue with that type of API binding is that the only runtime that is supported is a full-blown Web browser; but the arrival of native mobile apps has actually proven a net positive in encouraging sites to create a cleaner separation. Emacspeak has leveraged thesee APIs to create Emacspeak front-ends to many useful services, here are a few:

  1. Minibuffer completion for Google Search using Google Suggest to provide completions.
  2. Librivox for browsing and playing free audio books.
  3. NPR for browsing and playing NPR archived programs.
  4. BBC for playing a wide variety of streaming content available from the BBC.
  5. A Google Maps front-end that provides instantaneous access to directions and Places search.
  6. Access to Twitter via package twittering-mode.

And a lot more than will fit this margin! This is an example of generalizing the concept of a mashup as seen on the Web with respect to creating hybrid applications by bringing together a collection of different Web APIs. Another way to think of such separation is to view an application as a head and a body — where the head is a specific user interface, with the body implementing the application logic. A cleanly defined separation between the head and body allows one to attach different user interfaces i.e., heads to the given body without any loss of functionality, or the need to re-implement the entire application. Modern platforms like Android enable such separation via an Intent mechanism. The Web platform as originally defined around URLs is actually well-suited to this type of separation — though the full potential of this design pattern remains to be fully realized given today's tight association of the Web to the Web Browser.

16 Conclusion

In 1996, I wrote an article entitled User Interface — A Means To An End pointing out that the size and shape of computers were determined by the keyboard and display. This is even more true in today's world of tablets, phablets and large-sized phones — with the only difference that the keyboard has been replaced by a touch screen. The next generation in the evolution of personal devices is that they will become truly personal by being wearables — this once again forces a separation of the user interface peripherals from the underlying compute engine. Imagine a variety of wearables that collectively connect to ones cell phone, which itself connects to the cloud for all its computational and information needs. Such an environment is rich in possibilities for creating a wide variety of user experiences to a single underlying body of information; Eyes-Free interfaces as pioneered by systems like Emacspeak will come to play an increasingly vital role alongside visual interaction when this comes to pass.

–T.V. Raman, San Jose, CA, September 12, 2014

17 References

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T. V. Raman at

2014-09-15T14:11:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak And Company: Complete Anything Front-End For emacspeak


Emacspeak And Company: Complete Anything Front-End For Emacspeak

1 Emacspeak And Company: Complete Anything Front-End For Emacspeak

Module emacspeak-company speech-enables package Company — a flexible complete-anything extension for Emacs. Package company gains much of its flexibility by providing an extensible framework for both back-ends and front-ends; back-ends are responsible for language-specific support e.g., C++ vs Emacs Lisp; front-ends can provide different visualizations of the available completions.

I started using package company as I taught myself to program in Go over the last couple of weeks, and package emacspeak-company was one of the bi-products.

1.1 Using Company With Emacspeak

You can turn on company-mode in dividual buffers; you can also turn it on globally. Company comes pre-packaged with backend support for many programming languages; for programming in Go, I use module company-go in conjunction with the GoCode tool.

See customization group company to customize package company; Emacspeak loads package emacspeak-company when packagecompany is loaded, and that automatically sets up the Emacspeak front-end.

Once activated, package company shows available completions where available once you type a prescribed number of characters. Available candidates are displayed visually via an overlay and can be traversed using either the up/down arrows or keys M-n and M-p. You can also search and filter the available completions, see documentation for command company-mode. The available visual front-ends also display relevant metadata for the current candidate in the echo area.

Front-end emacspeak-company performs the following additional actions:

  • Speaks current candidate along with the relevant metadata.
  • The metadata is spoken using voice-annotate.
  • Auditory icon help indicates that completion has started.
  • pressing F1 during completion displays documentation for the current candidate.
  • You can choose the current candidate by pressing RET; this

speaks the selected candidate.

  • Auditory icon close-object indicates that completion has finished.

1.2 Insights From Speech-Enabling Company

Company uses a fluid visual interface to display completions without the user having to switch contexts — it achieves this by using overlays that appear briefly in the form of a conceptual tooltip. These pseudo tooltips are created and destroyed via a timer; keyboard interaction causes thesee to be updated — including hiding the tooltip where appropriate.

Module emacspeak-company speech-enables this interface by examining the underlying information used to create the visualization to produce an effective audio-formatted representation. The net effect is that you can write code with completion helping you along the way; you do not need to switch tasks to lookup details as to what completions are available.

1.3 Acknowledgements

Thanks again to the authors of package company for a really nice tool — it's a real productivity winner — especially when learning a new language and its built-in packages.

I found thesee articles really helpful while learning to write package emacspeak-company.

Learning Go was a pleasure (it's still a pleasure — I'm still learning:-)) and the documentation on GoLang is excellent. As an added bonus, that entire site uses clean, well-formed HTML without any unnecessary artifacts that make so much of today's Web a giant mess; I have been able to use Emacs/EWW exclusively while working with golang.org — a real bonus for someone programming heavily in Emacs.

Date: <2014-05-27 Tue>

Author: T.V Raman

Created: 2014-05-27 Tue 08:51

Emacs 24.3.91.1 (Org mode 8.2.6)

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2014-05-27T08:54:00.001-07:00

Announcing Emacspeak 40.0 AKA WowDog!


Emacspeak 40.0—WowDog—Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-40.0 (WowDog) Unleashed!

** For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (May 13, 2014) Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of Web Computing –Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net– announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 40.0 (WowDog) –a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Web cloud.

1.1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of November 2013 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

1.2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented social Web cloud.

1.3 Major Enhancements:

  • Emacs EWW: Consume Web content efficiently. 📚
  • emacspeak-url-templates: Smart Web access. ♅
  • emacspeak-websearch.el Find things fast. ♁
  • gmaps.el: Find places, read reviews, get there. 🌐
  • Feed Browser Consume feeds post Google-Reader. ␌
  • Freebase Search: Explore freebase knowledge base. 🆓
  • Emacs 24.4: Supports all new features in Emacs 24.4. 🌚
  • And a lot more than will fit this margin. …

1.4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform used to develop and distribute the software.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

1.5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".

1.5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

1.6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from Google Code –see http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak/ You can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The Emacspeak Blog is a good source for news about recent enhancements and how to use them. The WowDog release is at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/wiki/downloads/emacspeak-40.0.tar.bz2. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via Subversion from Google Code at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

1.7 History:

Emacspeak 40.0 goes back to Web basics by enabling efficient access to large amounts of readable Web content. Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary bloatware. Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name. Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full EPub support — hence the name EPubDog. Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in honor of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in an eyes-free environment. Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop. Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access. Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop. Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak! Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest. Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software. Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary. Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies. Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information. Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered information access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development. Emacspeak 23.0 – AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access. Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before. Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users. Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction. emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure. Emacspeak-18.0 –code named GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards. Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter. Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing a series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was the first release of this millennium. Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed YellowLab– was the closing release of the 20th. century. Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation. Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience. Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.

Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

About Emacspeak:


Originally based at Cornell (NY) http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman –home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW– Emacspeak is now maintained on GoogleCode --http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak —and Sourceforge —http://emacspeak.sf.net. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

1.8 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

**About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

Author: T.V Raman

Created: 2014-05-09 Fri 08:44

Emacs 24.4.50.2 (Org mode 8.2.6)

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T. V. Raman at

2014-05-12T07:52:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak: EWW Updates For The Complete Audio Desktop


Emacspeak EWW Updates

1 Emacspeak EWW Updates

Within a few weeks, EWW has become my preferred way of consuming large amounts of Web content — except for simple fill-out forms, it has entirely replaced Emacs/W3 for me. Goes without saying that I still use ChromeVox for Js-heavy Web sites.

This article summarizes some of the major enhancements to EWW implemented in module emacspeak-eww; See the online documentation and key-binding help for complete details.

1.1 EWW And Masquerade Mode

You can now have EWW masquerade as modern browsers; note that some sites might serve you more feature-rich content in this mode.

1.2 Smart Google Searches

All of the features from module emacspeak-google have been integrated to work with EWW. In addition, if running in masquerade-mode, you can quickly access knowledge cards if available on the current results page.

1.3 Rich DOM Filtering

The suite of DOM filtered views has been enhanced to support filtering by class, id, role, or element-list. In addition, you can also invert thesee filters.

1.4 Structure Navigation

Emacspeak now supports structured navigation in pages rendered by EWW, see the key-bindings for details.

1.5 Integration With URL-Templates And Feeds

EWW is now fully integrated with Emacspeak WebSearch, URL-Templates and Feeds. This means that hitting g in an EWW buffer does the right thing with respect to updating the rendered buffer:

  • If viewing a feed, the feed is reloaded before it is rendered as HTML.
  • If viewing a url-template, the template is re-opened, prompting for user-input if needed.

1.6 XSLT Integration

Most of the functionality provided by module emacspeak-xslt for filtering the DOM in the world of Emacs/W3 is achieved more effectively via the DOM filtering commands in emacspeak-eww —that said, XSLT pre-processing is fully integrated with EWW via supporting modules emacspeak-ew and emacspeak-webutils.

1.7 Other Fun Things To Do

Here are some more fun things that might be worth doing:

  • Integrate PhantomJS with EWW to load content that is rendered via JS document.write.
  • Integrate with CasperJS to enable interaction with light-weight WebApps.
  • Integrate with Chrome over the debugger API to access the live DOM within Chrome.

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T. V. Raman at

2014-05-01T17:30:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak Webspace: Glancing At Information On The Audio Desktop


A Web News Ticker For Emacs

1 WebSpace: A Web News Ticker For Emacs

Module Emacspeak-Webspace provides a rolling ticker of information that is automatically retrieved, cached and maintained by Emacspeak. Using this functionality, you can set up specific buffers to have interesting tidbits of information displayed automatically in the header-line; Emacspeak speaks thesee items of information as you switch contexts. This article explains the usage model and underlying design of Emacspeak Webspaces.

1.1 Background

The Emacspeak Webspace module was originally created in early Interaction Free Information Access (2008) because I wanted the audio equivalent of being able to quickly glance at information. Here are some aspects of visual interaction that I wanted to emulate:

  • You can quickly glance at something while switching contexts, and ignore it if it is not important.
  • The object that you glance at while switching contexts does not become an object of attention ie, the casual task remains casual, as opposed to becoming the primary task. Email is the antitheseis to this model — where if you start glancing at email, it's a sufficiently strong distraction that you'll start doing email — as opposed to what you were supposed to be doing.
  • If the item you glanced at deserves further attention, you can come back to it later — and the system gives you sufficient confidence in your ability to come back to it later — note that this is essential to ensure the previous requirement.
  • Items are cached but get pushed out by newer items — this makes sure you dont feel pressured to read everything or have to explicitly catch-up — in prior systems including email and Google Reader, I always found the task of hitting catch-up without reading everything a fairly stressful experience.
  • Applied to information updates, think hallway conversations outside your office — you mostly ignore them, but sometime get drawn because you hear some specific keywords and/or concepts that draw your attention.

1.2 Early Implementation In 2009

I used the WebSpace functionality in Emacspeak for news and weather updates starting 2009; at some time in late 2009, I cut it over to get updates from my Google Reader stream. It was extremely effective for my usage pattern — I typically activated the functionality in all shell buffers. In my work style where I switch among the primary tasks of engineering (writing/reviewing code), writing/reviewing design documents, and doing email to facilitate the previous two tasks, the shell buffer is where I switch to while context-switching e.g., launching a build after writing code as an example. Having the Webspace functionality say something interesting at those times was optimal.

1.3 Initial Implementation And Design

The information to be pulled in the rolling header line is pulled from a cache — in 2009, this cache was populated from my Google Reader stream. The cache was maintained in a ring with older items falling off the end. You could optionally switch to a buffer displaying all of the currently cached items — this functionality assured me that I could always later find an item that had caught my attention while I was in the process of context switching amongst tasks. Notice that if I didn't go back and check for that item within a day, it would fall off the ring-buffer cache — and this usually would mean that it likely wasn't't that important after all.

1.4 Life After Google Reader

With the passing of Google Reader last year, I started implementing the feed-reading functionality I needed in Emacspeak independent of Google Reader; see the earlier article in this blog titled Managing And Accessing Feeds On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop. Next, I updated the Emacspeak WebSpace functionality to build its cache from the set of feeds in emacspeakfeeds.

1.5 Usage Pattern

This section details my own usage pattern and set-up — this is by no means the only way to use this functionality.

  1. Emacspeak binds Webspace functionality to Hyper Space as a prefix key.
  2. Hyper Space h invokes command emacspeak-webspace-headlines — this command initializes the feed-store cache, and sets up the header-line in the current buffer to display a rolling ticker. Note that you can invoke this command in multiple buffers; those buffers will share a common headlines cache.
  3. The feed-store is updated during Emacs idle-time; I often invoke the elisp form (emacspeak-webspace-headlines-populate) to populate the cache initially. Note that depending on your network, and the number of feeds you have in emacspeak-feeds, this can block emacs for a couple of minutes.
  4. Command emacspeak-webspace-headlines-browse displays an interactive buffer containing the current set of cached headlines — this is where you go to track down a headline you heard in passing. I bind this to Super h by customizing emacspeak-super-keys.
  5. You can set up other types of information in your rolling header — something I initially used it for was weather — see command emacspeak-webspace-weather personally, I 've not found this as useful in CA given how consistently good the weather is here.
  6. For related work in Emacs, see Emacs package newsticker. That package works well with Emacspeak, but in using it earlier, I found that I could not prevent myself from starting to read content i.e., it failed to meet the glance and continue requirement.

Date: <2014-03-24 Mon>

Author: T.V Raman

Created: 2014-03-24 Mon 18:00

Emacs 24.3.50.2 (Org mode 8.2.5c)

Validate

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T. V. Raman at

2014-03-24T17:51:00.001-07:00

Searching GMail Using IMap And GNUS


Searching GMail Using IMap and GNUS

1 Searching GMail Using IMap and GNUS

Emacs package GNUS provides a very efficient interface for consuming large amounts of email. You can access GMail using GNUS' IMap interface, for my own configuration for doing this, see file tvr/gnus-prepare.el in the Emacspeak SVN repository. Module gm-nnir.el in package g-client implements some convenience hooks to enable efficient searching of GMail. Module emacspeak-gnus has been updated to bind commands from module gm-nnir.el to ? and / in the Group buffer.

1.1 Basic Usage

Assuming you already have GNUS configured to read GMail via IMap, you can:

  • Press / in the groups buffer to search your mail. This command accepts all GMail queries, so for example,
      after: 2014/02/01 to: me
      

Will find all messages received after February 1, 2014 and addressed to you.

      label: foo after: 2014/01/01
      

Will find messages with label foo and received after January 1, 2014.

  • Press ? in the Group buffer to execute a more extensive search command; this accepts both IMap query specifications (per RFC 3501) as well as GMail query specifications. The command provides smart completion, follow the prompts to build up complex queries. In general, there is almost nothing you cannot do with the GMail query language, so this command is mostly there as a backup.

1.2 The Technical Details

The GMail query language is exposed to IMap via custom search key X-GM-RAW; commands gm-nnir-group-make-gmail-group and gm-nnir-group-make-nnir-group use this functionality to construct ephemeral groups that hold the search results.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2014-02-08T17:00:00.001-08:00

Exploring And Accessing BBC Podcasts and Program Archives


Exploring BBC Podcasts And Program Archives

1 Exploring BBC Podcasts And Program Archives

1.1 Summary

A short overview of tools on the emacspeak desktop for easily exploring and accessing BBC program content.

1.2 Background

The BBC offers a wealth of audio content from both domestic BBC Radio as well as BBC World Service. Much of this content is available as Podcasts for a week after it has been broadcast; in some instances, content is archived and available for more than a week.

The primary gateway to this content is BBC IPlayer. In addition, one can subscribe to RSS feeds for BBC Podcasts.

1.3 Accessing BBC Content From Emacspeak

Here are some of the tools I use on the Emacspeak desktop to quickly find and access content from the BBC:

  • The BBC publishes a continuously updated directory of RSS feeds; Emacspeak url template BBC Podcast Directory can be used to open this directory of feeds.
  • With the above directory of feeds at hand, it is easy to subscribe to oft-accessed feeds via emacspeak-feeds — see Managing And Accessing Feeds.
  • In addition to the directory of feeds covered above, the BBC publishes a detailed program guide as XML; Emacspeak url template BBC Program Guide accesses the program guide.
  • The program guide described above gives access to RSS feeds for both current programs as

well as past archives. The program guide is a wealth of information that makes all the information available in one location, unlike the BBC IPlayer site.

  • A note for UK users; the program guide above is presently set up to only show content that is available world-wide; if you're in the UK, you may want to remove the test for
      region='all'
      

in the XSL stylesheet emacspeak/xsl/bbc-ppg.xsl.

  • You can find the XML feed for the BBC Program Guide, as well as the associated XML Schema definition on the BBC's Web site.
  • Finally, you can access the BBC IPlayer page for any given BBC channel via Emacspeak url template BBC IPlayer.

Share And Enjoy! And Hear's Wishing Everyone A Very Happy 2014!

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2014-01-01T08:51:00.001-08:00

Managing And Accessing Feeds On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop


Managing And Accessing Feeds On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1 Managing And Accessing Feeds On The Emacspeak Audio Desktop

1.1 Summary

Feature emacspeak-feeds enables rapid access to managing and accessing Atom, RSS and OPML feeds. Feeds can be browsed from a dedicated buffer, or accessed via minibuffer completion for oft-accessed feeds. Feeds are stored as a user customizable option, and can be added and deleted either via Emacs' customize interface or directly via interactive Emacs commands.

1.2 How It Works

The list of subscribed feeds is stored in variable emacspeak-feeds which is managed via Emacs' customize interface. Each entry this list contains a label for the feed, the feed URL, and the type of the feed (rss_, atom, or opml).

Interactive command emacspeak-webspace-feed-reader opens a buffer containing the list of subscribed feeds; feeds can be opened by pressing enter on the relevant feed.

Oft-accessed feeds can be opened directly via command emacspeak-feed-browse bound to C-e C-u — this command prompts for a feed label with minibuffer completion.

Feeds can be added or deleted by customizing emacspeak-feeds via Emacs' M-x customize-variable — bound by default in emacspeak to C-h V. Alternatively, interactive command emacspeak-feed-add-feed bound to C-e M-u can be used to subscribe to feeds. Note that both methods result in the subscribed feed being stored in emacspeak-feeds.

Date: <2013-12-29 Sun>

Author: T.V Raman

Created: 2013-12-29 Sun 08:34

Emacs 24.3.50.2 (Org mode 8.2.3a)

Validate

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T. V. Raman at

2013-12-29T08:35:00.001-08:00

Reading Web Content Efficiently


reading-web-content.org

1 Reading Web Content

1.1 Background

I still find reading Web content in emacs to be way more efficient than in modern browsers like Chrome with ChromeVox enabled. Chrome+ChromeVox is what I use for rich Web Applications; but when it comes down to reading straight content ranging from technical documentation to news and current affairs, I find that I can read a lot more content in a fixed amount of time with Emacs+Emacspeak than I can with the Chrome+ChromeVox combination.

1.2 Welcome EWW: Emacs Web Wowser

The author of GNUS recently added package EWW (Emacs Web Wowser) to The Emacs repository — see his announcement. Emacspeak 37.0 included a small addition called shr-url that leveraged his earlier shr package; I've now added support for EWW in the Emacspeak source tree. Note that EWW is in the Emacs source tree, i.e. it will be part of Emacs 24.4, but you can use it now if you build your own version of Emacs, or obtain an Emacs that is build from the Emacs source repository.

EWW and SHR are interesting because they both leverage libxml2 to parse the incoming HTML. This is way faster than the native elisp browsing used in Emacs/W3. In my personal opinion, it also opens up more possibilities than Emacs/W3M with respect to manipulating and filtering content from elisp --- something that helps create a better reading experience when using Emacspeak.

1.3 EWW Tips And Tricks

I've mailed out a small patch to package eww that facilitates implementing such higher-level commands; for now, you can find that patch in emacspeak/lisp/patches in the Emacspeak svn repository. With that patch in place, you can do the following to efficiently filter popular news sites such as the New York Times (I use http://mobile.nytimes.com) or CNN (http://cnn.com).

When visiting thesee and other content-heavy sites, try:

A
Filter by attributes,
E
Filter by elements
R
Restore original contents

To flexibly obtain multiple views of a Web site.

Date: 2013-11-27 Wed

Author: T.V Raman

Org version 7.9.3f with Emacs version 24

Validate XHTML 1.0
[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2013-11-27T14:48:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak 39.0 (BigDog) Unleashed!


Emacspeak 39.0—BigDog—Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-39.0 (BigDog) Unleashed!

** For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (November 27, 2013)
Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of Social Cloud Computing
– Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net-- announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 39.0 (BigDog) – a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Web cloud.

1.1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of November 2013 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

1.2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented social Web cloud.

1.3 Major Enhancements:

  • Speech-Enables Ipython Notebook interaction via package EIN. 🐍
  • Speech-enables Chrome/Firefox integration via package JSS. ⱒ
  • Improved Chrome debugging via package Kite. ⾶
  • Updated search wizards for rapid Web access. ♄
  • Updated URL templates for instant Web access. ♅
  • Improved Emacs 24.3 support. 🌑
  • And a lot more than will fit this margin. …

1.4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform used to develop and distribute the software.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

1.5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user – and not the computer – that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".

1.5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

1.6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from Google Code Hosting – see http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak/ You can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The BigDog release is at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/files/emacspeak-39.0.tar.bz2. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via Subversion from Google Code at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

1.7 History:

Emacspeak 39.0 continues the Emacspeak tradition of increasing the breadth of user tasks that are covered without introducing unnecessary bloatware. Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name. Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full EPub support — hence the name EPubDog. Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in honor of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in an eyes-free environment. Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop. Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access. Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop. Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak! Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest. Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software. Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary. Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies. Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information. Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered information access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development. Emacspeak 23.0 – AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access. Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before. Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users. Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction. emacspeak-19.0 – AKA WorkDog – is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure. Emacspeak-18.0 – code named GoodDog – continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Emacspeak-17.0 – code named HappyDog – enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards. Emacspeak-16.0 – code named CleverDog – the follow-up to SmartDog – continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter. Emacspeak-15.0 – code named SmartDog – followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing a series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak-14.0 – code named TopDog – was the first release of this millennium. Emacspeak-13.0 – codenamed YellowLab – was the closing release of the 20th. century. Emacspeak-12.0 – code named GoldenDog – began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation. Emacspeak-11.0 – code named Aster – went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak-10.0 – (AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog – continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience. Emacspeak-9.0 – (AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab – continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 – (AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog – was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.

Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

About Emacspeak:


Originally based at Cornell (NY) http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman – home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW – Emacspeak is now maintained on GoogleCode --http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak —and Sourceforge —http://emacspeak.sf.net. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar – the home of the Emacspeak mailing list – thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

1.8 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

**About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). – see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

Date: 2013-11-23T08:26-0800

Author: T.V Raman

Org version 7.9.3f with Emacs version 24

Validate XHTML 1.0
[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2013-11-26T15:56:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak 38.0 (FreeDog Unleashed


Emacspeak 38.0—FreeDog—Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-38.0 (FreeDog) Unleashed!

** For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (May 13, 2013) Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of Cloud Computing –Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net-- announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 38.0 (FreeDog) –a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Web cloud.

1.1 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the social net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of May 2013 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

1.2 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented social Web cloud.

1.3 Major Enhancements:

  1. Get directions and find Places via Google Maps. ⛯
  2. Preliminary support for Eclipse integration via Eclim. ⛅
  3. Speech-enabled GTags (Global) for code browsing. 🌐
  4. Updated to work with advice implementation in Emacs 24.3. 🌚
  5. Updated Web search wizards ꩜
  6. Updated URL templates ♅

Plus many more changes too numerous to fit in this margin ∞

1.4 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform used to develop and distribute the software.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

1.5 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".

1.5.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

1.6 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from Google Code Hosting –see http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak/ You can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The FreeDog release is at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/files/emacspeak-38.0.tar.bz2. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is always available via Subversion from Google Code at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

1.7 History:

Emacspeak 38.0 is the latest in a series of award-winning releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name. Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full EPub support — hence the name EPubDog. Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in honor of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in an eyes-free environment. Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop. Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access. Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop. Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak! Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest. Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software. Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary. Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies. Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information. Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered information access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development. Emacspeak 23.0 – AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access. Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before. Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users. Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction. emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure. Emacspeak-18.0 –code named GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards. Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter. Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing a series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was the first release of this millennium. Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed YellowLab– was the closing release of the 20th. century. Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation. Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience. Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.

Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

About Emacspeak:


Originally based at Cornell (NY) http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman –home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW– Emacspeak is now maintained on GoogleCode --http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak —and Sourceforge —http://emacspeak.sf.net. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

1.8 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

**About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2013-05-12T08:13:00.001-07:00

GMaps: Google Maps On The Emacspeak Desktop


GMaps: A Google Maps Client For The Emacspeak Desktop

1 GMaps: A Google Maps Client For The Emacspeak Desktop

Google Maps provides a powerful service-oriented Directions API and an experimental Places API. module GMaps (part of g-client) implements a new specialized interaction mode that lets you quickly get directions and perform Map searches.

1.1 Overview

Module GMaps is now in the Emacspeak svn repository and will be part of the next Emacspeak release. If you are running from SVN, you can start using GMaps today after updating; make sure to

 
      make config; make  
      

before trying to use it.

1.1.1 Usage:

Run command M-x gmaps to bring up the maps interaction buffer. This buffer provides many special commands for talking to Google Maps – use C-h b in emacs to get a list of key-bindings. Here is a brief summary of how things work:

  • You can get directions (walking, driving, by cycling, or public transit) via keystrokes w, d, b, or t. These commands prompt for start and end addresses.
  • You can set your current location by hitting c — ; this will be used for Places Search.
  • You can specify the radius for Places Search by pressing r and specifying the radius e.g. 500 for 500m.
  • You can set up an optional filter for your Places Search by pressing f.
  • Pressing n at this point will show you places in your vicinity that match your filter criteria.
  • Pressing 'space' on a Place displays details for that place.
  • Place details when expanded provide buttons that link you to hours-of-business, Web-site for that place, and the place's G+ page if any.

Note that module GMaps replaces the now obsolete Emapspeak functionality that has been available on C-e?e since early 2005.

Date: 2013-02-28 Thu

Author: T.V Raman

Org version 7.9.3d with Emacs version 24

Validate XHTML 1.0
[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2013-02-28T12:47:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak 37.0 (SolidDog) Unleashed


Emacspeak 37.0—SolidDog—Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-37.0 (SolidDog) Unleashed!

1.1 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (December 21, 2012) Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of Cloud Computing –Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net-- announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 37.0 (SolidDog) –a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Web cloud.

1.2 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of October 2009 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

1.3 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented social Web cloud.

1.4 Major Enhancements:

  • Full EPub support: 📑
  • Websearch enhancements and wizards: 🐚
  • Updated support git interaction via magit: ℣
  • Speech-enables module Kite for debugging Web Apps in Chrome ⛳
  • TTS enhancements: 🙊
  • Updated url templates for task-oriented web actions: ♅
  • SSH port forwarding support for TTS servers🔉
  • Tested against Emacs 23 on stock Ubuntu Lucid..Precise.
  • Emacs 24 Support Updated support for the forthcoming Emacs 24 release.

Plus many more changes too numerous to fit in this margin ∞

1.5 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform used to develop and distribute the software.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

1.6 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".

1.6.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

1.7 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from Google Code Hosting –see http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak/ You can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The HeadDog release is at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/files/emacspeak-35.0.tar.bz2. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is available via Subversion from Google Code Hosting at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

1.8 History:

Emacspeak 37.0 continues the tradition of delivering robust software as reflected by its code-name. Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full EPub support — hence the name EPubDog. Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in honor of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in an eyes-free environment. Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop. Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access. Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop. Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak! Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest. Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software. Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary. Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies. Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information. Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered information access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development. Emacspeak 23.0 – AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access. Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before. Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users. Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction. emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure. Emacspeak-18.0 –code named GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards. Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter. Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing a series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was the first release of this millennium. Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed YellowLab– was the closing release of the 20th. century. Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation. Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience. Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.

Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

About Emacspeak:


Originally based at Cornell (NY) http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman –home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW– Emacspeak is now maintained on GoogleCode --http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak —and Sourceforge —http://emacspeak.sf.net. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

2 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

**About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

Date: 2012-12-21 11:16:59 PST

Author: T.V Raman

Org version 7.8.11 with Emacs version 24

Validate XHTML 1.0
[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2012-12-21T11:53:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak 36.0 (EPubDog) Unleashed!


Emacspeak 36.0—EPubDog—Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-36.0 (EPubDog) Unleashed!

1.1 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (May 4, 2011) Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of Cloud Computing —Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net-- announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 36.0 (EPubDog) —a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Web cloud.

1.2 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of October 2009 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

1.3 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented social Web cloud.

1.4 Major Enhancements:

  • Full EPub support: 📑
  • Websearch enhancements and wizards: 🐚
  • Speech-enables git interaction via magit: ℣
  • Speech-enabled support for finding things fast: 🚤
  • TTS enhancements: 🙊
  • Updated url templates for task-oriented web actions: ♅
  • SSH port forwarding support for TTS servers🔉
  • Updated support for the forthcoming Emacs 24 release.

Plus many more changes too numerous to fit in this margin ∞

1.5 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform used to develop and distribute the software.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

1.6 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user —and not the computer— that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".

1.6.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

1.7 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from Google Code Hosting —see http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak/ You can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The EPubDog release is at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/files/emacspeak-35.0.tar.bz2. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is available via Subversion from Google Code Hosting at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

1.8 History:

Emacspeak 36.0 enhances the audio desktop with many new tools including full EPub support — hence the name EPubDog. Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — and is aptly code-named HeadDog in honor of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in an eyes-free environment. Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop. Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access. Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop. Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak! Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest. Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software. Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary. Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies. Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information. Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered information access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development. Emacspeak 23.0 -- AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access. Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before. Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users. Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction. emacspeak-19.0 —AKA WorkDog— is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure. Emacspeak-18.0 —code named GoodDog— continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Emacspeak-17.0 —code named HappyDog— enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards. Emacspeak-16.0 —code named CleverDog— the follow-up to SmartDog— continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter. Emacspeak-15.0 —code named SmartDog—followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing a series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak-14.0 —code named TopDog—was the first release of this millennium. Emacspeak-13.0 —codenamed YellowLab— was the closing release of the 20th. century. Emacspeak-12.0 —code named GoldenDog— began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation. Emacspeak-11.0 —code named Aster— went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak-10.0 —(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog— continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience. Emacspeak-9.0 —(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab— continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 —(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog— was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.

Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

About Emacspeak:


Originally based at Cornell (NY) http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman —home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW— Emacspeak is now maintained on GoogleCode --http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak —and Sourceforge —http://emacspeak.sf.net. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar —the home of the Emacspeak mailing list— thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

2 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

**About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). —see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

Date: 2012-05-02 14:21:43 PDT

Author: T.V Raman

Org version 7.8.09 with Emacs version 24

Validate XHTML 1.0
[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2012-05-03T17:16:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak 35.0 (HeadDog) Released


Emacspeak 35.0—HeadDog—Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-35.0 (HeadDog) Unleashed!

1.1 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (November 23, 2011) Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of Cloud Computing –Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net-- announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 35.0 (HeadDog) –a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Web cloud.

1.2 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of October 2009 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

1.3 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented social Web cloud.

1.4 Major Enhancements:

emacspeak-websearch.el
Improved search wizards including efficient Google search.
emacspeak-epub.el
Preliminary EPub support.
emacspeak-magit.el
Support for git interaction.
emacspeak-pianobar.el
Pandora radio for the Emacspeak desktop.
emacspeak-dbus.el
DBus integration to receive network notifications.
emacspeak-woman.el
Speech-enable Emacs' built-in Man page interface.
Emacspeak-npr.el
API client for NPR interaction.
emacspeak-librivox.el
API Client For Free Audio Books from Librivox.
emacspeak-url-templates
Updated URL templates for efficient Web interaction.
emacspeak-bookshare.el
Bookshare API Client Updated Bookshare client.
servers/mac
Support For Mac TTS
Emacs 24 Support
Updated support for the forthcoming Emacs 24 release.

Plus many more changes too numerous to fit in this margin 󠇿… ∞

1.5 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform used to develop and distribute the software.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

1.6 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".

1.6.1 Note from Aster,Bubbles and Tilden:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

1.7 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from Google Code Hosting –see http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak/ You can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The HeadDog release is at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/files/emacspeak-34.0.tar.bz2. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is available via Subversion from Google Code Hosting at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

1.8 History:

Emacspeak 35.0 is all about teaching a new dog old tricks — andis aptly code-named HeadDog in honor of our new Press/Analyst contact. emacspeak-34.0 (AKA Bubbles) established a new beach-head with respect to rapid task completion in an eyes-free environment. Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop. Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access. Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog — adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop. Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak! Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest. Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software. Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary. Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies. Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information. Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered information access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development. Emacspeak 23.0 -- AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access. Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before. Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users. Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction. emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure. Emacspeak-18.0 –code named GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards. Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog– the follow-up to SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter. Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing a series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was the first release of this millennium. Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed YellowLab– was the closing release of the 20th. century. Emacspeak-12.0 –code named HeadDog– began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation. Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience. Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.

Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

About Emacspeak:


Originally based at Cornell (NY) http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman –home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW– Emacspeak is now maintained on GoogleCode --http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak —and Sourceforge —http://emacspeak.sf.net. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

2 Press/Analyst Contact: Tilden Labrador

Going forward, Tilden acknowledges his exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

**About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved. HeadDog (DM), LiveDog (DM), HeadDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster, Hubbell and Tilden Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

Date: 2011-11-23 08:44:19 PST

Author: T.V Raman

Org version 7.7 with Emacs version 24

Validate XHTML 1.0
[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2011-11-23T09:33:00.001-08:00

Welcome Press/Analyst Contact Tilden Labrador


For Immediate Release: Monday, August 1, 2011

Emacspeak Inc. Appoints New Press/Analyst Contact

Tilden Labrador

Tilden Labrador, a young, energetic male yellow Labrador, has accepted the position of Press/Analyst contact for Emacspeak Inc. --- in addition to his primary responsibility of being a fulltime guide-dog.
Hand-picked from an exclusive pool of high-quality caninedates, Tilden brings a large and level head to this position of responsibility. Tilden grew up in Monroe Ct, before going to school at Guiding Eyes For The Blind (GEB), NY. He graduated from GEB's Action program after excelling at obstacle avoidance and path planning in Yorktown Heights, peekskill and White Plains. He rounded out his education with a one-week practicum on the Google campus in Mountain View CA.
Tilden brings a fresh perspective to his new job --- he is the first male Labrador to take on the role of Emacspeak Inc.'s press/analyst contact. Asked how he felt about this unique distinction, he pointed out:
"On the Internet no one knows you're a dog, leave alone what gender you are".
Tilden promises to steer Emacspeak in a manner that would do his predecessors Aster Labrador and HubbellLabrador proud.
[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2011-08-01T17:29:00.001-07:00

In Praise Of Bubbles — Emacspeak 34.0 Unleashed!


Emacspeak 34.0—Bubbles—Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-34.0 (Bubbles) Unleashed!

1.1 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (May 13, 2011) Emacspeak: Redefining Accessibility In The Era Of Cloud Computing –Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net-- announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 34.0 (Bubbles) –a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Web cloud.

1.2 Code Name Note

After 11+ years of loyal service, Hubbell Labrador retired from active duty as a guide-dog on April 4,2011; she stayed on as Emacspeak's press contact for another week before finally leaving us on April 11, 2011 — Epitaph. This release is code named Bubbles in honour of her unflagging service over thesee last 11 years.

1.3 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage of #emacspeak, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers—and as of October 2009 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

1.4 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented social Web cloud.

1.5 Major Enhancements:

  1. Updated URL Templates for rapid Web access. ♁
  2. Support for twittering-mode—including logins using OAuth. ●
  3. API Client for NPR programming. 🔘
  4. Librivox API client. 📚
  5. Emacs 24 support ♺
  6. Speech server support for Mac OS.

Plus many more changes too numerous to fit in this margin ∞

1.6 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure—a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform used to develop and distribute the software.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever—it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

1.7 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user –and not the computer– that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".

1.7.1 Note from Aster and Bubbles:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

1.8 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from Google Code Hosting –see http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak/ You can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The StarDog release is at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/files/emacspeak-34.0.tar.bz2. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is available via Subversion from Google Code Hosting at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

1.9 History:

Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop. Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access. Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog --- adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop. Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop—you can't but be social if you speak! Emacspeak 29.0—AKAAbleDog—is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software—it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest. Emacspeak 28.0—AKA PuppyDog—exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software. Emacspeak 27.0—AKA FastDog—is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary. Emacspeak 26—AKA LeadDog—continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies. Emacspeak 25 —AKA ActiveDog —re-activates open, unfettered access to online information. Emacspeak-Alive —AKA LiveDog —enlivens open, unfettered information access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development. Emacspeak 23.0 -- AKA Retriever—went the extra mile in fetching full access. Emacspeak 22.0 —AKA GuideDog —helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before. Emacspeak 21.0 —AKA PlayDog —continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users. Emacspeak-20.0 —AKA LeapDog —continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction. emacspeak-19.0 –AKA WorkDog– is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure. Emacspeak-18.0 –code named GoodDog– continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Emacspeak-17.0 –code named HappyDog– enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards. Emacspeak-16.0 –code named CleverDog-- the follow-up to SmartDog– continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter. Emacspeak-15.0 –code named SmartDog–followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing a series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak-14.0 –code named TopDog–was the first release of this millennium. Emacspeak-13.0 –codenamed YellowLab– was the closing release of the 20th. century. Emacspeak-12.0 –code named GoldenDog– began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation. Emacspeak-11.0 –code named Aster– went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak-10.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog– continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience. Emacspeak-9.0 –(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab– continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 –(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog– was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.

Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

About Emacspeak:


Originally based at Cornell (NY) http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman –home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW– Emacspeak is now maintained on GoogleCode --http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak —and Sourceforge —http://emacspeak.sf.net. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar –the home of the Emacspeak mailing list– thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

2 Press/Analyst Contact: Hubbell Labrador

Going forward, BubbleDog acknowledges her exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

**About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). –see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved. LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2011-05-13T11:24:00.001-07:00

Hubbell (Bubbles) Labrador Biography --- My Bubbly Life


Hubbell (Bubbles) Labrador Biography — My Bubbly Life

You can read Bubbles life story entitled My Bubbly Life. The story is being written from the perspective of an energetic Labrador, full of enthusiasm for life. Linking the blog in here in honor of Emacspeak's Press/Analyst contact for the last 11 years.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2011-04-20T08:46:00.001-07:00

Epitaph: Saying GoodBye To Our Beloved Press/Analyst Contact


After guiding me for 11 years and 2 months, and setting Emacspeak's direction at every step for over 11 years, I Had to say a final goodbye to our beloved mascot and Press/Analyst contact Bubbles went to sleep April 11, 2011 for the final time.

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2011-04-15T19:16:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak: In Praise Of The Bookshare API


Bookshare recently released a light-weight API that enables one to implement custom Bookshare clients. Though Bookshare is fully accessible using either Emacs/W3 or Emacs/W3M from within the Emacspeak desktop, browser based interaction often involves more clicks than are absolutely necessary to finish the task at hand.

Welcome module emacspeak-bookshare, a fully integrated Bookshare client for the Emacspeak desktop. Module emacspeak-bookshare provides a special Bookshare Interaction mode that provides single keystroke commands for searching, downloading and viewing Bookshare materials from within the comfort of the Emacspeak desktop.

Module Emacspeak-bookshare is now checked into SVN, and will be bundled as part of the next Emacspeak release.To learn how to use Bookshare Interaction on the audio desktop, see command emacspeak-bookshare; to view the help for Bookshare Interaction, invoke command describe-mode within the Bookshare Interaction buffer.

Read and Enjoy!

is
[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2011-02-07T08:20:00.001-08:00

Silence Is Golden


Speech is silvern --- but silence is golden! In the spirit of the above, I just added command emacspeak-silence to Emacspeak. You can bind this command to your favorite key for silencing all audio output on the complete audio desktop --- including any active media streams.

What This Does

Command emacspeak-silence stops speech by calling dtk-stop. It then runs commands placed on emacspeak-silence-hook. Each media player defined by Emacspeak updates hook emacspeak-silence-hook with an appropriate action that pauses or resumes that player.

I've also updated the keymaps in tvr/console-keymaps to set up the windows key on the console to produce [silence], and bound command emacspeak-silence to [silence] in emacspeak-keymap.el.

The net effect is that if you use those console maps, you can just hit the windows key whenever you want to silence all audio output; pressing it again will resume any media streams you had active.

Share And Enjoy --- and here's wishing our Press/Analyst contact a very Happy 13th Birthday --- mark it with a palindromic moment at 010212212010 i.e., Tue Dec 21 01:02:15 PST 2010

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2010-12-21T09:54:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak 33.0 (StarDog) Unleashed!


Emacspeak 33.0 --- StarDog --- Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-33.0 (StarDog) Unleashed!

1.1 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (Nov 24, 2010) Emacspeak: Bringing Cloud Access From The Stars -- Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net-- announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 33.0 (StarDog) -- a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Web cloud.

1.2 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers --- and as of October 2009 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

1.3 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented Web cloud.

1.4 Major Enhancements:

  1. Updated URL Templates for rapid Web access. ♁
  2. Support for twittering-mode --- including logins using OAuth. ●
  3. Updated Google docs support enables publishing from org-mode. ○
  4. Enhanced BBC iPlayer support ☢
  5. Emacs 24 support ♺

Plus many more changes too numerous to fit in this margin ∞

1.5 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure --- a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform used to develop and distribute the software.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever --- it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

1.6 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user -- and not the computer -- that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".

1.6.1 Note from Aster and Bubbles:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

1.7 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from Google Code Hosting -- see http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak/ You can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The StarDog release is at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/files/emacspeak-33.0.tar.bz2. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is available via Subversion from Google Code Hosting at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

1.8 History:

Emacspeak-33.0 AKA StarDog brings unparalleled cloud access to the audio desktop. Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access. Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog --- adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop. Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop --- you can't but be social if you speak! Emacspeak 29.0 --- AKAAbleDog --- is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software --- it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest. Emacspeak 28.0 --- AKA PuppyDog --- exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software. Emacspeak 27.0 --- AKA FastDog --- is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary. Emacspeak 26 --- AKA LeadDog --- continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies. Emacspeak 25 -- AKA ActiveDog -- re-activates open, unfettered access to online information. Emacspeak-Alive -- AKA LiveDog -- enlivens open, unfettered information access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development. Emacspeak 23.0 -- AKA Retriever --- went the extra mile in fetching full access. Emacspeak 22.0 -- AKA GuideDog -- helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before. Emacspeak 21.0 -- AKA PlayDog -- continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users. Emacspeak-20.0 -- AKA LeapDog -- continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction. emacspeak-19.0 -- AKA WorkDog -- is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure. Emacspeak-18.0 -- code named GoodDog -- continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Emacspeak-17.0 -- code named HappyDog -- enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards. Emacspeak-16.0 -- code named CleverDog-- the follow-up to SmartDog -- continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter. Emacspeak-15.0 -- code named SmartDog -- followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing a series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak-14.0 -- code named TopDog -- was the first release of this millennium. Emacspeak-13.0 -- codenamed YellowLab -- was the closing release of the 20th. century. Emacspeak-12.0 -- code named GoldenDog -- began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation. Emacspeak-11.0 -- code named Aster -- went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak-10.0 -- (AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog -- continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience. Emacspeak-9.0 -- (AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab -- continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 -- (AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog -- was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.

Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

About Emacspeak:


Originally based at Cornell (NY) http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman -- home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW -- Emacspeak is now maintained on GoogleCode --http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak -- and Sourceforge -- http://emacspeak.sf.net. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar -- the home of the Emacspeak mailing list -- thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

2 Press/Analyst Contact: Hubbell Labrador

Going forward, BubbleDog acknowledges her exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

**About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). -- see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved. LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

Author: T.V Raman

Date: 2010-11-24 08:43:55 PST

HTML generated by org-mode 7.01 in emacs 24

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2010-11-24T10:53:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak 32.0 (LuckyDog) Unleashed


Emacspeak 32.0 --- LuckyDog --- Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-32.0 (LuckyDog) Unleashed!

1.1 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (May 13, 2010) Emacspeak: Bringing tweet Access For social beings -- ;Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net-- announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 32.0 (LuckyDog) -- ;a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Web cloud.

1.2 Investors Note:

With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers --- and as of October 2009 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

1.3 What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented Web cloud.

1.4 Major Enhancements:

  1. Updated URL Templates for rapid Web access. ♁
  2. BBC iPlayer support ☢
  3. Updated EPub support ✍
  4. Emacs 24 support ♺

Plus many more changes too numerous to fit in this margin ∞

1.5 Establishing Liberty, Equality And Freedom:

Never a toy system, Emacspeak is voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions. Though designed to be modular, distributors have freely chosen to bundle the fully integrated system without any undue pressure --- a documented success for the integrated innovation embodied by Emacspeak. As the system evolves, both upgrades and downgrades continue to be available at the same zero-cost to all users. The integrity of the Emacspeak codebase is ensured by the reliable and secure Linux platform used to develop and distribute the software.

Extensive studies have shown that thanks to thesee features, users consider Emacspeak to be absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the present version remains priceless as ever --- it is being made available at the same zero-cost as previous releases.

At the same time, Emacspeak continues to innovate in the area of eyes-free social interaction and carries forward the well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user interface features that eventually show up in luser environments.

On this theme, when once challenged by a proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed mousetrap with the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of Emacspeak evinced surprise at the unusual candor manifest in the assertion that it would take popular idiot-proven interfaces until the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is today. Industry experts welcomed this refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more convoluted press releases.

1.6 Independent Test Results:

Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern (and not so modern) software, Emacspeak can be safely uninstalled without adversely affecting the continued performance of the computer. These same tests also revealed that once uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether. Speaking with Aster Labrador, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that thesee results re-emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is the user -- ;and not the computer -- ; that stops functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".

1.6.1 Note from Aster and Bubbles:

UnDoctored Videos Inc. is looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure.

1.7 Obtaining Emacspeak:

Emacspeak can be downloaded from Google Code Hosting -- ;see http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak/ You can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The LuckyDog release is at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/files/emacspeak-32.0.tar.bz2. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is available via Subversion from Google Code Hosting at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

1.8 History:

Emacspeak 32.0 AKA LuckyDog continues to innovate via open technologies for better access. Emacspeak 31.0 AKA TweetDog --- adds tweeting to the Emacspeak desktop. Emacspeak 30.0 AKA SocialDog brings the Social Web to the audio desktop --- you can't but be social if you speak! Emacspeak 29.0 --- AKAAbleDog --- is a testament to the resilliance and innovation embodied by Open Source software --- it would not exist without the thriving Emacs community that continues to ensure that Emacs remains one of the premier user environments despite perhaps also being one of the oldest. Emacspeak 28.0 --- AKA PuppyDog --- exemplifies the rapid pace of development evinced by Open Source software. Emacspeak 27.0 --- AKA FastDog --- is the latest in a sequence of upgrades that make previous releases obsolete and downgrades unnecessary. Emacspeak 26 --- AKA LeadDog --- continues the tradition of introducing innovative access solutions that are unfettered by the constraints inherent in traditional adaptive technologies. Emacspeak 25 -- ; AKA ActiveDog -- ; re-activates open, unfettered access to online information. Emacspeak-Alive -- ; AKA LiveDog -- ; enlivens open, unfettered information access with a series of live updates that once again demonstrate the power and agility of open source software development. Emacspeak 23.0 -- AKA Retriever --- went the extra mile in fetching full access. Emacspeak 22.0 -- ; AKA GuideDog -- ; helps users navigate the Web more effectively than ever before. Emacspeak 21.0 -- ; AKA PlayDog -- ; continued the Emacspeak tradition of relying on enhanced productivity to liberate users. Emacspeak-20.0 -- ; AKA LeapDog -- ; continues the long established GNU/Emacs tradition of integrated innovation to create a pleasurable computing environment for eyes-free interaction. emacspeak-19.0 -- ;AKA WorkDog -- ; is designed to enhance user productivity at work and leisure. Emacspeak-18.0 -- ;code named GoodDog -- ; continued the Emacspeak tradition of enhancing user productivity and thereby reducing total cost of ownership. Emacspeak-17.0 -- ;code named HappyDog -- ; enhances user productivity by exploiting today's evolving WWW standards. Emacspeak-16.0 -- ;code named CleverDog-- the follow-up to SmartDog -- ; continued the tradition of working better, faster, smarter. Emacspeak-15.0 -- ;code named SmartDog -- ;followed up on TopDog as the next in a continuing a series of award-winning audio desktop releases from Emacspeak Inc. Emacspeak-14.0 -- ;code named TopDog -- ;was the first release of this millennium. Emacspeak-13.0 -- ;codenamed YellowLab -- ; was the closing release of the 20th. century. Emacspeak-12.0 -- ;code named GoldenDog -- ; began leveraging the evolving semantic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to Webformation. Emacspeak-11.0 -- ;code named Aster -- ; went the final step in making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak-10.0 -- ;(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog -- ; continued the tradition of award-winning software releases designed to make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience. Emacspeak-9.0 -- ;(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab -- ; continued to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 -- ;(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog -- ; was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs.

Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.

About Emacspeak:


Originally based at Cornell (NY) http://www.cs.cornell.edu/home/raman -- ;home to Auditory User Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW -- ; Emacspeak is now maintained on GoogleCode --http://code.google.com/p/emacspeak -- ; and Sourceforge -- ; http://emacspeak.sf.net. The system is mirrored world-wide by an international network of software archives and bundled voluntarily with all major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak became part of the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar -- ;the home of the Emacspeak mailing list -- ; thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman, and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.

2 Press/Analyst Contact: Hubbell Labrador

Going forward, BubbleDog acknowledges her exclusive monopoly on setting the direction of the Emacspeak Audio Desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

**About This Release:


Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF). -- ;see http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm for details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.

CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved. LiveDog (DM), GoldenDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) etc., are Registered Dogmarks of Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All other dogs belong to their respective owners.

Author: T.V Raman

Date: 2010-05-10 17:37:06 PDT

HTML generated by org-mode 6.35i in emacs 24

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2010-05-12T17:38:00.001-07:00

AsTeR --- Audio System For Technical Readings


Almost exactly 16 years to the date after presenting AsTeR --- Audio System For Technical Readings --- to the CS Faculty at Cornell for my PhD, I released the source code as Open Source --- thanks to Prof. David Gries at Cornell for approving this release.

The sources are checked into GoogleCode project aster-math --- unfortunately, the name AsTeR was unavailable since there is an unrelated project of the same name at SourceForge.

So you might well ask: why 16 years later, and why now? The honest answer is No good reason, except that after graduating from Cornell, I decided that I would work on newer projects, and consequently had no cycles to support the AsTeR code base. Nothing has changed in that context, nor is it likely to change in the coming future; however I get requests off and on from different parts of the Web from teachers and students alike who have seen my PhD theseis, played with the demos, and wish to study the sources.

What You'll Find In The Sources

The code has not been actively developed since I finished my work at Cornell; however, over the years, I 've ensured that the system starts up and runs on Linux using the Open Source CLisp environment. The only text-to-speech engine that is supported is the hardware DECTalk --- though it should be a small matter of programming to support the various Emacspeak speech servers. If you do checkout the source code, start by looking at the README file which contains brief instructions on getting started. Feel free to use the Emacspeak mailing list for now if you wish to discuss the code --- if the traffic justifies it, we can later create a project-specific list.

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T. V. Raman at

2010-01-26T08:41:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak 31 (AKA TweetDog) Unleashed!


Emacspeak 31.0 - TweetDog - Unleashed!

1 Emacspeak-31.0 (TweetDog) Unleashed!


2 For Immediate Release:

San Jose, Calif., (Nov 26, 2009) Emacspeak: Bringing tweet Access For social beings - Zero cost of upgrades/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) --http://emacspeak.sf.net-- announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 31.0 (TweetDog) - a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data, social and service-oriented Web cloud.

Downloads Reference Installation Usage Tips Tools Support
EMACSPEAK Logo
About the author SourceForge

2.1 Investors Note:


With several prominent tweeters expanding coverage, NASDOG: ESPK has now been consistently trading over the net at levels close to that once attained by DogCom high-fliers - and as of October 2009 is trading at levels close to that achieved by once better known stocks in the tech sector.

2.2 What Is It?


Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending live access to all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing, blogging, social computing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented Web cloud.

2.3 Major Enhancements:


  1. Speech-enables Twitter. ✹
  2. Unicode support for enabling the world's various charsets.♁
  3. Emacs front-end to popular Google AJAX APIs. ⚤
  4. Updated g-client with preliminary support for Google Docs. ✏
  5. Updated URL Templates for rapid Web access. ♅
  6. Updated WebSearch wizards for enhanced productivity.♄

Plus many more changes too numerous to fit in this margin ... ⚭

[Edit] [Self] [HTML]

T. V. Raman at

2009-11-25T17:22:00.001-08:00

A Google Tool-belt For The Complete Audio Desktop


Introducing The Emacspeak Google Tool-belt

Module emacspeak-google.el implements a suite of Google tools collectively referred to as The Google Tool-Belt. These tools let you slice and dice your result set using the various search operators provided by Google --- the functionality is similar to that -- --offered by the Google results page via -- --user interface control Show -- --Options.

The table below summarizes the tools that are presently available on the Emacspeak Google Tool-belt. For convenience, the tool-belt is bound to prefix-key Control-t in Emacs/W3 buffers.

keybinding
C-t C-bemacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-books-viewability
C-t Aemacspeak-websearch-accessible-google
C-t Bemacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-books
C-t Hemacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-web-history-not-visited
C-t Temacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-timeline
C-t aemacspeak-websearch-google
C-t bemacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-blog
C-t cemacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-commercial
C-t demacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-sort-by-date
C-t femacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-forums
C-t hemacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-web-history-visited
C-t iemacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-images
C-t lemacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-non-commercial
C-t nemacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-news
C-t pemacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-commercial-prices
C-t remacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-recent
C-t semacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-structured-snippets
C-t temacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-books-type
C-t vemacspeak-google-toolbelt-change-video

Share And Enjoy!

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T. V. Raman at

2009-10-13T08:57:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak, The World's Fonts And Braille


Emacspeak has supported the editing of Unicode text for over a year now --- thanks to the patches fromLukas. With the support now mature, I have now retired option emacspeak-unibyte --- Emacspeak no longer supports running Emacs in unibyte mode. Note that this aligns Emacspeak with Emacs 23.2 which obsoletes unibytemode.

When you edit text containing Unicode characters, Emacspeak uses the name of the character as found in the description file from the Unicode consortium --- you will need to download and install that data file as documented in Emacs:

      describe-char-unicodedata-file is a variable defined in
      `descr-text.el'.
      Its value is 
      "/usr/local/share/unicode/UnicodeData.txt"
      
      Documentation:
      Location of Unicode data file.
      This is the UnicodeData.txt file from the Unicode Consortium, used
      for
      diagnostics.  If it is non-nil `describe-char' will print data
      looked up from it.  This facility is mostly of use to people doing
      multilingual development.
      
      This is a fairly large file, not typically present on GNU systems.
      At the time of writing it is at the URL
      `http://www.unicode.org/Public/UNIDATA/UnicodeData.txt'.
      
      You can customize this variable.
      
      This variable was introduced, or its default value was changed, in
      version 22.1 of Emacs.
      
      

With the Unicode data file in place, Emacspeak can announce names of characters from all of the world's fonts --- this includes Braille. As an added convenience, I have integrated package toy-braille.el found on the Emacs wiki into the Emacs codebase and defined a new interactive command emacspeak-wizards-braille --- if you find yourself using it often, you can bind it to a key of your choice. Command emacspeak-wizards-braille prompts for thesetring to Braille and produces a Grade-1 representation of the specified string using the appropriate Unicode characters.

⠠⠃⠗⠁⠊⠇⠇⠑⠀⠠⠁⠝⠙⠀⠠⠑⠝⠚⠕⠽

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T. V. Raman at

2009-09-21T08:49:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak: Google News Suggest For Faster News Search


Google News now provides search suggestions --- this feature -- --has been present in Google WebSearch for a few years. As in the case of WebSearch, Emacspeak now leverages Google News' suggest feature to provide minibuffer completion when performing news searches on Google. To try the feature, try:

Search and Enjoy

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T. V. Raman at

2009-09-15T08:16:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak Servers --- Catching Up With Debian And Ubuntu


Over the last couple of years, the TCL world has moved on from TCL8.3 to TCL8.4 --- this introduces a set of needed changes to how Emacspeak servers such as Espeak and ViaVoice-Outloud work. I have finally decided to break backward compatibility with TCL8.3 and move things forward to TCL8.4, now that all the Linux distributions have settled on TCL8.4.

Also, sometime in 2005, I transitioned all of the server Makefiles to use libtool --- at the time, it made compilation of the servers somewhat easier. However, this has tended to make things more complex over time, thanks to changes in libtool. I've now dropped the libtool dependency in favor of using simpler Makefiles --- thanks William Hubbs of Gentoo!

ViaVoice Outloud Server For Emacspeak

The Voxin package from Guilles continues to be the easiest means of obtaining high-quality text-to-speech on Linux. Installation of that package went smoothly on Hardy; however on Jaunty, things did not go so well, see notes below for things to watch out for on Jaunty or later.

ESpeak And Emacspeak

The ESpeak server does not get affected by the above problem. However, unless you install package alsa-oss and invoke that server as :aoss tcl espeak the server will fail to start if some other application is using the audio device.

Software Dectalk And Emacspeak

This still needs testing under newer Linux distributions --- I've not used it in a long time and dont have the libs installed any more.

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T. V. Raman at

2009-08-27T08:28:00.001-07:00

Launching Favorite Media Via Hot Keys


Launching Oft-Played Media On The Complete Audio Desktop

Command emacspeak-multimedia lets you launch all forms of local and remote media. However this still requires you to specify the media location --- and this requires a bunch of keystrokes that you end up repeating for selecting media that you play often, e.g., from your private music collection. No more extra keystrokes, you can now have Emacspeak automatically assign suitable hotkeys for launching emacspeak-media onyour favorite audio collections.

How It Works

In my own case, I have favorites defined on hyper-<n> so I can define up to 10 hotkey assignments for media locations.Once launched, Emacspeak automatically switches to the media player buffer; note that this is different from how emacspeak-multimedia normally works. The justification: this hotkey interface is ideally suited to remote controls, joysticks, and any other peripheral via which you can deliver input to Emacs.

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T. V. Raman at

2009-06-29T10:48:00.001-07:00

Looking Beyond The Screen At Google I/O2009


Come join me and Charles Chen at Google I/O2009 at our session on LookingBeyond The Screen (YouTube Preview where we will describe some of our work on eyes-free interaction on Android. We'll be around during most of Google I/O, so if you are interested in eyes-free interaction ranging from Emacspeak to Fire-Vox, or anything else eyes-free, feel free to grab us in the hallways. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Abstract: Looking Beyond The Screen

Looking Beyond The Screen

Project Eyes-Free aims to enable fluent eyes-free use of mobile devices running Android. Target uses range from eyes-busy environments like in-car use to users who are unwilling to or incapable of looking at the visual display --- see For The Blind, Technology Does What A Guide Dog Can't, NYTimes, January 4, 2009, for a high-level overview. As described in that article, we are releasing components from project Eyes-Free as they become ready for end-user deployment. This announcement marks the first public release of the eyes-free shell on the Android Marketplace, though the underlying source code has been available for some time from the code repository at Google Code Hosting.

Here is a brief overview of the end-user affordances provided in this release:

  1. An Eyes-Free Shell for conveniently launching talking applications.
  2. A collection of useful talking applications that turn an Android phone into an eyes-free communication device --- see subsequent sections for an overview of thesee applications. Note that these eapplications have been written to be both useful to end-users as well as to help the developer community to come up to speed with developing eyes-free applications for Android.

We will be uploading video tutorials demonstrating the use of thesee applications to YouTube --- please see the project Web site for thesee links as they become available.

Talking Dialer

A key innovation is the use of the touch screen to enable one-handed, eyes-free dialing of phone numbers using the touch screen --- see Miguel Helft's NY Times article cited above for a good layman's description of the technique. The talking dialer comes with a talking phone-book that enables users to quickly select a desired contact using the touch screen.

Knowing Your Location

This mini-application announces your present location based on information acquired via GPS and the cell network. It speaks your current heading using the built-in magnetic compass, looks up the current location on Google Maps, and announces the location in terms of a nearby address and street intersection.

Device State

This mini-application announces useful information such as battery state, signal strength, and availability of WiFi networks.

Date And Time

This mini-application provides single-touch access to current date and time.

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T. V. Raman at

2009-05-22T09:04:00.001-07:00

Announcing emacspeak 30.0 --- SocialDog!


Emacspeak-30.0 (SocialDog) Unleashed!

For Immediate Release

San Jose, CA, (May 11, 2009)
Emacspeak: --- Bringing friendly Access For social beings
--Zero cost of upgrade/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Downloads Reference Installation Usage Tips Tools Support
EMACSPEAK Logo
About the author SourceForge

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak-30 --a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data and service-oriented social Web cloud.

Investors Note

With several prominent analysts initiating coverage, NASDOG: ESPK continues to trade over the net at levels close to that once attained by the DogCom high-fliers of yester-years and as of October 2008 is trading at levels close to that achieved by better known stocks in the tech sector.

What Is It?

Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating environments. By seamlessly blending all aspects of the Internet such as Web-surfing and electronic messaging into the audio desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote information with a consistent and well-integrated user interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving service-oriented Web cloud.

Major Enhancements

  1. Speech-enables Twitter.
  2. Unicode support for enabling the world's various charsets.
  3. Emacs front-end to popular Google AJAX APIs.
  4. Updated g-client with preliminary support for Google Docs.
  5. Updated URL Templates for rapid Web access.
  6. Updated WebSearch wizards for enhanced productivity.
  7. Emacs 23 support.

See the NEWS file for additional details.

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T. V. Raman at

2009-05-11T13:43:00.001-07:00

Toward an Accessible Democracy --- White House Moderator AxsJAXed


Toward An Accessible Democracy --- White House Moderator AxsJAXed!

This is not directly Emacspeak related --- except that it is useful for emacspeak users. Project AxsJAX, combined with Fire-Vox does for Web-2.0 applications what Emacspeak does for applications written within Emacs. Charles and I just announced AxsJAX For White House Moderator --- an AxsJAX extension that applies W3C ARIA to the White House Moderator.I'll append the article below:

An ARIA For The White House Moderator

Google-AxsJAX was launched in late 2007 as a library for access-enabling Web-2.0 applications. Since then, we have released accessibility enhancements for many Web-2.0 applications via the AxsJAX site as early experiments that have eventually graduated into the products being extended. Today, we are happy to announce an early AxsJAX extension for Google Moderator that enables fluent eyes-free use of Google Moderator as seen on the White House site.

HowTo: Brief Overview.

For details on installing and using AxsJAX extensions, see the AxsJAX FAQ. Briefly, you need Firefox 3.0 and a screenreader that supports W3C ARIA. Users who do not have a screenreader installed can most easily experience the results by installing Fire Vox, a freely available self-voicing extension for Firefox.

With the AxsJAX extension in place, you can use Google Moderator via the keyboard, with all user interaction producing spoken feedback via W3C ARIA. Here is a brief overview of the user experience:

  1. The user interface is divided into logical panes --- one listing topic areas, and the other listing questions in a given topic. At times, e.g., before a meeting, you may find an additional Featured Question pane that shows a randomly selected question that you can vote on.
  2. Users can ask new questions under a given topic, or give a thumbs-up/down to questions that have already been asked.
  3. Use the left and right arrow keys to switch between the two panes. You hear the title of the selected pane as you switch.
  4. Use up and down arrows to navigate among the items in the selected pane. As you navigate, you hear the current item.
  5. Hit enter to select the current item.
  6. The current item can be magnified by repeated presses of the + (or =) key. To reduce magnification, press the - key.
  7. When navigating the questions in a given topic, hit y or n to vote a question up or down.
  8. When navigating items in the topic pane, hit a to ask aquestion. Once you confirm your request to post the question, it will show up in the list of questions for that topic so that others can vote that question up or down.

Please use Google Group Accessible for providing feedback on this AxsJAX extension.

Share And Enjoy--

Raman and Charles.

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T. V. Raman at

2009-03-26T10:06:00.001-07:00

Announcing Emacspeak 29.0 (AbleDog)


Downloads Reference Installation Usage Tips Tools Support
EMACSPEAK Logo
About the author SourceForge

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak-29 --a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data and service-oriented Web cloud.

Investors Note

With several prominent analysts initiating coverage, NASDOG: ESPK continues to trade over the net at levels close to that once attained by the DogCom high-fliers of yester-years and as of October 2008 is trading at levels close to that achieved by better known stocks in the tech sector.

Major Enhancements

  1. Speech-enables proced --- a new task manager.
  2. Emacspeak-Webspace for rapid access to content feeds.
  3. Unicode support for enabling the world's various charsets.
  4. Emacs front-end to popular Google AJAX APIs.
  5. Updated g-client with preliminary support for Google Docs.
  6. Updated URL Templates for rapid Web access.
  7. Updated WebSearch wizards for enhanced productivity.
  8. One-shot Google Search with suggestions for word under point.
  9. Emacs 23 support.

See the NEWS file for additional details.

Harnessing Emacspeak

You can visit Emacspeak at SourceForge. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is available via subversion from Google Code Hosting. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu.

Press/Analyst Contact: Hubbell Labrador
Going forward, BubbleDog acknowledges her exclusive monopoly on setting the direction the the Emacspeak Audio desktop, and promises to exercise this freedom to innovate and her resulting power responsibly (as before) in the interest of all dogs.

Emacspeak-28.0
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T. V. Raman at

2008-11-26T16:31:00.001-08:00

Emacspeak Webspace Goodies


Module emacspeak-webspace has a few new goodies on offer. If you activate WebSpace Headlines to obtain a continuously updating ticker of headlines, you may also at times want to find one of the headlines you heard go by and read the relevant article. Command emacspeak-webspace-headlines-view bound by default to C-RET pops up a special Headlines buffer that lists all the currently available headlines. This is a regular Emacs buffer that uses a special major mode called emacspeak-webspace-mode. This modeprovides special commands to open a feed at point, follow hyperlinks etc.; use Emacs' online help facilities to learn how this buffer works.

Mode emacspeak-webspace-mode is also used toadvantage in browsing information retrieved via the Google AJAX APIs described in the previous set of articles on this blog. Google Reader subscribers can now view the subscription list in a Webspace buffer via command emacspeak-webspace-reader. Additionally, command emacspeak-webspace-google provides a more convenient interface to command gweb-google-at-point --- in addition to speaking the snippet from the first search hit, this command places the first four results in a special Search Results buffer that is put in Webspace mode.

Search And Enjoy!
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T. V. Raman at

2008-09-09T17:40:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak-WebSpace Just Got A Lot Faster


In Praise Of Google AJAX APIS

New module gfeeds.el (part of Library g-client) now implements a Lisp interface to the Google AJAX FeedSearch API. An immediate consequence of this is that module Emacspeak-WebSpace just got orders of magnitude faster --- not that it was slow to start with:-)

Feed And Enjoy!

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T. V. Raman at

2008-08-20T07:12:00.001-07:00

In Praise Of The Google Search AJAX API


In Praise Of The Google AJAX Search API

Emacspeak has always provided Google Search with a single keystroke from anywhere on the audio desktop. But with the coming of the Google AJAX Search API it becomes possible to integrate Google Search at a far deeper level into your fingertips! The AJAX API demonstrates the true speed of Google Search, since you dont need to wait for an HTML page to download and render --- results are served as a light-weight JSON data structure.

What You Can Now Do

Module gsearch (part of the g-client package) provides an interactive command gsearch-google-at-point --- I have this bound to key hyper-/ in Emacs. Executing this command from anywhere inside Emacs does the following:

  • Grabs word under point, and prompts in the minibuffer for a search-term --- with the word we just grabbed as the default.
  • Fetches other relevant search terms in the background via Google Suggest, and makes thesee available via Emacs' minibuffer history mechanism. Use keys M-n and M-p to cycle through thesee if needed.
  • Hitting ENTER performs a Google Search using the AJAX API, and displays the title and content snippet for the first search result.
  • Executing command gsearch-google-at-point subsequently at the same location opens the first search result.

Search And Enjoy!

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T. V. Raman at

2008-08-14T16:51:00.001-07:00

Tutorial: Enhancing Web 2.0 Usability Using AxsJAX


You can watch a video of the tutorial Charles and I gave as part of the Google Open Source series on July 14. Emacspeak users can play the video by pressing e e on the above link and specifying emacspeak-m-player-youtube-player when prompted.

Abstract

Google is the Web's premier creator of user-friendly Web 2.0 applications, and I have long viewed it as part of our mission to do for users in the long tail (AKA users with special needs) what we've achieved for the mainstream user. Accessibility 2.0 is now a hot topic on the Web --- and we would like to move from a world where AJAX applications were a straight No-No with respect to blind users to a world where thesee same technologies are used to enhance their usability for everyone.

Google-AxsJAX is an Open Source framework for injecting accessibility for users with special needs --- and more generally, usability enhancements --- into Web 2.0 applications. In this TechTalk, Charles Chen and I give a hands-on tutorial on using AxsJAX to enhance the usability of Web 2.0 applications. The tutorial covers the following:

This tutorial focuses on solutions we've already built and deployed both within shipping products and as early end-user experiments. Google products that we will cover include:

And time permitting, we might even demonstrate how I now make up for all the time I save thanks to an efficient eyes-free auditory user interface by playing JawBreaker and reading XKCD via their AxsJAXed versions.

Note that writing AxsJAX enhancements to Web applications can help you win bragging rights and cool swag! The goal of this hands-on tutorial is to help you get there faster!

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T. V. Raman at

2008-08-01T08:07:00.001-07:00

Talk Announcement: Developing Accessible Web-2.0 Applications


For those of you in Silicon Valley, Charles Chen and I will be giving a talk on developing accessible Web 2.0 applications as part of the Google Open Source Series --- see details below. This will be a hands-on tutorial on ARIA-enhancing Web 2.0 applications using Google AxsJAX, and is a follow-up to the talk given at Google I/O . A video of this talk will be posted later on the Web.

Open Source Developers @ Google Speaker Series: Charles Chen & T.V. Raman

Want to learn more about creating accessible Web 2.0 applications from the creators of Fire Vox and Emacspeak ? If you are nearby Google's Mountain View, California, USA Headquarters on Monday, July 14th, please join us for Charles Chen and T.V. Raman's presentation Enhancing Web 2.0 Accessibility via AxsJAX. They will take you through a hands on tutorial on Google-AxsJax , an Open Source framework for injecting usability enhancements into Web 2.0 applications. Among other topics, Charles and T.V. will cover an overview of AxsJAX's developer tools, enabling eyes-free interaction for web applications and iterative design processes for accessibility improvements. They will also let you know the secret to getting a cool t-shirt with the Google logo printed in Braille.

Like all sessions of the Open Source Developers @ Google Speaker Series, this session will be open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 PM and light refreshments will be served. All are welcome and encouraged to attend; guests should plan to sign in at Building 43 reception upon arrival. For those of you who cannot join us in person, the presentation will be taped and published along with all public Google Tech Talks.

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T. V. Raman at

2008-07-14T08:17:00.001-07:00

ProcEd: A Speech-Enabled Task Manager For Emacs


For the last 10 years or so, view-process-mode has been my task manager of choice for monitoring and controlling the state of processes on the Emacspeak audio desktop. As of Emacs 23, AKA Emacs from CVS, that module does not work anymore --- in fact it has not been updated for several years. On the positive side, Emacs now bundles module ProcEd --- a task manager that does for processes what module DirEd does for files and directories. As of this morning, proced.el is fully speech-enabled by Emacspeak. You can install module ProcEd for Emacs 22 by obtaining the file from the Web --- you can easily find it via Google.

Share And Enjoy ... And have a great July 4th Holiday!

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T. V. Raman at

2008-07-03T07:36:00.001-07:00

Leveraging Web 2.0 Design Patterns For Enhanced Accessibility


As promised, here is a link to the Youtube video of the talk on Leveraging Web 2.0 Patterns For Accessibility given during Google I/O on May 28, 2008 in San Francisco. Emacspeak users can play the video by hitting e eon the link, and specifying emacspeak-m-player-youtube-player when prompted. You can find the downloadable slides used during the talk along with other session material on the Google I/O page for this session.

Talk Details

Leveraging Web 2.0 Design Patterns For Enhanced Accessibility T. V. Raman (Google)

HTML DOM+ JavaScript constitutes the assembly language of Web Applications. Access To Rich Internet Applications --- ARIA --- adds in a couple of additional op-codes for helping Web applications better communicate with adaptive technologies such as screenreaders. How do we now push the envelope with respect to Web applications and adaptive technologies such as screenreaders and self-voicing browsers in a manner similar to what we as Web developers have collectively achieved for the mainstream user? This session will demonstrate programming techniques that help Web developers experiment with and build in the latest accessibility techniques into their Web applications. We will base this session on project Google-AxsJAX. Developers should know JavaScript, but session doesn't require deep AJAX hackery.

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T. V. Raman at

2008-06-12T15:30:00.001-07:00

AxsJAX And Auditory User Interfaces At Google IO


For those of you interested in Auditory User Interfaces and attending Google IO 2008 in San Francisco today, I'll be giving a talk on AxsJAX and Auditory User Interfaces, and be around the rest of the two days to talk about Google's work on access-enabling Web-2.0 applications. Look forward to seeing you there!

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T. V. Raman at

2008-05-28T07:23:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak On Thinkpad X-61 Running Gutsy (Ubuntu 7.0)


I recently upgraded to a Thinkpad X-61 running Gutsy --- here are some brief notes on the move. In summary, all is well, and I like Gutsy running on the X-61.

Here are things to be aware of both from a hardware and software perspective. All of this is with X and GNOME turned off; note that some of the tips e.g. turning off the display as described here, will cause havoc with X.

All in all, the upgrade to Gutsy was mostly painless --- other than having to figure out the usual nits about the new hardware. The /proc/acpi/ibm support is further along but not yet complete--- as an example /proc/acpi/ibm/video does not yet control the state of the LCD --- and you cannot query the state of the display reliably through that interface.

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T. V. Raman at

2008-05-16T13:40:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak-28.0 (PuppyDog) Unleashed!


Emacspeak-28.0 (PuppyDog) Unleashed!

For Immediate Release

San Jose, CA, (May. 16, 2007)
Emacspeak: --- Bringing Cutting-Edge Access For Keen Users
--Zero cost of upgrade/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak-27 --a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data and service-oriented semantic Web.

Emacspeak can be downloaded from Google Code Hosting --see GoogleCode You can visit Emacspeak on the WWW at http://emacspeak.sf.net. You can subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. The PuppyDog release is here. The latest development snapshot of Emacspeak is available via Subversion from Google Code Hosting at http://emacspeak.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

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T. V. Raman at

2008-05-15T19:04:00.001-07:00

W4A Keynote: Cloud Computing And Equal Access For All


I'll be giving the opening keynote at the upcoming W4A 2008 conference in Beijing on April 21. You can find an online version of the paper along with the slides here: Cloud Computing And Equal Access For All. Coincidentally, another excellent Web 2.0 accessibility event is happening on the same day in London --- see Accessibility 2.0 --- it's unfortunate one cannot be in multiple places at opposite corners of the globe at the same time!

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T. V. Raman at

2008-04-12T13:07:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak Goes Social


Leveraging The Benefits Of Free Speech!

For Immediate Release:
April 1, 2008

Live From San Jose ... Emacspeak Goes Social!

Investors and users alike welcomed today's announcement that Emacspeak (NASDOG:ESPK) would be going social --- Going Social is better than Going Postal!

As a pioneer in the space of eyes-free information access, and a firm believer in free speech and free software, Emacspeak will now help users go social speech-free --- all users need do is to use the system. When in use, the free-social features of Emacspeak will talk to others on your behalf, answer inane questions, and contribute to the community by in its turn asking even more inane questions of everyone else. In a repeat of the network effect that has led to the resounding success of systems like the World Wide Web and The Blogosphere, thesee viral features in Emacspeak are expected to win ones running instance many social connections. The longer one uses thesee features, the deeper one's social graph --- going forward, the information encapsulated in thesee social graphs will be converted to ever-increasing stacks of small pieces of green paper.

Coming Soon!

As thesee features are launched over the next few weeks, expect Emacspeak generated conversation streams to show up everywhere ranging from Twitter streams to random email messages that you can usefully use to forward to spammers. This innovative approach to communication finally adds value to spam --- and is being hailed as the next biggest business model to hit the ether. By making such content available on the Internet, the system will foster the long term human goal of organizing and searching all the world's ignorance to make it universally accessible --- thereby bringing ignorance on par with knowledge!

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T. V. Raman at

2008-04-01T07:04:00.001-07:00

My Web-2.0 Application Is Feeling Accessible


If you feel up to Web hackery and want to win a cool T-shirt in the bargain, see My Web-2.0 Application Is Feeling Accessible!. You can see examples of what you can achieve with this framework in the AxsJAX showcase.

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T. V. Raman at

2008-03-28T20:45:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak WebSpace --- Interaction-Free Information Access


A few months ago, I started an Emacspeak module called emacspeak-webspace that is now ready for wider use. The goal of this module is to unobtrusively fetch useful information from the Web and communicate it at those times that one is context-switching among tasks. I gave a talk on user interaction at the last Hackers Conference in November; in the same session, there was another talk whose gist was a plea for less human-computer interaction --- motivation: User Interfaces are nice, but wouldn't it be nice if one didn't have to explicitly interact with the machine to get information? The speaker coined the term Zen interfaces in that context, something that stuck in memory long after the talk.

I built that thought into module emacspeak-webspace. Conceptually, it consists of smart fetchers that fetch information asynchronously from the Web, and smart displayers that communicate this information at appropriate times. These are detailed below.

Fetchers

There are two fetchers at present:

Weather
Fetches current weather conditions for your location.
News
Fetches headlines from a customizable collection of ATOM and RSS feeds.

Note that this module is not intended to be an RSS or ATOM feed-reader; for that, use module greader --- an API-based Google Reader client that is bundled with Emacspeak.

Communicating Useful Information Usefully

With the information in hand, the next question is how does one communicate this information usefully, and what does at the appropriate time mean? Things toavoid:

Interaction-Free
Do not require explicit user action to hear the information.
Avoid Chatter
Avoid creating an auditory user interface that chatters at the user all the time.

These are conflicting constraints. Notice that in a visual interface, one can meet the interaction-free requirement by displaying the information in a toolbar or sidebar and allow the user to ignore or absorb the information at will.

Emacspeak uses Emacs' header-line to display the continuously updating information. This meets the interaction-free requirement. The header line updates every time Emacs updates its display, and automatically speaking it would produce too much feedback. But Emacspeak doesn't automatically speak the header-line; it only speaks it when there is a context-switch.

How To Use

Here is how I am using emacspeak-webspace at present:

Weather
Activate weather display in the calendar and scratch buffers.
News
Activate feed headlines in selected shell buffers.

You hear the updated information when switching to buffers where the webspace display is active.

Activating WebSpace Displays

Webspace displays are activated via the following commands; all Webspace displays will be placed by default on prefix key hyper-space

Share And Enjoy, And May The Source Be With You!

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T. V. Raman at

2008-03-06T07:25:00.001-08:00

Announcing: The Coming Of Piglets To The Emacspeak Desktop


This is to announce a new emacspeak module called Piglets that brings together Emacs and Firefox to create a powerful framework for authoring Web interaction wizards.

Why Piglets?

You might well ask Why Piglets?, and might conjecture that PIGLETS might stand for Powerful Internet Gadgets for a Light-Weight Talking System. You might conjecture that the Emacspeak mascot likes pig-ears; or you might even think of attributing it to the fact that my friend and colleague Charles Chen and creator of Fire Vox was born in the year of the pig. But you'd be mostly wrong in all of the above.

Piglets on the Emacspeak desktop are the result of having two large (and powerful) software pigs connect over a socket. A few months ago, I blogged here about MozREPL and how it allows me to Put The Fox In A Box. Piglets mark the completion of the Emacs/Firefox integration that started with Firebox. Once you install Fire Vox, the free self-voicing extension for Firefox, piglets become a versatile means to leverage the self-voicing Fire-Vox/Firefox DOM from the comfort of the emacspeak environment.

What You Need

Caveat: ALL of this is early experimental software --- and you'll need to tweak things for your environment to get things working.

Loading And Running Piglets

The Piglets framework is implemented in module emacspeak-piglets.el. There is a Fire-Vox binding in module emacspeak-firevox.el and a binding to the JawBreaker game in emacspeak-jawbreaker.el.

How Does It Work?

When you get the various pieces configured and working, here is how things work:

ToDos:

These are some todos that I plan to get to eventually --- if you have coding cycles to contribute, feel free to work on thesee.

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T. V. Raman at

2008-01-03T10:45:00.001-08:00

Web Accessibility And Usability: Coming Back To The Basics


The Nielsen Norman Group has made available a detailed report on accessibility, which includes the results of several usability tests --- see Going Beyond Alt Text. It's a very good read, and though its conclusions might be depressing to people coming to this area from the outside --- they should be no surprise to users who have been trying to use the Web via spoken output over the last 10 years. From the perspective of the Emacspeak user who lives in a specialized browsing environment that is optimized for performing oft-repeated tasks, there are several interesting take-aways from this report:

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T. V. Raman at

2007-12-20T14:49:00.001-08:00

Directions Using Public Transport From Google Maps


In the spirit of adding a smart URL template to enhance the Emacspeak Web Command Line for useful tools I discover ...

I just checked in a Public Transit Via Google Maps tool into the Emacspeak SVN repository. You specify trip details in the form start to destination e.g., 2715 La Terrace Circle 95123 to San Jose Airport and get back a filtered view that shows the information you want. Note that clicking on the link in this blog will give you the entire page, which is fairly easy to navigate. But having a smart filter in Emacspeak makes it that much more efficient to use.

Share And Enjoy,

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T. V. Raman at

2007-11-28T07:45:00.001-08:00

Announcing Emacspeak 27.0 AKA FastDog


For Immediate Release

San Jose, CA, (Nov. 24, 2007)
Emacspeak: --- Bringing Cutteng-Edge Access For Sharp Users
--Zero cost of upgrade/downgrades makes priceless software affordable!

Downloads Reference Installation Usage Tips Tools Support
EMACSPEAK Logo
About the author SourceForge

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) announces the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak-27 --a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving data and service-oriented semantic Web.

Major Enhancements

  1. emacspeak-web: Updated Web interaction.
  2. emacspeak-ess: Speech-enables Emacs Statistics Interface
  3. Header Line Support:
  4. Windows Key Now Stops Speech
  5. Smarter mode-line output:
  6. Google Suggest provides completion for search queries.
  7. Integrated Support For Google Services
  8. emacspeak-moz: Firefox integration.
  9. Emacspeak-webmarks: Online bookmarks.

And others too numerous for this margin ...

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T. V. Raman at

2007-11-23T18:17:00.001-08:00

AxsJAX, Speech-Enabled Games And Auditory User Interfaces


This is not part of Emacspeak, but is relevant to emacspeak users given that:

Charles Chen and I recently released a JavaScript powered framework for access-enabling AJAX applications --- see AxsJAX.Along with access-enabling useful applications such as Google WebSearch and Google Reader, we also access-enabled JawBreaker, a popular game much in the spirit of Tetris --- but without a ticking clock. See AxsJAX showcase for pointer to this and other Web-2.0 applications that have been AxsJaxed.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-11-16T14:53:00.001-08:00

The Web The Way You Want


I gave a talk last week at University of Washington entitled The Web The Way You Want; it should be of general interest to users interested in flexible access to the Web.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-10-08T16:33:00.001-07:00

Podcast Covering Web Accessibility


I recorded this Accessibility Podcast a few weeks ago for the Google Developer Blog. It focuses on the overall topic of Web Accessibility and covers some of what I have been building with respect to custom clients for Google Services, alongside a broad range of issues around developing usable applications.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-09-24T16:01:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak Video Demo: Looking Up The Weather


In the first of a sequence of posts demonstrating live emacspeak user interaction, I'll give an overview of what it feels like to use Emacspeak's powerful Web Command Line provided by its rich collection of web gadgets made up of search wizards and smart url templates

Here are a few things to note about this and all the subsequent video demos in this series:

Looking Up The Weather

Looking up current weather is a sufficiently common action where browsing to a weather site, typing in ones zip-code and reviewing the resulting page is three steps too many. This is also why most modern desktop environments provide gadgets that display such live information with minimal user intervention. This first video shows Emacspeak smart url RSS Weather From Wundergroundin action.

Here is the RSS Weather Demo. This is an OGG/Theora video and should play with tools like mplayer. The table below shows a brief description of each user action and its effect.

ActionKeyEffect
Access GadgetsC-e uPrompts for gadget
Pick Weather Gadgetrss tabpartial input completes to RSS Weather From Wunderground
Pick Default LocationreturnCA/SanJose
Speaks weather forecast
QuitqStops speech, dismisses weather forecast, and speaks current context. In this case the shell becomes current and you hear the relevant information.

A Transcript Of What You Hear

Users who could see the video half of this demo but were not frequent text-to-speech users reported that it would be useful to see a transcript of what is being spoken. I'm revising this entry to have an annotated transcript. Note that the transcript may not be accurate to the last word, since I'm typing it in by hand; however it should give one a sense of what information emacspeak chooses to speak.

Access Gadgets
The spoken prompt is Resource:.
Pick Gadget
You hear me type RS and then you hear Emacspeak completing my input to RSSWeather. Half way through that utterance, I know it's found the right gadget, so I hit enter, and that stops the utterance RSSWeather half-way through and speaks the next prompt. Notice that you also hear auditory icons to indicate that a prompt input area just opened.
Location
With the gadget now selected, you hear the City/State prompt generated by the weather gadget. It also produces a default location of CA/San_Jose. In the demo, you hear the State/City prompt, along with the default value. I hit enter midway through that utterance, again the speech flushes immediately. The gadget now has enough information to do its work; it pulls the RSS feed from Wunderground, converts it to XHTML (using XSLT) and displays the page using Emacs/W3. Once displayed, it starts speak the forecast you see on the screen.
Forecast
Here is a rough transcript of what you hear as the weather forecast is spoken. The forecast starts with the words: Conditions 73 degrees F Partly cloudy 4:50pm PDT August 18 ... This is in a lower-pitched (deeper) voice since it was generated from the title of the corresponding RSS item. Emacspeak uses Aural CSS to produce such audio formatted information. The contents of the item are spoken in the default voice starting with the utterance Temperature 73 degrees F 23 degrees C ... Conditions partly cloudy ... When I've heard enough, I hit q to quit.
Quit
When I quit the weather gadget, a number of things happen.
  • You hear auditory icon close-object to indicate the weather forecast being dismissed.
  • You hear context information indicating that the Emacs shell buffer has now become current.
  • For this context information, you hear it speak the working directory of the shell buffer and the word shell
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T. V. Raman at

2007-09-04T07:23:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak And GMail


See this article by my Google colleague Srinivas Annam that outlines the availability of GMail Filters from the basic HTML interface. This was the final piece that remained to convince me to use my GMail account for email --- now, keeping the GMail Inbox clean and free of clutter has become a snap.

To go with this, I've added a few smart URL templates to Emacspeak's Web Command Line. Once you've signed in, you can use template GMail Search to type a search term, and find matching messages. Note that GMail uses CSS class msg to tag the actual contents of a message. You can use this to advantage by hitting e c on a message link, and specifying msg as the class value to filter the message.

At some point I'll add a couple of Emacspeak wizards for creating filters; the present HTML interface is still a bit too click intensive for my liking. But cudos to Srinivas for doing the hard work that lets me discover the pain points in the HTML interface; until now thesee were completely invisible to me since I couldn't use GMail from the Emacspeak environment.

Emacs/W3 note: Note that signing in to GMail from the main GMail screen defeats W3. An easy work-around, and something that is more efficient anyway is to use the glogin.xml form found in Emacspeak --- use C-e ?/ in Emacspeak to pick that form. Once you're signed in to Google, you can:

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T. V. Raman at

2007-08-31T17:47:00.001-07:00

AMixer And Emacspeak: Controlling The Sound Card


In the days of OSS, Emacspeak had a nice Emacs-interface to aumix and it is a piece of functionality that I have missed even more under ALSA, given that one can do many more sophisticated tweaks to one's sound-card. Tool alsamixer --- a full-screen terminal application is bewillderingly confusing (at least to me), and amixer though usable required me to go find out how it worked each time I needed to do something new. The final straw came last weekend when I tried to record some Emacspeak demos using recordmydesktop and needed to configure ALSA so that it would capture sound directly from the PCM output, rather than the microphone.

To cut a short story even shorter, I ended up writing an Emacs wrapper around amixer called --- well, you guessed it, amixer. The code is checked in as amixer.el. The Emacspeak keybinding C-e ( formerly used to manipulate aumix is now ALSA-aware and will intelligently default to using the new amixer tool if /usr/bin/amixer is available.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-08-17T17:24:00.001-07:00

The Web The Way You Want


While working on miscellaneous Web related things including:

I also wrote a draft chapter on specialized Web browsing. Given the set of things I have been working on, the end result is to point out that given the architecture and underlying design principles of the Web as embodied by HTTP, URIs and HTML, specialized Web browsing is in fact not so specialized after all.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-08-07T07:37:00.001-07:00

Google Suggest: Minibuffer Completion When Googling


Google Suggest has been available until now as a Firefox extension --- it displays a dynamically generated list of completions as one does Google searches in Firefox. The preferred way of Googling on the Emacspeak audio desktop --- using Emacspeak's Websearch facility available via C-e ? is now Google-Suggest enabled. This means that when doing Google searches via C-e ?g, you can type a partial query, and hit TAB to get a list of possible completions for the query.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-08-02T07:27:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak WebMarks: Online Bookmarks Using Google


Emacspeak module emacspeak-webmarks adds support for adding, viewing and finding Google Bookmarks. Google Bookmarks allows you to store your bookmarks at Google; this module adds support similar to that provided by Firefox Bookmarklets for Google Bookmarks implemented in JavaScript. Note that this module though relatively small was one of the motivators for the code refactoring described in Web Interaction in Emacspeak.

Usage Tips

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T. V. Raman at

2007-07-24T07:42:00.001-07:00

Web Interaction In Emacspeak


Users running out of SVN will have noticed that the emacspeak codebase has seen a significant number of updates over the last couple of weeks. During this time, I've refactored the Web interaction code in Emacspeak to meet the following goals:

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T. V. Raman at

2007-07-24T07:32:00.001-07:00

Emacs-G-Client: Leveraging New Picasa API Features


The Google Picasa team announced a set of useful additions to the Picasa Web API yesterday. I've added support for most of thesee new features in module gphoto that is part of my Emacs G-Client package.

You can get the latest version of package Emacs-G-Client via SVN. Note that this development version of package Emacs-G-Client also includes a light-weight client for finding and playing YouTube videos.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-07-24T07:20:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak And Beautiful Code


In the fall of 2006, I was invited by O'Reilly Media to participate in an innovative book project called Beautiful Code. The project put together a set of chapters that focused on capturing the collected insight from creating real software. A particularly attractive aspect of this book was that it focused on code --- unlike many book projects in the field of software engineering, here the goal was to explicitly focus on real code and how it could be made beautiful.

The final book is now available in print. The chapter on Emacspeak is being published on this Web site under a Creative Common Licence --- this HTML version includes Chapter 31: Emacspeak --- The Complete Audio Desktop and the Afterword section from the book.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-07-19T09:52:00.001-07:00

Searching The Emacspeak Knowledge Base


Information about Emacspeak and its use is available from a collection of Web sites, and being able to restrict the search to thesee authoritative sources is a good way of quickly finding the right document, without being distracted by the numerous hits one finds when doing a search across the whole Web. You can now search the Emacspeak Knowledge Base by using search form emacspeak-search.html; access it via Emacspeak command emacspeak-websearch and specify /to bring up the list of available forms. This form is also the default search form on the Emacspeak Web site.

HowTo: Implement Emacspeak Knowledge Base Search

Implementing the above using CSE is trivial --- all I needed to do was:

  1. Checked in an HTML file into the Emacspeak repository at Knowledge Base.
  2. Create a CSE that uses the above document.
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T. V. Raman at

2007-07-06T17:53:00.001-07:00

Emacs G-Client, Reader, And CSE: Searching Past Articles From Google Reader


So I use module greader (part of package G-Client to read a large number of ATOM and RSS feeds. I have long missed the ability to search for articles I remember having read a few weeks or months ago; though I typically find it with an appropriately phrased Google Search, I've always wanted to have the ability to restrict the search to the feeds I subscribe to --- this makes formulating the query much easier.

The advent of CSEs --- see my earlier blog post entitled On The Fly Custom Search combined with Google Reader's ability to export ones subscription list as an OPML file gives me exactly what I needed.

HowTo: Enable Searching Of Past Articles From Google Reader

Now, you can use Emacspeak url template reader subscription search from the Emacspeak Web Command Line to search articles you remember having seen in your Google Reader. This is also an excellent means of finding articles of interest that one might have missed in the past. As an example, I recently became interested in Selenium --- an extremely powerful Web application testing framework. Finding articles from the past that I ought to have read but hadn't was a snap using the feature describe here.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-07-06T17:45:00.001-07:00

Google Books In Emacspeak


To coincide with today's announcement of gull-text access to public domain works from Google Books, I've updated the corresponding emacspeak Web Command-Line wizard. Use C-e u to invoke URL templates and type google books to access it.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-07-03T16:28:00.001-07:00

Making Search Fly: On-The-Fly Custom Search Engines


The Custom Search Engine team at Google recently released CSE On The Fly a truly amazing feature. Incidentally Google Custom Search is the same piece of magic that brought us Accessible Search last year.

So in the spirit of continuing to enhance the Web Command Line in Emacspeak for every smart Web tool that becomes available, I've checked in two new url templates that demonstrate how one can leverage this to be smart and selective about what one reads.

Searching Favorite Feeds
So I read a lot of Blogs, my current Blog Reader is Google Reader via --- you guessed it -- Emacs module GReader (part of the Emacs G-Client package). But I often feel the need to search my favorite feeds. URL-template Reader Subscriptions lets you do this; what's more it's not specific to Google Reader. All you need do is to publish an OPML file listing your favorite feeds and customize Emacs variable emacspeak-url-template-reading-list-opml to point to that location.
Official GoogleBlog Search
Google has a large number of Google-specific Blogs --- I usually read them through this aggregated feed: All GoogleBlog Stream Emacspeak wizard Official GoogleBlog Search builds a CSE from this feed to let you search articles from all of Google's blogs.

Eventually, I'll also add a meta search wizard that lets one construct any CSE on the fly --- with Lisp such meta-programming is a snap!

Later yesterday evening, I checked in a third url-template called On The Fly CSE that prompts for a search term and the URL for the feed of feeds that specifies the content to search.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-06-28T16:58:00.001-07:00

Emacs-G-Client: Uploading Photos To PicasaWeb


The SVN version of package Emacs-G-Client at g-client now includes a new module gphoto.el that can create albums and upload photos to Google's PicasaWeb site --- as an example, see my photo gallery. Emacspeak users are likely to find the RSS and ATOM feeds for photo albums more useful in general; package gphoto provides easy access to previewing thesee feeds as well as viewing/editing the metadata that goes along with the pictures. As an example of such a feed, here is Hubbell Labrador's Graduation album.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-06-26T07:32:00.001-07:00

Multilingual Dictionary Lookup Via Google


From the every useful Google tool deserves a Web Command-line equivalent ...

I just checked in an Emacspeak url-template for accessing multilingual dictionary lookup via Google. Invoke it like any other url-template using C-e u and type mult tab.Specify the word to look up, and the source-target language pair using two letter codes --- this is analogous to how the Emacspeak Translation Via Google tool works. And remember, if there is something you find yourself doing often on the Web, there is most likely an Emacspeak Web Command Line gadget for it --- well, at least that is true for the things I find myself doing often;-)

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T. V. Raman at

2007-06-26T07:11:00.001-07:00

FireBox: Put The Fox In The Box


I've finally found the right development environment for myself for writing and debugging Web Applications that use JavaScript to implement client-side interaction. It turns out that it wasn't't just me who found the thought of programming inside the Web browser a painful experience --- pleasant though the final end-user interaction that those results deliver might be for the final user. I discovered MozRepl --- a read-eval-print loop for Firefox. MozRepl is a Firefox extension that allows you to open a connection to a running Firefox session and gain access to a JavaScript interpreter context that can access all aspects of the Firefox runtime.

This is quite neat, I can now use the power of Emacs to write and debug end-user JavaScript applications. But wait, there is more. So in general, as someone who doesn't need to suffer from the hit on cycles and memory that running an X environment involves, I usually dont start GDM --- the graphical desktop --- on my Linux box. Believe me, running just at the console, especially with the LCD turned off makes my laptop run a lot longer. So challenge: How do you take the fox's head off Firefox? How do you run a headless Firefox?

Turns out that the original X Windows developers didn't always have access to all the displays that they were developing X applications for --- so they created XVFB --- the X Virtual Frame Buffer server. Like all good things in the Open Source world, XVFB continues to survive --- even though today, X developers hardly if ever resort to XVFB. But in the fine UNIX tradition of Get out of my way or I'll turn you into a shell script XVFB also turns out to be just what I needed in order to run FireFox as a headless application.

So in summary: I'm typing this blog on the shuttle bus ridinghome, with the monitor turned off, and Firefox running headless as I debug some of the code I've been writing. If you want to put the fox's head in a box yourself, here is a pointer to FireBox -- share and enjoy!

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T. V. Raman at

2007-06-22T17:28:00.001-07:00

Emacspeak And Beautiful Code


Beautiful Code is a collection of essays on software design, with all proceeds going to Amnesty International. It includes a chapter on the use of Lisp advice to speech-enable Emacs --- AKA Emacspeak. I'll eventually publish an HTML version of my article on the emacspeak Web site. In the meantime, I highly recommend the complete book --- which if you need an accessible version can probably be obtained from organizations like BookShare.

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T. V. Raman at

2007-06-14T11:50:00.001-07:00

Google Group For Package G-Client


I've created a Google Group for package G-Client here: Emacs-G-Client. If you are using package G-Client you can use this group to discuss your experiences with other users. Note that the codebase for this package is evolving actively under SVN at lisp/g-client .

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T. V. Raman at

2007-05-23T16:24:00.001-07:00

An Essay On Eyes-Free Computing


I just posted an essay on eyes-free computing to my MathZomeblog. This essay highlights the relevance of ZomeTool in teaching mathematical concepts to students who are visually impaired. More generally, it describes my experiences as a mathematician who cannot see. I'm posting the abstract here; the complete essay can be found on my Web site.

The experiences described in this essay have influenced the software I have built and use on a daily basis; it should be of interest to:

  • Emacspeak users wishing to understand why things look like the way they do in Emacspeak.
  • Students with visual impairments who are entering the field of mathematics.
  • Teachers working with visually impaired students.
  • And the generally curious mathematician who wishes to view the world from a different perspective.

Abstract

This essay outlines some of my experiences as a mathematician who cannot see. Note that I transitioned to being a Computer Scientist during Graduate School. However I strongly believe in the edict Once a mathematician, always a mathematician! — my training in mathematics continues to influence the way I think.

I've been unable to see since the age of 14, which means that I've studied and practiced mathematics predominantly in an eyes-free environment. This essay is my first conscious attempt at asking the question What is involved in doing mathematics when you cannot see? I hope that some of the experiences outlined here will prove insightful to mathematicians at large. At its heart, mathematics is about understanding the underlying structure inherent in a given area of interest — and where no such structure exists — to define the minimal structure that is needed to make forward progress.

The general perception that mathematics might be hard to do in an eyes-free environment probably traces itself to the common view of mathematics as a field where one performs copious calculations on paper. I'll illustrate some of the habits and abilities one evolves over time to compensate for the lack of ready access to scratch memory provided by pencil and paper when working in an eyes-free environment. In