I upgraded my home FC3 machine to Ubuntu 6.0.6 (Dapper) over the weekend. Here is a short summary for things to watch out for as an emacspeak user.
The Good, The Bad, And The Painful
- One of my friends helped with the install and it is remarkably quick when everything works (in my case the Ubuntu LTS 6.0.6 installer had trouble with the NVidea display card and came up correctly at the third attempt).
- A one CD install is nice -- but after it you have remarkably
little installed from the perspective of an emacspeak user. You
end up with a very nice GUI but very little else --- the
reasoning being that the average user wont need much more, and
the savvy user can always run
- Worse, Ubuntu does not install
openssh-server--- it limits itself to installing
openssh-client. This means that you cannot bootstrap yourself by logging in from another machine until you install
openssh-serveroff the network. If there was one thing I would ask the Ubuntu maintainers, it would be to rectify this situation.
- In my case, the
aptsuite of tools appeared to have a problem --- they died saying
/var/lib/dpkg/available: no such file or directory. Googling showed this to be a known problem with
aptand the fix is to run
dselect update-- but if you're new to Debian/ubuntu, this is less than obvious.
- Once you overcome the above,
apt-getgot me emacspeak-17.0 which was sufficient to let me bootstrap the rest of the process on my own using my trusted Dectalk Express to produce speech.
- Note that you should install
tclx8.3--- rather than the newest (8.4) versions of these packages. This is because as of 8.4, the maintainers of those packages no longer build a stand-alone
tcl(extended TCL) shell. This is something that will have to be handled by Emacspeak in the future.
- I was able to get everything I needed (and more) installed
using a combination of
- The IBM TTS engine no longer works --- under FC3 and friends,
you needed to install package
libstdc++-compatto get it to work. Well, there is no corresponding package for Ubuntu/Debian from what I could find out, and pulling in the RPM for
libstdc++-compat, converting it via
alienand installing the result produces a segfault when you run the TTS engine.
- For the same reason, the old command-line
trplayerwill also not work on Ubuntu 6.0. This is not as painful --- since mplayer works --- though I had to build
mplayerfrom source. It would be nice to create a command-line player on top of the HelixPlayer code base. At present, the missing
trplayermeans that the
etc/rivo.plprovided by emacspeak no longer works. You can use
realaudioto mp3; however
mplayerdoes not have a command-line option to specify the duration of playback, something that script