Tim Cross | 1 Feb 04:05 2011
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Bug in emacspeak-get-voicefied-mode-name

Hi Raman,

I have found a bug in emacspeak-get-voicefied-mode-name. I think I know what
needs to be done to fix it, but wanted to check first. 

Details

GNU Emacs 24.0.50.1 (i686-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 2.22.0) of 2011-01-31 on
blind-mole

Latest emacspeak from svn

Recipe to reproduce. 

1. Open an org-mode agenda todo list with C-c a t
2. Hit C-e m to speak the mode line

Gives the backtrace 

Debugger entered--Lisp error: (wrong-type-argument buffer-or-string-p ("Org-Agenda" "" " " (:eval
(org-agenda-span-name org-agenda-current-span)) "" "" " Diary" " Ddl" " Grid" "" "" "" "" ""))
  ad-Orig-put-text-property(0 14 personality acss-a7-p7-s6 ("Org-Agenda" "" " " (:eval
(org-agenda-span-name org-agenda-current-span)) "" "" " Diary" " Ddl" " Grid" "" "" "" "" ""))
  put-text-property(0 14 personality acss-a7-p7-s6 ("Org-Agenda" "" " " (:eval (org-agenda-span-name
org-agenda-current-span)) "" "" " Diary" " Ddl" " Grid" "" "" "" "" ""))

I've tracked this down to emacspeak-get-voicefied-mode-name. The problem
appears to be that this function expects the mode name to be a string. However,
according to the documentation, is usually a string, but can be any of the
constructs for mode-line-format. 
(Continue reading)

Tim Cross | 1 Feb 04:17 2011
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Bug in emacspeak-get-voicefied-mode-name


I forgot to add my modified version of the code. Here it is. It appears to have
fixed the problem, though not extensively tested.

(defsubst emacspeak-get-voicefied-mode-name (mode-name)
  "Return voicefied version of this mode-name."
  (declare (special emacspeak-voicefied-mode-names))
  (let* ((mode-name-str (if (stringp mode-name)
                            mode-name
                          (format-mode-line mode-name)))
         (result (gethash mode-name-str emacspeak-voicefied-mode-names)))
    (or result
        (progn
          (setq result (copy-sequence mode-name-str))
          (put-text-property 0 (length result)
                             'personality voice-animate result)
          (puthash mode-name-str result emacspeak-voicefied-mode-names)
          result))))

Tim Cross writes:
 > Hi Raman,
 > 
 > I have found a bug in emacspeak-get-voicefied-mode-name. I think I know what
 > needs to be done to fix it, but wanted to check first. 
 > 
 > Details
 > 
 > GNU Emacs 24.0.50.1 (i686-pc-linux-gnu, GTK+ Version 2.22.0) of 2011-01-31 on
 > blind-mole
 > 
(Continue reading)

T.V. Raman | 2 Feb 05:42 2011
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Bug in emacspeak-get-voicefied-mode-name

Good catch, fixed and checked in.
-- 
Best Regards,
--raman

-- 
Best Regards,
--raman

On 1/31/11, Tim Cross <tcross <at> une.edu.au> wrote:
>
> I forgot to add my modified version of the code. Here it is. It appears to
> have
> fixed the problem, though not extensively tested.
>
> (defsubst emacspeak-get-voicefied-mode-name (mode-name)
>   "Return voicefied version of this mode-name."
>   (declare (special emacspeak-voicefied-mode-names))
>   (let* ((mode-name-str (if (stringp mode-name)
>                             mode-name
>                           (format-mode-line mode-name)))
>          (result (gethash mode-name-str emacspeak-voicefied-mode-names)))
>     (or result
>         (progn
>           (setq result (copy-sequence mode-name-str))
>           (put-text-property 0 (length result)
>                              'personality voice-animate result)
>           (puthash mode-name-str result emacspeak-voicefied-mode-names)
>           result))))
>
(Continue reading)

T. V. Raman | 7 Feb 17:20 2011
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[emacspeak The Complete Audio Desktop] 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


--
Posted By T. V. Raman to emacspeak The Complete Audio Desktop at 2/07/2011 08:20:00 AM
Alex Midence | 11 Feb 20:36 2011
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Introduction and proposed contribution

Good afternoon,

Before going further, I'd like to introduce myself as this is my first
posting to this list though I've come across many familiar names in
the postings.  My name is Alex Midence and I am an aspiring
wet-behind-the-ears c++ programmer by night and a professional trainer
by day.  I've been learning my way around Emacspeak over the last few
months and have grown extremely fond of the package and am continually
impressed with the degree of productivity it offers one.  I would like
to contribute something to the community in return for this amazing
app.

I've noticed in my learning of Emacspeak that, while there are plenty
of reference materials, the number of up-to-date tutorial-style
documents geared towards a raw newbie are somewhat sparse and spread
out and are written in a way that someone coming from a strong Ms
Windows background would find rather laborious to follow, increasing
their learning curve unnecessarily.  This is probably because a lot of
it was written by people who have used Linux for longer than Windows
has been accessible (oh, what a battle that has been!) and, as is the
case with many a developer, are more comfortable writing code than
writing documents.  Here's where I come in because, right now, I'm
just the opposite.  =)

What I propose to do is to write a simple tutorial for newcomers to
Emacspeak geared towards people who are new to command line, Linux and
Emacs as well.  I do this sort of thing for a living and it would give
me enormous satisfaction to make this contribution to Emacspeak as it
has done a lot for me in recent weeks to help me learn to code faster
and also to do things I never imagined an editor could do for me.
Trouble is, while I am a decent writer and pretty good at teaching, I
am still learning Emacs and Emacspeak myself so, from time to time, I
may post questions to you all as I put this together.  I will set it
up as an html document with accompanying audio files illustrating
certain points of interest.  It's also going to be submitted to the
documentation subproject of Vinux as we are exploring the option to
include Emacspeak with future distributions either as a pre-installed
package or as an easy install script which users can run to set it up
for them.  Your feedback, guidance, patience and forebearance with
this hackfisted newcomer will be most humbly appreciated.  Also, if,
when it is done, those of you who use or distribute other versions of
Linux wish to see about modifying some of it to better fit your
distribution, I would be happy to help with that as well, just let me
know.  I'll be taking it one step at a time.  I want to do this right
such that it benefits people for a long time to come so, I don't want
to rush things too much.

Thanks.
Alex M

Jason White | 12 Feb 00:38 2011
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Re: Introduction and proposed contribution

Alex Midence <alex.midence <at> gmail.com> wrote:

> I've noticed in my learning of Emacspeak that, while there are plenty
> of reference materials, the number of up-to-date tutorial-style
> documents geared towards a raw newbie are somewhat sparse and spread
> out and are written in a way that someone coming from a strong Ms
> Windows background would find rather laborious to follow, increasing
> their learning curve unnecessarily.  This is probably because a lot of
> it was written by people who have used Linux for longer than Windows
> has been accessible (oh, what a battle that has been!) and, as is the
> case with many a developer, are more comfortable writing code than
> writing documents.  

Actually, T.V. Raman, the author of Emacspeak, is one of the most accomplished
technical writers that I have encountered - he is adept at writing prose as
well as code.

I would suggest reading his papers describing Emacspeak before you embark on
preparing a tutorial; this will give you a deeper understanding of the design
principles of the Emacspeak user interface.
> What I propose to do is to write a simple tutorial for newcomers to
> Emacspeak geared towards people who are new to command line, Linux and Emacs
> as well.  

A fundamental question that I would suggest considering is this: what do such
people really need to know before they can comfortably read Emacs
documentation, manual pages, HOWTO documents and other sources?

I have read claims in several places to the effect that it's harder for former
MS-Windows users to learn a UNIX-like environment than it is for absolute
beginners who have had no prior computing experience. Presumably, to the
extent that this is the case, it is because MS-Windows users have to set aside
their prior knowledge and habits in making the adjustment. I'm only
speculating here; the last Microsoft product that I ever used was DOS 6 and I
opted entirely out of Windows in favour of Linux at that time.

Alex Midence | 12 Feb 01:33 2011
Picon

Re: Introduction and proposed contribution

Hello, Jason,
Firstly, I want to make sure I'm clear here, I sought neither to
disparage nor criticize Dr. Raman.  If anything I wrote implied as
much, I apologize unreservedly.  I have nothing but admiration for his
accomplishment in creating this wonderful accessible solution and did
not mean to offend with what I wrote.  Also, what I propose to write
is not a technical writing.  It is a tutorial.  The two are very
distinct styles of writing.  One seeks to create a reference resource,
the other seeks to instruct.  One focuses on an exhaustive treatment
of minutia, the other is only interested in how the user will
accomplish a task without going into how the software they are using
does what it does.  Technical writings and manuals are in abundance on
Emacspeak.  Non-technical introductory materials targeted at a
non-programmer or someone who is a superficial user are not.  If I am
in error, please let me know and I will gladly spread the news.  The
closest I was able to find was a "Gentle introduction to Emacspeak"
which was a nice document but the version I found was dated 2001 or
something like that and is targeted at people who are used to console
or command line interfaces which have not been in wide use in windows
for more than a decade.  Efficient accesibility has existed there
since at least 1998 and has steadily improved over the years.  We paid
dearly for it too.  It costs a thousand bucks or more to get a decent
screen reader.  And then, you have to pay for all the software it's
going to read to you.  I wanted to offer people who come from a
background of menu bars, toolbars and that sort of interface some
introductory material that helps them learn how to use Emacspeak.
There is currently a void there, you see because, like yourself, there
are lots of folks who haven't used Windows in a long long time and are
hence not in an ideal position to help people interested in migrating
away from it learn their way around in Emacs in a way that puts their
pre-existing pc knowledge to use.  Because of that, a lot of folks who
I've spoken to are daunted by Emacs and Emacspeak when they try to
learn it and wind up giving up and using something else not knowing
that they have turned their back on as productive a tool as they have.

I want something that the author, music lover, social network and Irc
chat lover as well as the student in anything from English to law can
use to learn how to use Emacspeak without feeling overwhelmed by all
the technical elements.  I want them to be able to open up a file in
Emacs and be able to do something productive like writing a simple
webpage in org-mode or write a text file within 5 minutes of when they
start and be curious and motivated enough by their accomplishment to
then be willing to dive into the more technical side of things which
are so well documented without feeling like it'll be a long time
before they can do anything effective.  That is all.

Best regardes,
Alex M

On 2/11/11, Jason White <jason <at> jasonjgw.net> wrote:
> Alex Midence <alex.midence <at> gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I've noticed in my learning of Emacspeak that, while there are plenty
>> of reference materials, the number of up-to-date tutorial-style
>> documents geared towards a raw newbie are somewhat sparse and spread
>> out and are written in a way that someone coming from a strong Ms
>> Windows background would find rather laborious to follow, increasing
>> their learning curve unnecessarily.  This is probably because a lot of
>> it was written by people who have used Linux for longer than Windows
>> has been accessible (oh, what a battle that has been!) and, as is the
>> case with many a developer, are more comfortable writing code than
>> writing documents.
>
> Actually, T.V. Raman, the author of Emacspeak, is one of the most
> accomplished
> technical writers that I have encountered - he is adept at writing prose as
> well as code.
>
> I would suggest reading his papers describing Emacspeak before you embark on
> preparing a tutorial; this will give you a deeper understanding of the
> design
> principles of the Emacspeak user interface.
>> What I propose to do is to write a simple tutorial for newcomers to
>> Emacspeak geared towards people who are new to command line, Linux and
>> Emacs
>> as well.
>
> A fundamental question that I would suggest considering is this: what do
> such
> people really need to know before they can comfortably read Emacs
> documentation, manual pages, HOWTO documents and other sources?
>
> I have read claims in several places to the effect that it's harder for
> former
> MS-Windows users to learn a UNIX-like environment than it is for absolute
> beginners who have had no prior computing experience. Presumably, to the
> extent that this is the case, it is because MS-Windows users have to set
> aside
> their prior knowledge and habits in making the adjustment. I'm only
> speculating here; the last Microsoft product that I ever used was DOS 6 and
> I
> opted entirely out of Windows in favour of Linux at that time.
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from the emacspeak list or change your address on the
> emacspeak list send mail to "emacspeak-request <at> cs.vassar.edu" with a
> subject of "unsubscribe" or "help".
>
>

Stephen Cagle | 12 Feb 01:34 2011
Picon

Re: Introduction and proposed contribution

I think we can all agree that T.V. Raman is a fine technical writer. I think there is however a rather limited number of up to date AND singularly sourced guides to getting started with emacspeak. If someone wants to make a minimal "getting up and running with emacspeak" guide, then I think that would be quite a boon to emacspeak in general.


Just some random things to consider:
Will emacspeak ever be useful to less technically inclined people? That is, will it always primarily be used by programmers and other technical persons who use emacs? Is it possible to get less technical people to use emacs? Is it worthwhile?

Finally, what about virtualization solutions today? Perhaps a vmware (or some other) image of a Linux distro with emacspeak properly set up and configured could be created. This would allow novices to "test drive" emacspeak without having to take the full Linux/emacs/emacspeak plunge. I think this might make Alex's goal of bringing emacspeak to the windows masses easier, as they would not have to worry about the initial hardware question.

On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 5:38 PM, Jason White <jason <at> jasonjgw.net> wrote:
Alex Midence <alex.midence <at> gmail.com> wrote:

> I've noticed in my learning of Emacspeak that, while there are plenty
> of reference materials, the number of up-to-date tutorial-style
> documents geared towards a raw newbie are somewhat sparse and spread
> out and are written in a way that someone coming from a strong Ms
> Windows background would find rather laborious to follow, increasing
> their learning curve unnecessarily.  This is probably because a lot of
> it was written by people who have used Linux for longer than Windows
> has been accessible (oh, what a battle that has been!) and, as is the
> case with many a developer, are more comfortable writing code than
> writing documents.

Actually, T.V. Raman, the author of Emacspeak, is one of the most accomplished
technical writers that I have encountered - he is adept at writing prose as
well as code.

I would suggest reading his papers describing Emacspeak before you embark on
preparing a tutorial; this will give you a deeper understanding of the design
principles of the Emacspeak user interface.
> What I propose to do is to write a simple tutorial for newcomers to
> Emacspeak geared towards people who are new to command line, Linux and Emacs
> as well.

A fundamental question that I would suggest considering is this: what do such
people really need to know before they can comfortably read Emacs
documentation, manual pages, HOWTO documents and other sources?

I have read claims in several places to the effect that it's harder for former
MS-Windows users to learn a UNIX-like environment than it is for absolute
beginners who have had no prior computing experience. Presumably, to the
extent that this is the case, it is because MS-Windows users have to set aside
their prior knowledge and habits in making the adjustment. I'm only
speculating here; the last Microsoft product that I ever used was DOS 6 and I
opted entirely out of Windows in favour of Linux at that time.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe from the emacspeak list or change your address on the
emacspeak list send mail to "emacspeak-request <at> cs.vassar.edu" with a
subject of "unsubscribe" or "help".


Jason White | 12 Feb 01:45 2011
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Re: Introduction and proposed contribution

Alex Midence <alex.midence <at> gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello, Jason,
> Firstly, I want to make sure I'm clear here, I sought neither to
> disparage nor criticize Dr. Raman.  If anything I wrote implied as
> much, I apologize unreservedly.  I have nothing but admiration for his
> accomplishment in creating this wonderful accessible solution and did
> not mean to offend with what I wrote.  

I didn't interpret your earlier remarks as in any way critical of anyone's
efforts or abilities, so I think we're clear on that point.

I also agree that an up to date introductory guide to emacspeak would be a
valuable and worthy contribution.

Tim Cross | 12 Feb 02:11 2011
Picon

Re: Introduction and proposed contribution



On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 11:34 AM, Stephen Cagle <samedhi <at> gmail.com> wrote:
I think we can all agree that T.V. Raman is a fine technical writer. I think there is however a rather limited number of up to date AND singularly sourced guides to getting started with emacspeak. If someone wants to make a minimal "getting up and running with emacspeak" guide, then I think that would be quite a boon to emacspeak in general.

There have been several efforts to create 'friendly' user guides, getting started tutorials, etc. The real problem is that once written, they are not maintained and over time, become increasingly out of date.  Rather than re-invent the wheel, I think it would be better to start with something like  the installation-guide and users-guide which come with emacspeak. Contributions and improvements to these guides have always been welcomed in the past. It is better to have one definitive guide for installation and use rather than multiple guides scattered around the net in various stages of copleteness or levels of accuracy. 

Just some random things to consider:
Will emacspeak ever be useful to less technically inclined people? That is, will it always primarily be used by programmers and other technical persons who use emacs? Is it possible to get less technical people to use emacs? Is it worthwhile?

Certainly possible for less technical people to use it. Probably not worhtwhile trying to do so. I think the best course of action is to make emacspeak as good as possible, with good documentation and let its main drawing power be its alternative (and I would argue better) approach. If it has enough of an advantage over alternatives, it will attract those who would benefit/appreciate its difference.

Finally, what about virtualization solutions today? Perhaps a vmware (or some other) image of a Linux distro with emacspeak properly set up and configured could be created. This would allow novices to "test drive" emacspeak without having to take the full Linux/emacs/emacspeak plunge. I think this might make Alex's goal of bringing emacspeak to the windows masses easier, as they would not have to worry about the initial hardware question.

Hmm - not sure. Those who are uncomfortable with the hardware and Linux are probably going to be just as uncomfortable with an appliance approach and dealing with virtual machines/images etc. 

I think a better approach would be to help out one of the 'specialist' distros like vinux to make sure the emacspeak they include in the distro is as robust and optimally configured as possible. People can then run from the live cd image to try things out and later, if they want to, either do a dual boot or a virtual image. 

Tim

 
On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 5:38 PM, Jason White <jason <at> jasonjgw.net> wrote:
Alex Midence <alex.midence <at> gmail.com> wrote:

> I've noticed in my learning of Emacspeak that, while there are plenty
> of reference materials, the number of up-to-date tutorial-style
> documents geared towards a raw newbie are somewhat sparse and spread
> out and are written in a way that someone coming from a strong Ms
> Windows background would find rather laborious to follow, increasing
> their learning curve unnecessarily.  This is probably because a lot of
> it was written by people who have used Linux for longer than Windows
> has been accessible (oh, what a battle that has been!) and, as is the
> case with many a developer, are more comfortable writing code than
> writing documents.

Actually, T.V. Raman, the author of Emacspeak, is one of the most accomplished
technical writers that I have encountered - he is adept at writing prose as
well as code.

I would suggest reading his papers describing Emacspeak before you embark on
preparing a tutorial; this will give you a deeper understanding of the design
principles of the Emacspeak user interface.
> What I propose to do is to write a simple tutorial for newcomers to
> Emacspeak geared towards people who are new to command line, Linux and Emacs
> as well.

A fundamental question that I would suggest considering is this: what do such
people really need to know before they can comfortably read Emacs
documentation, manual pages, HOWTO documents and other sources?

I have read claims in several places to the effect that it's harder for former
MS-Windows users to learn a UNIX-like environment than it is for absolute
beginners who have had no prior computing experience. Presumably, to the
extent that this is the case, it is because MS-Windows users have to set aside
their prior knowledge and habits in making the adjustment. I'm only
speculating here; the last Microsoft product that I ever used was DOS 6 and I
opted entirely out of Windows in favour of Linux at that time.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
To unsubscribe from the emacspeak list or change your address on the
emacspeak list send mail to "emacspeak-request <at> cs.vassar.edu" with a
subject of "unsubscribe" or "help".




Gmane