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Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms

From: Steve Holmes
Subject: Re: [Accessibility] Call to Arms
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 05:14:11 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

On Sun, Jul 25, 2010 at 10:52:41PM -0400, Richard Stallman wrote:
> Something like that might be independent enough of the recognizer
> to be a valid project.  But there ARE free software packages for
> speech recognition.  So people should develop it to work with them.
> If users can also run it with NaturallySpeaking, that is ok,
> as long as we don't suggest it.
> However, I think we should not include such things in THIS project,
> because we need to focus energy on the goal of making those free
> recognizers better.  For us, replacing important proprietary software
> takes priority over advancing the capabilities of software.

When I hear this statement, I feel a bit of a problem here.  Maybe
it's a matter of pragmatics or something but if the current free
solutions are inadaquite or don't work at all and a sutible
replacement of this or a proprietary product like Naturally Speaking
is going to be 7 to 10 years away, the people needing such a process
would have no choice but to go with a Windows solution and abandon any
hope of using gnu/linux and its other numerous advantages.  I like the
idea if the support utilities were to be developed to be compatible
with Naturally Speaking currently but with the firm understanding that
a good replacement for Naturally Speaking be developed in parallel and
maybe even given higher priority to shorten the development cycle.
The context of the above statement of replacing proprietary software
before enhancing existing software sounds a log like "all or nothing"
to me.  Couldn't something like the LGPL be applied to this speech
recognission effort? Develop the tools don't lock them to Naturally
Speaking; maybe adjust the existing recognition layer to be compatible
with what is expected by Naturally Speaking so a smooth transition
could take place and soon be rid of depending on the proprietary

This is just my idea.  I have no personal interest in speech recognition, nor
do I know how to programatically address it.  I'm just noticing that
the philosophical debate drives on at the expense of working towards
any solution at all.

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