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Speech-dispatcher issues

From: Halim Sahin
Subject: Speech-dispatcher issues
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 08:05:20 +0100

Hi Nolan,
On Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 07:51:43PM -0600, Nolan Darilek wrote:
> 1. When I visit some websites using speech-dispatcher and Orca, speechd
> crashes or locks up. I know that it's speech-dispatcher's fault because
> if I "killall speech-dispatcher" then speech comes back without a
> problem, mostly...

Which synth are you using, and which audio output method in speechd?

> 2. When speech returns, some letters aren't spoken until the next
> character is typed. For instance, in typing this email and typing the
> word "next", I don't hear the "e" until I type the "x", at which point
> they're both spoken at once. This happens with most vowels, and quite
> reliably. I remember this bug occurring with the libao driver, and it
> doesn't happen with pulse until I kill speech-dispatcher once, and when
> I do it generally keeps until I reboot. So here are some questions:

Well this was one of the reasons why some people decided to clone the
libao driver and write a new pulseaudio module using almost the same

Libao doesn't modify the prebuffering stuff which results in the
described problem.
but the pulseaudio module of speechd does.
See pulse.c:
/* Set prebuf to one sample so that keys are spoken as soon as typed
 * rather tha
 buffAttr.maxlength = (uint32_t)-1;
 //buffAttr.tlength = (uint32_t)-1; - this is the default, which causes
 //key echo
 buffAttr.tlength = id->pa_min_audio_length;
 buffAttr.prebuf = (uint32_t)-1;
 buffAttr.minreq = (uint32_t)-1;

This works in most cases, but I had similar problems that pulse changes
these vallues in some cases.
Can't reproduce it.

> 1. Is there any way to fix this problem without rebooting? Once I
> killall speech-dispatcher, *nothing* I do gets my vowels back short of
> rebooting. I can't restart Orca, I can't restart X, nothing makes my
> vowels come back short of rebooting. Most of my recent reboots were done
> to make speech-dispatcher speak vowels again, and if I can stop this
> trend then it'd be great.

Yes, don't use pulseaudio at all.
Use libao driver with alsa.

> 2. What information can I provide to debug this? I'm running the latest
> SD as packaged in the PPA at http://ppa.launchpad.net/dusek/spd/ubuntu,
> which hasn't been updated in several months.

I am not aware of any improovment in pulseaudio driver which could help you
for the described error.


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