Opened 4 years ago

Last modified 3 months ago

#12804 assigned enhancement

Haiku needs a screen reading utility

Reported by: richienyhus Owned by: mmu_man
Priority: normal Milestone: R2
Component: Applications Version:
Keywords: Cc:
Blocked By: Blocking: #16226
Platform: All


All modern operating systems now come bundled with a basic level of accessibility features, namely a screenreader. While these features are out of scope for Haiku R1, these features should be within the scope of Haiku R2.

Screen readers are made up of three parts: A backend Speech synthesis system An API for 1stparty & 3rdparty access to the Speech synthesis library An OS bundled screen reading utility for accessibility

For instance, Orca is the Gnome screen reader that communicates with the Accessibility Toolkit via the AT-SPI API. In Android you have Google Text-to-Speech, which is used by Google Talkback to provide speech feedback on what is being enacted, displayed or selected. In Windows, Microsoft Narrator uses the Microsoft Speech API.

BeOS did have 3rd party applications, TalkBox used the festival synthesis library and SpeakIt which used a database of spoken words. The author of TalkBox has offered to open source it in the past. However before creating or adapting an utility, we need a speech synthesis library for it to use.

Library Language Licence
espeak-ng C GPL
festival C++ MIT
EkonFain for CKJ C++ GPL
praat C++ GPL
CMU's flite C++ MIT

Both 'Festival' and CMU's 'Festival Lite' use the FestVox dev tool. These two would be the best choice, with the lightweight flite as default and hevywight Festival swapped in if needed.

Change History (5)

comment:1 by pulkomandy, 4 years ago

Owner: changed from nobody to mmu_man
Status: newassigned

mmu_man started investigating this and IIRC made a talk about it. Maybe he can document his results here.

comment:2 by richienyhus, 4 years ago

There is also this speech synthesis engine written in C and under the MIT licence:

comment:3 by mmu_man, 4 years ago

You can find the slides for my talk at RMLL2015. Another possibility than Orca is NVDA, but this one is currently Windows-only.

comment:4 by mmu_man, 4 years ago

Just noticed this french article that lists new TTS engines.

comment:5 by humdinger, 3 months ago

Blocking: 16226 added
Note: See TracTickets for help on using tickets.