Emacspeak-11.0 (Aster) Release Notes
Announcing Emacspeak-11.0 (Aster)
For Immediate Release
Mountain View, Calif., (November 29, 1999)
Emacspeak-2000: Opening Doors To A Windows-Free 2000.
--Zero cost of ownership makes priceless software affordable!
What Is It?
Emacspeak is a fully functional audio desktop that provides
complete eyes-free access to all major 32 and 64 bit operating
environments. By seamlessly blending all aspects of the Internet
such as Web-surfing and electronic messaging into the audio
desktop, Emacspeak enables speech access to local and remote
information with a consistent and well-integrated user
With support for the freely
downloadable IBM ViaVoice Outloud speech synthesis engine,
Emacspeak now turns Linux into the first zero-cost Internet
access solution for blind and visually impaired users.
Code Name Note
After 10 years of loyal service, Aster Labrador retired
from active duty as a guide-dog on November 28, 1999. She
has agreed to stay on as Emacspeak's press contact for the
immediate future. This release is code named Aster in
honour of her unflagging service over these last 10 years.
Emacspeak At The Bazaar
The speech-enabling approach as implemented in Emacspeak and
its relevance to speech-enabling the Linux desktop will be
The Bazaar --The Technology Of Cooperation
at the Jacob Javits Center, New York, December 15, 1999.
- Support for IBM ViaVoice Outloud (beta) for Linux.
- Further enhancements to single-click web-search.
- Enhanced auditory icons using midi synthesis.
- Single click access to desktop audio utilities
- Mixer (aumix) support for setting mixer values
- CD player support via cdplay
- MP3 support via mpg123
- Speech-enabled RPM browser.
- Speech-enabled gnuplot support.
- --and a lot more than will fit in this margin.
See the NEWS file for additional details. The Emacspeak
source distribution now includes a structured FAQ list designed to
introduce new and old users to the Emacspeak environment.
Opening Doors To A Windows-Free 2000
Emacspeak is now voluntarily bundled with all major Linux distributions.
Extensive studies have shown that users consider Emacspeak to be
absolutely priceless. Thanks to this wide-spread user demand, the
present version is being made available at the same zero cost as
earlier releases. At the same time, Emacspeak-2000 continues to
innovate in the area of speech interaction and carries forward the
well-established Open Source tradition of introducing user
interface features that eventually show up in commercial user
environments. On this theme, when recently challenged by a
proponent of a crash-prone but well-marketed windowing system with
the assertion "Emacs is a system from the 70's", the creator of
Emacspeak expressed surprize at the unusual candor manifest in the
assertion that it would take popular idiot-proof interfaces until
the year 2070 to catch up to where the Emacspeak audio desktop is
today. Upon hearing this, the said proponent of the crash-prone
system turned blue in the face (screen), crashed to the floor and
refused to get booted (ever again). Industry experts welcomed this
refreshing breath of Courage Certainty and Clarity (CCC) at a time
when users are reeling from the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
unleashed by complex software systems backed by even more
convoluted press releases.
Independent Test Results
Independent test results have proven that unlike some modern
software, Emacspeak can be easily uninstalled without
adversely affecting the continued performance of the
computer. These same tests also revealed that once
uninstalled, the user stopped functioning altogether.
Speaking with Aster Labrador this morning, the creator
of Emacspeak pointed out that these results once again
emphasize the user-centric design of Emacspeak; "It is
the user --and not the computer-- that stops
functioning when Emacspeak is uninstalled!".
Note from Aster: (UnDoctored Videos Inc. is currently looking for
volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete
Emacspeak-11.0 --code named Aster-- goes the final step in
making Linux a zero-cost Internet access solution for blind
and visually impaired users.
Emacspeak-10.0 --(AKA Emacspeak-2000) code named WonderDog-- was the
last in a series of award-winning software releases designed to
make eyes-free computing a productive and pleasurable experience.
Emacspeak-9.0 --(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab-- continued
to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive
accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 --(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named
BlackDog-- was a major upgrade to the speech output extension to
Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released as OpenSource on
the Internet in May 1995 as the first complete speech interface to
UNIX workstations. The subsequent release, Emacspeak-96 (code named
Egypt) made available in May 1996 provided significant enhancements
to the interface. Emacspeak-97 (Tennessee) went further in
providing a true audio desktop. Emacspeak-98 integrated
Internetworking into all aspects of the audio desktop to provide
the first fully interactive speech-enabled WebTop.
Visit Emacspeak on the WWW at Cornell --You can
also pick up emacspeak via anonymous ftp from
ftp://ftp.cs.cornell.edu/pub/raman/emacspeak/. You can
subscribe to the emacspeak mailing list
firstname.lastname@example.org by sending mail to the list request
address greg e.
Based at Cornell (NY)
http://cs.cornell.edu/home/raman --home to Auditory User
Interfaces (AUI) on the WWW-- Emacspeak is mirrored world-wide by
an international netwrok of
software archives and bundled voluntarily with all
major Linux distributions. On Monday, April 12, 1999, Emacspeak
became part of the
Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information
Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American
The Emacspeak mailing list is archived at Vassar --the
home of the Emacspeak mailing list-- thanks to Greg Priest-Dorman,
and provides a valuable knowledge base for new users.
About This Release
This press release is certified to be Y2K compliant.
More importantly, the software described is W2K free.
Press/Analyst Contact: Aster
Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against
Forced Fenestration (LAFF).
this overview of details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.
CopyWrite )C( Aster Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
WonderDog (DM), BlackDog (DM) and Labrador (DM) are Registered
Dogmarks of Aster Labrador.
All other dogs belong to their respective owners.
Previous Release Notes
Here is a link to the release notes for the previous major release,
Last modified: Mon Nov 29 09:11:19 1999