Emacspeak-12.0 (GoldenDog) Release Notes

Announcing Emacspeak-12.0 (GoldenDog)

For Immediate Release

San Jose, Calif., (May 1, 2000)
Emacspeak-2000++: Opening The Gates To A Speech-Enabled Semantic WWW
--Zero cost of ownership makes priceless software affordable!
Golden Dog
Hubbell Labrador

Emacspeak Inc (NASDOG: ESPK) today announced the immediate world-wide availability of Emacspeak 12.0 --a powerful audio desktop for leveraging today's evolving semantic WWW.

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 interface. A rich suite of task-oriented tools provides efficient speech-enabled access to the evolving semantic WWW. 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 29, 1999. She agreed to stay on as Emacspeak's press contact for the immediate future, but gave up the marketing role after just one week --she passed away peacefully December 5, 1999. this release is code named GoldenDog to welcome Hubbell (Bubbles) Labrador, a frisky young yellow Labrador who stepped into Aster's shoes earlier this year.

Major Enhancements

  1. Task-oriented web tools to exploit the evolving semantic WWW.
  2. Further enhancements to single-click web-search.
  3. Speech-enabled access to CVS.
  4. Speech-enabled access to the new Java debugger.
  5. RPM package to allow single click installation.

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, the creator of Emacspeak once pointed out that these results re-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 and Bubbles: (UnDoctored Videos Inc. is currently looking for volunteers to star in a video demonstrating such complete user failure).


Emacspeak-12.0 --code named GoldenDog-- leverages the evolving sematnic WWW to provide task-oriented speech access to electronic information on the Internet. 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 Emacs.

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.

Obtaining Emacspeak

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 emacspeak@cs.vassar.edu by sending mail to the list request address emacspeak-request@cs.vassar.edu. .

About Emacspeak

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 History.

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: Hubbell Labrador
Windows-Free (WF) is a favorite battle-cry of The League Against Forced Fenestration (LAFF).
--see this overview of details on the ill-effects of Forced Fenestration.
CopyWrite )C( Aster and Hubbell Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
GoldenDog (DM) and BlackDog (DM) are Registered Dogmarks of Aster and Hubbell 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, Emacspeak-11.0
Email: raman@cs.cornell.edu
Last modified: Sun Apr 30 15:41:23 2000