Emacspeak-9.0 (BlackLab) Release Notes

Announcing Emacspeak-9.0 (BlackLab)

For Immediate Release

San Jose, Calif., (October 24, 1998)
Emacspeak99: Preparing For The Next Millenium
--Interactive Accessibility enhances Speech-Enabled Desktop

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.

Major Enhancements

  1. Support for nested HTML tables to further enhance Emacspeak's already efficient navigation and browsing of structured and multicolumn WWW pages.
  2. Fluent spoken access to database applications.
  3. Speech-enabled support for creating and maintaining XML documents..
  4. Speech-enabling extensions for the following:
    1. Speech-enabled SQL: emacspeak-sql.el
    2. Network utilities: emacspeak-net-utils.el
    3. Enhanced Perl mode: CPerl: emacspeak-cperl.el
    4. Speech-enabled on-the-fly spell checking.
    5. Speech-enabled hyperlink navigation in online help buffers.
    6. Locating Emacs source code: emacspeak-find-func.el
Emacspeak 9.0 speech-enables all new features introduced in Emacs 20.3. See the release notes for additional details. The Emacspeak source distribution now includes a structured FAQ list designed to introduce new and old users to the Emacspeak environment.

Preparing For The Next Millenium

Emacspeak is now bundled with all major Linux distributions; however, users can rest assured that this present version was not released prematurely to defeat anti-trust concerns.

At the same time, Emacspeak 99 continues to innovate in the area of speech interaction and carries forward the well-established Emacs tradition of introducing user interface features that commercial user environments eventually acquire. 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.

Industry experts welcomed these candid clarifications as a 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 meven more convoluted press releases.


Emacspeak-9.0 --(AKA Emacspeak 99) code named BlackLab-- continues to innovate in the areas of speech interaction and interactive accessibility. Emacspeak-8.0 --(AKA Emacspeak-98++) code named BlackDog-- is a major upgrade to the speech output extension to Emacs. Emacspeak-95 (code named Illinois) was released 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 owner greg e. priest-dorman.

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 with all major Linux distributions. 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.

Contact Information

Press/Analyst Contact: Aster Labrador
CopyWrite )C( Aster Labrador. All Writes Reserved.
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, Emacspeak-7.0
Email: raman@adobe.com
Last modified: Fri Oct 23 22:22:32 1998