[nvda] Re: SAPI, was: Re: Re: IRC Clients, Anyone?

OK well what was Via Voice then. Was it SAPI 4? Isn't Eloquence based off of the same thing? If you would have noticed I said in the thing it was based off of SAPI not that it was. And, yes some hardware synths do use the SAPI framework. SAPI after all is a com interface, it is basically the same as the com port that is needed to make a hardware synth talk. I did not post what I did to make you angry, it was not an answer just for you. There are alot of people out there that don't understand why SAPI is slower than a hardware synth and I thought I might explain it a little. No it did not go into any detail of that what SAPI is doing is like the cable that is attached to your hardware synth only it is done in software. No, I did not go into the detail of when you have recorded speech it is slower because it needs to access the harddrive in order to load the voice fragments in memory then process it into speech and that equals lag time. But I did not intend to post a college thesis. I only wanted to explain that when people say SAPI is slow blah blah blah I wanted people who are not computer programmers to understand why. So, if you want to start a movement to eliminate SAPI doesn't it help if even the people that are not programmers to know why? Isn't it helpful to some to know why their AT&T Voices are sluggish and can't be understood at 1000 words per minute? Most people that are not programmers couldn't care less about the technical jargon. They just want it explained to them why it doesn't work for them. So yeah why not tell them a few reasons why some voices are better than others rather than just because SAPI sucks, because that is only a matter of opinion. Personally I don't mind SAPI because it makes it possible for me to have speech on my computer and I don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a hardware synth that in my opinion sounds like a robot from the 50's movies. But yes, Eloquence was based off of the SAPI standard. Eloquence is essentially the same thing as Via Voice the difference is that FS decided to use their own proprietary com for it so that they could get paid for selling it to people instead of a person being able to use it in any application they choose. Now please forgive me because I am not flaming hardware synths it is just that I have not come across one that has the same voice quality of RealSpeak etc. I have not come across one that I can get for free either, so I continue to use SAPI and continue to wait til that first free hardware synth with a voice like RealSpeak comes along. So yeah if there is something faster than SAPI that has voice quality like RealSpeak Daniel let's hear about it. Anyway, the original thread was about a guy asking how to add speech to mirc and how it got off on this I will never know. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Samuel Proulx" <samuel@xxxxxxxxxxxx>

To: <nvda@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2007 8:51 AM
Subject: [nvda] Re: SAPI, was: Re: Re: IRC Clients, Anyone?


Hi,

Please try and keep your facts straight. Most hardware synths do not use SAPI, and require individual interfaces or drivers (dectalk, for example, uses DAPI). In SAPI5, the programs must pass a rate value between 1 (or 0?) and 10. This means that most engines can't go much over 300, because they all have only 10 values for speed, and so work with the slower speeds. Jaws does not, in fact, use SAPI by default. It ties directly into eloquence, for exactly the reasons I mentioned: SAPI is slow and buggy. Same with Window Eyes: by default, it uses DAPI with dectalk. Supernova uses speech access manager, and that ties into Orpheus by default, rather than use SAPI. The only screen readers I am aware of using SAPI are Thunder and NVDA. Kurzweil uses SAPI4 by default, but 4 was a slightly better standard in that it supported passing of rate in WPM. I am well aware of how synths work, and that is why no concatnitive synths are installed on my computer; they are too large, and much too slow to get any real work done.
John Greer wrote:
SAPI itself is a standard. If not for SAPI which stands for Speech Application Programming Interface, your screen readers would not talk at all. Even Jaws uses SAPI. Yep even Eloquence is based off of the SAPI standard. What SAPI itself does is it gives programmers a standard interface to write programs with so they don't have to add a million additional lines of code writing some proprietary synth or synth driver. Yep even your hardware synth that is able to speak at 2000 words per minute uses SAPI to be able to know to speak 2000 words per minute. Frankly I am amazed that something like ESpeak exists at all. My hats off to the developer. Now like anything else in life there are things that we like and things that we don't like and if one TTS engine is not what you like then try another. But here is the reality of the situation. Many of the software synths like RealSpeak are done using concatnitive speech. What that means is that it is real human voices chopped up and put back together according to the speech rules programmed into the engine itself. How fast or slow a speech engine responds depends on alot of factors, the quality of the recordings, the size of the sound files and the speed that the engine itself can handle and it still be understandable speech. Now the goal of concatnitive speech is to make speech as close to human sounding as possible. I ask you when was the last time you heard a human being speaking at 2000 words per minute. If you even have, did you go huh? at some point? Now in order to make a speech engine that talks at 2000 words per minute and be perfect the speaker making the recordings has to be able to speak at 2000 words per minute. If they can't it is going to introduce artifacts, in other words things that don't sound natural. Now there are also those engines that are not actual recorded speech like Eloquence or Via Voice. But in a small way they are still based off of concatination. The way they work is instead of having actual recorded speech they use a tone and manipulate the frequency of that tone in a manner that sounds like speech depending on the phonetics of the language that it is trying to emulate. Then through the engines programming puts those tones together through concatination in a way that sounds like words and phrases. That is the reason why your non recorded speech synth is able to sound like fjklirtujigjdfitjdfitjdfitrji is because it is not dependant on a human speaker. Now all that SAPI is able to do is to take that engine that sounds like skdlrtisutjdfkfsjtdfitgjdftkdfjtdift and make it possible for screen readers etc. to use it. All that SAPI is able to do is to give a framework to be able to create an engine that goes foitriujtjdfitjdritdjtiruje. So I say if the engine you are using is not understandable at a faster speed, slow it down to the speech rate that it was intended to be at. If the engine you are using is not responsive enough find someone that can speak at 2000 words per minute and get them a job at RealSpeak or AT&T or Neo Speech. If that still doesn't work invent a faster programming language than C++ or use more memory, or a solid state hard drive etc. etc.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Samuel Proulx" <samuel@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <nvda@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 8:18 PM
Subject: [nvda] SAPI, was: Re: Re: IRC Clients, Anyone?


I second that motion; developers: stop it with the SAPI 5 stuff, please. I look forward to the day when (if?) NVDA and espeak get things sorted out so NVDA can use the espeak dll directly without going through SAPI. SAPI is buggy, slow, many "SAPI" engines don't fully support the standard, SAPI crashes a good deal, it's easy to break (a system where one new voice can bring down SAPI entirely is not a good system), I have never encountered a SAPI5 voice that could go fast enough for me (I.E: over 300 wpm), and SAPI will never do braille or hardware synths or anything else. I'm not trying to flame, SAPI can and should be used when no other options are available (as in NVDA's case right now), but I think we as blind users need to take a strong stand against SAPI in applications like games and software plugins, because if we don't it will soon be all we have left. I think the solution is to begin pressuring screen reader companies to come up with, and all follow, some kind of a screen reader interface standard so that an application can send text to be spoken with one clearly defined function, and it will get spoken by the screen reader and/or displayed in braille, no matter what the current reader may be. Perhaps as an open source solution, NVDA should set the standard?
Jim Grimsby JR. wrote:
That is a bad idea. More and more stuff talking to sapi.also what about Braille support. At least with direct interfacing with a screen reader the
Braille and speech can be produced by the screen reader to the needed
device. An example of this I was completely deff the other night. If I was not using a version of mirc that interfaced with my screen reader I could not have used my Alva and then I would have not been able to get on irc at all. Well I could because I got my mirc jaws scripts but I think you got the
idea.
-----Original Message-----
From: nvda-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:nvda-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Tim Keenan
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 5:16 PM
To: nvda@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [nvda] Re: IRC Clients, Anyone?


Thanks a lot everyone. tIRC is exactly what I was looking for. It integrates much better with MIRC than I expected.

By the way, I would imagine changing the com code would also allow us to get All inPlay games working directly with NVDA, although we're leaning toward getting away from direct screen-reader interfaces and just going with SAPI 5.




Cheers,

Tim





ace wrote:

Oh but actually using IRC under a UNIX shell is probably less
cumbersome than using a Windows client, if you have a login somewhere. IRC is a straight text protocol so really a lot of the Windows clients are kind of too advanced in my opinion. I do, however, use mIRC and have developed a script for it to interface to JFW, Window-Eyes, SAPI, and Eloquence. It is unfortunate that I can't interface to NVDA at this time but as soon as that is available I will explore it. www.talkingirc.net

ace/Robby
Tim Keenan wrote:

Greetings All,

I'm going to need to be able to proficiently use an IRC client for my
job coming up. Has anyone had success with any particular one under Windows?
I've tried quite a few with very little in the way of usable results.
I used to use Irc under a Unix shell, but that's not quite as practical nowadays. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.



Cheers,

Tim

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Report bugs or make feature requests at:
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Message Archive:
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