Emacspeak 4.0

These are the release notes for Emacspeak 4.0. See Emacspeak Homefor an introduction to Emacspeak. This release is a major upgrade to the last public release of Emacspeak --emacspeak-3.75 from September 1995.

The following sections give a quick overview of what is new in this release.

Package Overview

This section gives an overview of the various modules that make up Emacspeak 4.0. This also serves as an introduction to those components that are new since 3.75.

Have emacspeak execute certain actions, e.g. play a sound, when the cursor moves over special regions of a buffer.
The core advise module. This module advises all of basic Emacs to speak.
Emacspeak extensions to the AUCTEX package. AUCTEX is a powerful environment for publishing in TeX and LaTeX.
Working with the Insidious Big Brother Data Base. Provides fluent spoken feedback as you use BBDB to lookup names in the database, do name completion as you compose email etc.
Extensions for editting C code. Optimized to work with module cc-mode.el by Barry Warsaw.
Speech extensions to the Emacs Calculator --a large symbolic algebra system.
Extensions to the calendar. Provides fluent spoken feedback as you navigate through the calendar, setup appointments etc.
Compiling code from inside Emacs and jumping to the error line is made easy with this module.
Auditory feedback when working with dired. This helps you easily navigate the filesystem, copy local or remote files etc. Emacspeak works fluently with both ANGE-FTP and EFS.
Auditory feedback for working with the DMACRO package. DMACRO is a package that allows you to quickly generate templates --useful in writing code.
Spoken feedback to help you compare and merge files using the EDIFF package. This is the most effective way of using programs like diff with spoken feedback. Emacspeak will figure out the specific differences between chunks and aurally highlight the differing pieces for you.
Speech extension to the Emacs ETERM package. ETERM is to Emacs as an XTERM is to X-Windows. With ETERM --comes with emacs-19.29 and later by default-- you can login to other machines from inside Emacs. In fact, you can run the UNIX VI editor inside an eterm window and get fluent spoken feedback from Emacspeak. But why run VI inside emacs you may ask: --Well, I do it all the time on my laptop when I need to become root and edit any of the system configuration files in /etc.
Speech extension to folding mode --folding.el
Editting using Emacs' forms support. Try out M-x forms-find-file on the forms-passwd demo file that is to be found in the Emacs distribution. Emacspeak provides fluents spoken feedback as you tab through fields in a form etc.
Reading USENET news. Works with both the old GNUS 4.XX as well as the new DING-GNUS --GNUS 5.0. Lets you listen to USENET without taking your hands off the four arrow keys.
Auditory feedback when using GDB from inside Emacs. Speaks error messages as they pop up, as well as the source line that contains the error.
Speech extensions for working with Bob Weiner's Hyperbole package.
Speech extensions for browsing info documentation. Provides audio formatted output using voice-lock mode.
Speech feedback from ispell --the spell checking interface. The interface provided is fluent and natural --the user responds to the spoken feedback instead of worrying about the cursor location on the screen.
Extensions for providing auditory feedback from Bob Weiner's Outline mode --KOTL-- this is a part of the Hyperbole system.
Speech extension for reading UNIX man pages inside Emacs. Provides a fluent browsing interface, including navigating between sections, following cross-references etc.
Speech extensions for Bob Weiner's OO-BROWSER --a system for browsing large software source pools. An excellent way of browsing large object oriented packages e.g. the JDK Java release from SUN.
Extensions for outline-mode and outline-minor-mode.
Editting Perl code.
Extensions to query-replace, search and replace etc. As of version 4.0 Emacspeak provides an aural highlight for the search hit.
Defines the auditory icons used by the rest of Emacspeak.
Implements core speech services used by the rest of the system.
Implements command emacspeak-tabulate-region Useful for listening to tabulated data, as produced by UNIX PS etc.
Extensions for providing spoken feedback when editting TCL code.
Extensions for creating and filling templates. Used by HTML-HELPER-MODE.
Extensions for Emacs' view-mode. View-mode lets you browse files without editting them.
Speech and audio extensions to the VM mail reader.
Emacspeak extensions for the Emacs W3 browser by William Perry. As of emacspeak 4.0, you need versions of w3 2.3 or higher. W3 is the first browser to implement the W3C CSS --cascaded style sheet-- specification; emacspeak 4.0 includes a first-cut implementation of a cascaded speech stylesheet. Note: the speech style sheet is still preliminary but very very useful.
Speech extensions to Bob Weiner's rolodex package.
The main module --basically loads everything else.
Like HTML-FONT.el --provides voice-lock support for HTML-HELPER-MODE
Emacspeak's audio equivalent of FONT-LOCK.el

Additional Comments

This release of Emacspeak includes many enhancements as well as fixes made over a period of seven months. Major improvements include:


I would like to thank Adobe Systems for providing me with an excellent computing environment at home --this has enabled me to continue working on emacspeak in my spare time.
Email: raman@adobe.com
Last modified: Fri May 10 16:03:52 1996