Text To Speech issues with Read Etexts Activity

James Simmons jim.simmons at walgreens.com
Mon Jul 14 11:46:57 EDT 2008

A couple of weeks ago I announced here that I had text to speech working 
in the Read Etexts activity.  I had reason to believe at the time that 
this was true.  I am sorry to report that I was wrong.

What is happening is this:  Read Etexts works just fine when running 
under Sugar Emulation on Xubuntu where I do all my development.  I 
assumed that when I installed Hemant's latest RPMs for speech-dispatcher 
on my G1G1 XO that it would work equally well there.  It does not.  What 
happens is that I try to toggle Speech on and off   It starts speaking 
well enough, but after I stop Speech I can't get it to start up again.  
Worse, it generally hangs the Activity so I need to reboot the XO to 
quit the Activity.

The way I use speech-dispatcher is to invoke it in a separate thread.  
When I cancel speech the thread is allowed to terminate.  To start 
speech again I need to create a new thread.

Sounds like a problem with either speech-dispatcher or threading, 
doesn't it?  Well, before I wrote Read Etexts as an Activity I wrote it 
as a standalone Pygtk application.  Every time I want to add 
functionality to the Activity I add it to the application first, mostly 
because the standalone app is easier to test.  So I have a standalone 
app that does exactly the same thing text-to-speech-with-highlighting  
wise that the Activity does and uses pretty much the same code to do 
it.  I can run this app under Terminal on the XO and start and stop 
Speech all day long and it works fine.  Speech doesn't stop working and 
nothing hangs.  Its only the Activity that doesn't work on that XO.

So to summarize I have an Activity that works great everywhere except 
for the (expletive deleted) XO it was meant to work on.

I'm really stuck here.  Its clearly an issue with Sugar, not pygtk or 
speech-dispatcher.  Yet I can't recreate the problem in my Xubuntu test 

If anyone wants to try running my tests on an XO I can provide my 
Activity plus my standalone app plus instructions from Hemant Goyal on 
installing speech-dispatcher and its dependencies on the XO.  If anyone 
has ideas on how I can debug this or what the problem is that would be 
even better.


James Simmons

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