XVI for Linux
Beta Demo Release
IntroductionThis software is a demonstration release of the BEAM XVI software following an initial port to Linux.
The software was developed to work with Motif applications in an X-Terminal environment.
The software needs much more work before it forms a useful screen reader for most X-Windows applications but is presented here to show where we have got to.
Supported HardwareThe release supports the following hardware:
|Graphics boards, mice, keyboards||Graphics boards, mouse and keyboard that will operate with the XFree86 3.3.3 SVGA or S3 X-Servers. See the XFree web site for more information. http://www.xfree86.org. Only the UK keyboard map is supported at present.|
|Speech||Apollo Dolphin 2 speech unit. Alpha Delphi 440 Braille display with firmware modification or IBM's ViaVoice software speech synthesiser|
|Braille||Alva Delphi 440 Braille display|
We have tested the system with the following Graphics cards: Matrox G200, S3 Trio64.
The system employs a speech/braille server that has support for plug-in drivers. So it is quite easy to add different speech/braille devices.
|Device||Device Name||By Who|
|Double Talk Speech Unit||DoubleTalk||Matthew Campbell <firstname.lastname@example.org> Written and Contributed within 8 hours of release !|
InstallationThe software is distributed as a set of RPM files which have been tested on the RedHat 7.0 distribution of Linux.
|lesstif-0.91.4-1.i386.rpm||The Lesstif application libraries|
|xvi_sbserver-4.1.0-4.i386.rpm||The XVI Speech/Braille Server and standard drivers|
|xvi_xservers-4.1.0-3.i386.rpm||The modified XVI X-Servers|
|xvi_apps-4.1.0-3.i386.rpm||The XVI magnification and screen reader applications|
|xvi_base-4.1.0-3.i386.rpm||The XVI base runtime system|
|xvi_demo-4.1.0-3.i386.rpm||The XVI demo system|
|nedit-5.02-2.i386.rpm||X-Windows editor program for use in demo|
|fvwm2-icons-2.2.4-9.i386.rpm||Window manager for use in demo (may be already present in system)|
|fvwm2-2.2.4-9.i386.rpm||Window manager for use in demo (may be already present in system)|
|xvi_sbserver_src-4.1.0-4.i386.rpm||Source code for speech/braille drivers|
|alvafw.tar.gz||Updated Alva Firmware for Alpha Delphi 440 and 480|
Download all of the rpm files into a directory and install using the command:
rpm -i *.rpm
Once the files have been installed, the system needs to be configured for XVI use. To do this perform the following steps:
- If you need to use the X-Server for S3 type graphics cards, link the XF86_S3 X-Server to the file /usr/xvi/etc/X
- The X-Server configuration file /usr/xvi/etc/XF86Config will need to be edited in order to specify mouse type and perhaps monitor frequencies. In the file look at the Pointer section and uncomment the appropriate protocol for the mouse in use. The Monitor frequencies are set in the fields HorizSync and VertRefresh.
- Netscape needs the "Show ToolTips" option turned off to prevent the browser tracking tooltip windows.
- ln -sf /usr/xvi/bin/XF86_S3 /usr/xvi/etc/X
Speech Braille Device SetupFirst the devices need to be setup:
The speech/braille server's configuration will now need to be set up in the file /usr/xvi/etc/sbserver.conf. Using an editor uncomment the appropriate lines for the speech and/or braille devices in use. Note: the serial device used may also need to be changed.
Dolphin Apollo 2 Speech UnitThis just needs to be plugged into a spare serial port using the cable supplied with the Apollo 2.
Alva Delphi 440This needs a firmware upgrade in order to provide both speech and braille output from a single serial connection.
The tar file alvafw.tar.gz on our download site contains the necessary firmware and instructions. Once loaded the Alva's serial port 1 (closest to the power switch) can be connected to any available serial port on the host computer.
IBM Via Voice SoftwareThe IBM ViaVoice TTS Run Time Kit for Linux V5.1 software is available for free download from http://www-4.ibm.com/software/speech/dev/ttssdk_linux.html.
Download this software, which is available as an RPM (ViaVoice_TTS_rtk-5.1-1.2.i386.rpm), and install it following the instructions given on the IBM web site. Note that the Linux systems sound device needs to be set up and working first.
Once this configuration file has changed restart the sbserver with the command
/etc/rc.d/init.d/sbserver restartThe speech/braille server should announce its startup on the speech and/or braille devices.
DocumentationDocumentation is located in the directory /usr/xvi/doc.
In this directory are the user manuals for the XVI screen magnification program and the XVISB screen reader program.
The HTML file index.html provides an index to the documentation files.
Demo UsageThe demo software has been setup to operate with a minimal X-Windows environment. In order to try the demo, login on a system text console and run the command :-
xvi_demoThis will startup the XVI X-Server as display :1 and startup a simple menu program to enable you to try the demo.
The demo will allow you to move around some simple Motif based applications to get the feel for the XVI screen reader.
The screen magnification application can be driven using the on screen control panel or by pressing short cut keys.
The main key presses are:
|LCTRL SHIFT KP+||Increase magnification|
|LCTRL SHIFT KP-||Decrease magnification|
|LCTRL SHIFT M||Magnifying glass toggle|
|LCTRL SHIFT U||Magnifying glass increase magnification|
|LCTRL SHIFT D||Magnifying glass decrease magnification|
The screen reader application can be driven from the keys on a braille display or from the keyboards numeric keypad. The main functions on the numeric keypad are:
|Key||Action Object Mode||Action Text Mode|
|NumLock||Toggle between Object and Text modes||Toggle between Object and Text modes|
|KP_/||Mouse Button 1||Mouse Button 1|
|KP_*||Mouse Button 2||Mouse Button 2|
|KP_-||Mouse Button 3||Mouse Button 3|
|KP_+||Next Application||Next Application|
|KP_Enter||Previous Application||Previous Application|
|KP_4||Go left one object||Go left one character|
|KP_6||Go right one object||Go right one character|
|KP_8||Go up one Object||Go up one line|
|KP_2||Go down one Object||Go down one line|
|KP_insert||Speak/display object information and data||Speak/display object information and data|
|KP_Del||Stop speaking||Stop speaking|
|RCTRL F1||Help system||Help system|
|RCTRL F2||User Options||User Options|
Please read the XVI screen magnification and XVISB screen reader manuals for full usage information.
- XVI Screen Magnifier User Manual, HTML format
- XVI Screen Magnifier User Manual, PDF format
- XVI Screen Reader User Manual
Future developmentThe XVI screen reader provided with the demo gathers its model of the applications GUI by means of an X-Server extension called XVI that snoops on the low level X-Protocol that the application uses to draw its GUI onto the display. This has been tailored for applications written using the Motif/Lesstif tool kits. It has yet to be extended to fully support Gnome or KDE tool kits.
We are in the process of developing a "screen reader application interface" that will allow the screen reader to access the applications directly to get a better model of the GUI in use.
In order to perform this work we are looking for funding and support from other parties.