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Sunday November 17, 2002
04:27 AM

Tell me everything

[ #8991 ]

Right after I posted my thoughts on speech multiplexers, I had another idea. Would perl errors be easier to deal with if Marlene Deitrich spoke them to me? I cannot actually do that a the moment, but that stuff Kevin Lenzo works on can probably create the voice and all that. I can; however, use one of the Mac's voices.

I wrote a simple program to speak whatever I give it as input. I set the MAC_VOICE environment variable to one of the voices in the Speech panel of System Preferences. I name the program "speak".

#!/usr/bin/perl
 
use Mac::Speech;
 
my $Default_voice = 'Victoria';
 
my $voice = $Mac::Speech::Voice{ $ENV{MAC_VOICE} || 'Victoria' };
 
my $channel = NewSpeechChannel($voice);
SpeakText( $channel, '' );
 
while( <> )
    {
    SpeakText( $channel, $_ );
    sleep 1 while SpeechBusy();
    }
 
DisposeSpeechChannel($channel);

I created a perl program that would generate an error. Since I use strict, I have to declare all of my variables somehow. In this program I do not do that, so I should get an error.

#!/usr/bin/perl
use strict;
 
$x = 1;

When I run this program, I get an error. The particular error may vary by your version of Perl.

Global symbol "$x" requires explicit package name at bad.pl line 4.
Execution of bad.pl aborted due to compilation errors.

I redirect this to speak. Since perl errors show up on standard error I redirect that to standard output (2>&1) so I can pipe it to speak.

g3_brian[1121]$ perl bad.pl 2>&1 | speak

Is the error message any easier to take? Well, not really. I want to throttle the speaker, actually. Maybe I can experiment with the voice timing and whatnot to make it better.

Just for fun I redirected the text to an upcoming article into speak. Despite the goofy voice, I could understand most of the text. This could be really handy---instead of reading the article yet another time, I listen to it. The new experience should help me catch things I missed with my eyes.

Along the same lines, but for another day:

  • speaking Eliza
  • speaking IRC
  • speaking email
  • speaking regular expressions
  • speaking perl5db