SpeechHub matters - answers to recent questions

Isaac Porat


The following are answers to recent SpeechHub issues on this list.
Firstly, I am using it daily and not aware of any significant problems but there are some things to watch.

* Possible Java issues

SpeechHub uses Java, therefore like any other Java program, if Java is not installed correctly, it would not work resulting in a Java error message.

Firstly Java 7 is not supported any more by Oracle since May 2015. Check if you still have Java 7 installed (look in in add / remove programs or Program and features)
If you find Java 7 remove it, if nothing else it can be a security risk.

Then check that you have Java 8 and if not download and install it from its website - The Java 8 installer is available now by default.

Try to run a Java program and if it does not work read the following:

Assuming you have Java 8 installed, the following problem occurs only on some machines and when it does Java does not work with any program!
There is a Java 8 installation problem after installing java 8 on a system already running (or used to run) Java 7.
Without going into technicalities, the Java 8 installer leaves (it should not) three files which needs to be removed manually for Java to work these are:
java.exe, javaw.exe & javaws.exe in the Windows system folder.
So, the solution is to check if these files are present in your windows system folder and if so, simply to delete the 3 Java exes, as above.
If you are running 32-bit Java on a 64-bit Windows, the exes would be in Windows\SysWOW64, otherwise in Windows\System32.

SpeechHub is running as a local server. With some anti virus programs including Microsoft Defender, each time you install another version of Java, it asks you if you would allow it to communicate, say yes if you want to run SpeechHub; actually SpeechHub does not communicate outside your computer at all but still this permission is required even to communicate within your own computer for some reason.

If you suspect that Java communication is blocked, check and if necessary change the settings in your anti virus program.

* Sometimes after rebooting the computer, NVDA does not remember the last voice used by SpeechHub reverting to eSpeak

From version 2015.4 (I think), NVDA uses the 'Ease of access' feature in Windows, which means that NVDA starts together with other access technology programs before other programs.
SpeechHub does not use 'Ease of access' yet which means that NVDA might wait for SpeechHub to start and after a while gives up and revert to eSpeak.

I find that usually (always in my system, restarting NVDA [Ctrl + Alt + n], which takes a few seconds solves the problem.

* Audio ducking

SpeechHub uses it own audio system and audio ducking is not supported yet. I did try it with other synthesizer and it least for me I find it irritating and prefer not to use it. I shall look into SpeechHub support for audio ducking at some stage.

The above are all the issues I am aware of at present.

SpeechHub is here with plenty of information:

SpeechHub developer