§ Learning code by hearing it

I learnt of this from an amazing discussion on HackerNews, where a sighted programmed, who is going blind, asked the community if he could remain a software engineer. An answer by kolanos read:
You can definitely continue as a software engineer. I'm living proof. ... For example, as you get better with a screen reader, you'll be bumping the speech rate up to 1.75-2X normal speech. ... Typos will be easily spotted as they just won't "sound right". It will be like listening to a familiar song and then hitting an off note in the melody. And this includes code. Also, because code is no longer represented visually as blocks, you'll find you're building an increasingly detailed memory model of your code. Sighted people do this, too, but they tend to visualize in their mind. When you abandon this two dimensional representation, your non-visual mental map suffers no spatial limits. You'll be amazed how good your memory will get without the crutch of sight.
I find this incredibly fascinating. I think I'm going to try this: I'll listen to lectures on 1.5-2x anyway, so this may work just as well. I'm planning on trying this with the MLIR codebase, which I want to get to know intimately. I'll write updates on how this goes. Drew DeVault also posted links to tools/scripts for programming without needing visual feedback: I also learnt about emacspeak, which supposedly works well for an audio-based-workflow.
  • [https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22919455]

§ Setting up festival

It seems that festival is the best(?) TTS engine for linux. One should
  1. install festival
  2. install the voice packs, given by the name festvox-*.
  3. The best (?) festival voice is supposedly in the package festvox-us-slt-hts,with voice name voice_cmu_us_slt_arctic_hts. The pacakge is also available atthe debian site: https://packages.debian.org/sid/all/festvox-us-slt-hts/download
  4. edit the festival config file /etc/festival.scm and add a line
; the ' is important to escape the string
; (set! voice_default ')
(set! voice_default 'voice_cmu_us_slt_arctic_hts)

§ Setting up SVOX pico2wave

  • Ubuntu package: sudo apt install libttspico-utils
  • Run instructions:
#!/bin/bash
pico2wave -w=/tmp/test.wav "$1"
aplay /tmp/test.wav
rm /tmp/test.wav