Debian verbal notifications (proof-of-concept)

Posted by Sotirios Vrachas on October 26, 2013

#Debian verbal notifications (proof-of-concept) I wanted to see how difficult would be sent desktop notifications to festival, a text to speech software. It turns out it was not that difficult.

I used SiND – Simple Notification Daemon to print the desktop notifications to stdout and then pipe them to festival since festival supports pipes.

git clone
cd simplenotifydaemon
mkfifi festival-fifo
chmod +x sind

If you don’t have festival installed install it

sudo aptitude install festival

you can test festival with

festival -b "(intro)"

if you hear the introduction you are good to go

for sind to work you need to kill any other notify deamon for xfce

killall xfce4-notifyd

and finally

festival --pipe festival-fifo &
./sind -d -f '(SayText "%s %b")' > festival-fifo &

you can test it with

notify-send "Test Title" "Test body"

If you find that the notifications are too long, or too detailed remove the body from the sind output

./sind -d -f '(SayText "%s")' > festival-fifo

Keep in mind that this is not the best method, it would be better to use festival in server mode or the festival API for the creation of a software tool. Some times festival becomes unresponsive.