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Grass Roots Development: This Is How It Works

The title? Oh, This Is How It Works? Yeah, because this is how it works. Working together in collaboration. Leaving your ego and your bias at the door. Kicking off your shoes and joining a group already assembled. Opening your mind to new and possibly better things that you bring to the table. This is how it works.

Getting along onlineChanging someone’s world.

Changing a lot of someone’s world for that matter. Changing lives for a great and a new day…a great and new day for just them. A change that allows them to do things that physical inability restricted them from doing before now.

Not doing it for the few minutes your name and face will be on some website, or for a mention on the front page of a big city newspaper. Also, not doing it for money.

No, what you are doing is joining others with many of the same values, talents and dreams. People who are working not for their own but for someone else’s future…someone you and they will probably never know or even meet. They are half a world away and not dreaming that in just a few hours someone else is going to fix something broken within them. And they’re doing this fixing simply because they have the ability to do it.

…because they have the ability to do it.

They are people like David Effendi, who lives in Singapore with his wife and family. David is a software engineer but he works on a hardware product of his own design called Chorustext. Last week at this time, I didn’t know David Effendi existed. He came to my awareness via an email. It seems David had read one of my articles on FOSS Force, where he learned about our effort to bring a decent text to speech solution to Linux.

And just what and who is “our effort?”

I’ve raged and pounded on the pulpit for a couple of weeks now… The TTS apps that populate the Linuxsphere are not worth the powder needed to blow them out of existence. Before you go dashing to www.hire-a-hitman-to-shut-this-lunatic-up.com, let me repeat:

This isn’t because the programmers don’t have the skills. It’s mostly due to severe and limiting patents and licensing for the TTS voices. It’s mainly the voices that either make or break the app. Most of the developers simply use the tools at their disposal, and if those tools are a bit robotic or harsh in presentation? That’s only because the better ones are too expensive to license or patented and not available for public use.

But many of these developers have published their works under various GPL iterations, thus allowing other people to make them better if at all possible. That’s where David Effendi comes in.

Our little project group is working in one or more areas to make text to speech in Linux easy and clearly understood. I wrote about it here on FOSS Force, like-minded people joined in and soon after that, we had a project team. We’ve decided that an announced roadmap would be more of a distraction than helpful, but what I can tell you is that we are working on projects both for the OS and browser platforms.

David emailed me and stated that his interest was piqued by the fact that I wanted to explore the use of MaryTTS as part of our solution. While David’s talents were focused on Chorustext, his hardware project, he realized that his skills could greatly help our team effort and he asked to be brought on board.

Welcome aboard, David. Buckle in and hold on. We are going places none of us envisioned when we first started our little group. And I think it’s fair to say that what we are doing isn’t revolutionary or ground-breaking by any stretch of imagination. What it is though is a lesson in focused and dedicated work toward making something better…better than anyone had imagined. It will be an application that could be used the day a human steps on the surface of Mars. With the talents and dedicated people we’ve assembled, we hope to bring an easy-to-use, dedicated and long-term text to speech application to the Linuxsphere.

It’s something we’ve needed for quite some time. Catch me here on FOSS Force next Tuesday and I’ll fill you in. This can’t be told well in just one article.

2 Comments

  1. Colonel Panik Colonel Panik April 21, 2015

    Community
    Open Source Community

    Ken has started a new neighborhood in the Open Source
    Community. I’m waiting for the first block party.

    This project is going to work, it will be another
    example of how Open Source is the right way.

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