Does simon works on Openbox (window manager)?

  • shengchieh

    shengchieh - 2009-09-08

    Is simon KDE-specific or does simon works on Openbox?
    How about for other lightweight WM/DE such as fluxflux,
    iceWM, XFCE, LXDE, etc?  I have a dinosaur desktop, so
    KDE is too bloated for me.

    Thank in advanced for any reply (replies).


    • Peter Grasch

      Peter Grasch - 2009-09-08

      Short answer: Yes.

      But you will need to install the kde libraries and simon will load them when you start it. Which means that the amount of application memory that simon will consume will seemingly be very high as there are a whole lot of kde specific services and libraries that will automatically be launched with simon. There is nothing we can do about that and it isn't a simon specific problem but it is that way with any program with "heavy" dependencies (be that Gnome, KDE or whatever).

      Just try it out and see if your setup can "take it" :)!


    • shengchieh

      shengchieh - 2009-09-09

      Thank you for replying.  Space is also a consideration.  I may or may not try putting a KDE
      distro on my 4G eee laptop - don't know.  This dinosaur desktop needs to stay
      lightweight so installing simon on openbox w/ KDE libraries is the only option.

      Can you make a rough guess?
        How big is the KDE libraries needed?
        How big is HTK?
        How big is simon?

      If I do use a KDE distro on my laptop, would you go with Fedora or Mandriva?  I may
      be able to get Kubuntu, but not sure.  And I definitely not sure about other KDE distro
      (working correctly on the eee).  I know Mandriva, my 1st preference, will work
      because I used it before.  Will simon runs fine on that distro?


      • Peter Grasch

        Peter Grasch - 2009-09-09


        The only problematic distribution I know is ubuntu so Madriva should be fine (altough I don't personally have experience with running simon on it and there are no pre-packaged packages specifically for it - or Fedora for that matter).

        simon itself (compiled) has maybe about 2-3 MB. The manual and translation add about 8-9MB, tough.

        HTK is quite small too (I'd guess around 2-5MB or so).

        KDE (only the libraries) would weigh around 30MB-60MB with translations I guess (rough guess, you'd have to check for the real numbers).

        So for the whole of simon and its dependencies I'd guess it would "cost" you around 100MB.

        So space-wise this should be managable. However, if you check out the svn version the code and temporary compilation files will get to about 250MBs (you can delete that once you have installed simon, tough).


  • shengchieh

    shengchieh - 2009-10-15

    Hi, it's me again.  After looking into Dragon NaturallySpeaking
    and buying it, I decided it's not worth the hassle due to its memory
    requirement - will donate it instead.  So I'm back on the idea of
    using simon.

    In the download page,

    I noted that the download file is a DEB file.  Fedora and Mandriva
    are RPM distros.  You think it's easier to try Linux Mint-KDE instead?

    [UPDATE:: the latest ubuntu has the eee internet drivers, so any
    ubuntu derivative now are doable on the eee netbook - before, you
    needed to hack abit.]

    Btw, roughly (not pushing - I rather releases be good than fast),
    how much longer until simon comes out as a beta?  I'm NOT
    a geek, so I don't like messing around with alpha versions.

    Thank for your help.


  • Peter Grasch

    Peter Grasch - 2009-10-16


    Please note that simon can nowhere near compete with dragon naturally speaking now!

    We provide RPM packages too. Just go to the detailed download page and select the RPM file.

    simon 0.2 is a stable version by the way. However, on Ubuntu (and Ubuntu based systems) there are some stability issues between portaudio and pulseaudio which can be avoided by uninstalling pulseaudio.


  • shengchieh

    shengchieh - 2009-10-16

    Thank for replying.

    Yes I know simon is far from DNS, but I can't meet its hardware
    requirement and have to rule it out.  Plus, i doubt I will do much
    more than "writing" texts.


    Mandriva KDE
    Fedora KDE
    Linux Mint KDE

    do you recommend or dis- recommend any one of them?


  • Peter Grasch

    Peter Grasch - 2009-10-17


    Well "writing" (dictating) texts freely is the most challenging thing a speech recognition can do. simon does NOT support free dictation at the moment (!) so this is exactly something you WONT be able to do.

    If you still want to try simon I would recommend any one of Mandriva, Fedory or SimplyMepis (haven't had experiences with simon on any of those three but haven't heard anything bad about it either).


    ps.: If you can't match the hardware requirements for DNS and need dictation you will most likely be out of luck. You could try some server / client based approaches but that would be quite costly AFAIK.

  • shengchieh

    shengchieh - 2009-10-17


    Does simon has any future plan to do free dictation?

    Also, if not simon, are you aware of any other NON-RESEARCH
    linux program that does free dictation?  Or am I'm stuck using
    Sphinx/HTK w/ VoxForge?


    p.s The VoxForge folks sent me here.  Maybe I should go back???

  • Peter Grasch

    Peter Grasch - 2009-10-19

    Yes, we have plans to add dictation but this will probably take years (not months) if ever.

    I can say with some certainty that there is no free software that will allow you to do free dictation. The problem is not the software but the speech model which requires thousands of hours of transcribed speech to work well enough for dictation. This is what voxforge tries to create.

    The current Voxforge model will NOT allow you dictation!

    The voxforge people where right to send you here because what we do is to bring the current technology (acoustic modelling with HTK, recognizing with Julius) to the end user (you).

    If you really wanted to, you *could* try to find a tri-gram (or build your own - very hard work) for your target language, grab the HTK model from voxforge and set simon up to use this. However, this would probably work very, very badly  (probably < 10% recognition) so I wouldn't recommend it at all.

    I am afraid you are back to proprietary solutions. If you want to make sure that there are open source solutions in the future, you might want to support Voxforge in their quest for a general acoustic model by donating some speech samples - check their homepage for details!


  • shengchieh

    shengchieh - 2009-10-19

    Thank you for your help.  I'll be checking the progress for simon
    and voxforge in the future.

    Unfortunately my voice is blurred from a stroke and I miss alot
    of punctuation (S, Z, etc) because I grew up with a hearing loss
    (I don't hear these sounds).  My best bet is to examine ways
    to use DNS via Wine.

    Again, thank for your help.  I know you people are doing important


  • Peter Grasch

    Peter Grasch - 2009-10-23


    If you have no luck at all with DNS you _could_ try to create your own small acoustic model (about 60 words) with simon with which you could control an on screen keyboard and thus spell your texts.

    Of course not a great solution but if you want to write arbitrary texts and DNS doesn't work for you it might be an alternative for short texts.



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