Now that eSpeak runs pretty well in JS, it is time for a Web Speech API extension!
What is the Web Speech API? It gives any website access to speech synthesis (and recognition) functionality, Chrome and Safari already have this built-in. This extension adds speech synthesis support in Firefox, and adds eSpeak voices.
For the record, we had speech synthesis support in Gecko for about 2 years. It was introduced for accessibility needs in Firefox OS, now it is time to make sure it is supported on desktop as well.
Why an extension instead of built-in support? A few reasons:
- An addon will provide speech synthesis to Firefox now as we implement built-in platform-specific solutions for future releases.
- An addon will allow us to surface current bugs both in our Speech API implementation, and in the spec.
- We designed our speech synthesis implementation to be extensible with addons, this is a good proof of concept.
- People are passionate about eSpeak. Some people love it, some people don’t.
So now I will shut up, and let eSpeak do the talking: