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3.4 Usenet News


Emacspeak provides a fluent spoken extension to GNUS, the GNU Emacs news-reader. The interface permits the user to browse news using the four arrow keys.

We present the user with a simple metaphor of opening and closing objects. The up and down arrows navigate through objects at the current level; the right arrow opens the current object, while the left arrow closes it.

To begin with, the user opens up Usenet news. The up and down arrows navigate through the list of newsgroups, providing a succinct verbal description of the current group and the number of articles that are unread. Opening a group with the right arrow results in the up and down arrow keys moving through the list of unread articles; again, the article is succinctly summarized using utterances of the form ``Sender on topic, 33 lines.''. Opening an article by pressing right arrow speaks it; the listener can move to the next article merely by pressing the down arrow, which will interrupt the reading of the current article, and summarize the next article. The auditory icons described earlier are especially useful when browsing news; the aural cues for opening, closing and selecting objects allow the listener to quickly move to the next task in the interface.

All of the features described in the section on reading email are available when reading news; Emacspeak presents the dialogue structure present in news articles using the voice-lock feature described above.

Raman T. V.
Tue Nov 21 15:57:11 PST 1995