Chapter 1. Introduction

Table of Contents


Jovie is a subsystem within KDE for producing Text-to-Speech (TTS). It provides a common API for KDE programmers to give TTS capabilities to their applications. It provides some nice capabilities for end users as well.

User features:

  • Speak contents of a text file.

  • Speak KDE notification events (KNotify).

  • Speak all or part of the text of a web page in Konqueror.

  • Speak all or part of the text in Kate text editor, including instances where Kate is embedded in another KDE application.

  • Speech is spoken via speech-dispatcher, so any speech-dispatcher backend can be used (espeak, festival, etc.)

  • User-configurable filters for substituting misspoken words, choosing speech synthesizers, and transforming XHMTL/XML documents.

Programmer features:

  • Priority system for screen reader outputs, warnings and messages, while still playing regular texts.

  • Permit generation of speech from the command line (or via shell scripts) using the qdbus utility.

  • Provide a lightweight and easily usable interface for applications to generate speech output.

  • Applications need not be concerned about contention over the speech device.

  • FUTURE: Provide support for speech markup languages, such as VoiceXML, Sable, Java™ Speech Markup Language (JSML), and Speech Markup Meta-language (SMML).

  • FUTURE: Provide limited support for embedded speech markers.

  • Asynchronous to prevent system blocking.

Jovie actually consists of several programs:


the KDE Text-to-Speech Daemon, which is an application that provides TTS services to applications via D-Bus. It also sits in the system tray.


A plugin for the Konqueror web browser that permits you to speak all or a portion of the text on a web page.


A plugin for the Kate text editor that permits you to speak all or a portion of a text file.


In addition to the KDE Bugzilla database ( ), discussions for Jovie currently take place in the kde-accessibility mailing list. Subscribe at Developers also hang out in IRC (, channel #kde-accessibility).