Sonar 2016.03 released - an accessible OS focused on assistive technology

The Sonar GNU/Linux team is proud to present the first release of Sonar in 2016, 2016.03. This release is the result of three months of hard work by us and the Manjaro developers team, and we’re proud of it. The Sonar team wishes to personally thank Philip Müller and Bernhard Landauer from the Manjaro project, for their tireless dedication and their help in getting packages into the repositories our users have requested. We’d also like to thank Kendell Clark, who took on this task of making sure Sonar works as it should and had as few bugs as possible. This release consists of the usual upstream and Manjaro updates, plus the following new packages:

  • Soundconverter, a gtk application to easily convert between audio formats, as well as strip the video out of video files, released under the lgpl2 license.
  • Transmageddon, a gtk+ application to convert between video formats. It also has presets for most common devices, including iPod, iPhone, and various game consoles. Released under the lgpl license.
  • Veracrypt, a fork of the populer truCrypt full disk encryption software, released under the apache license and the truCrypt open source license.
  • Ocrdesktop, a gtk wrapper around the teseract scanning engine, allowing you to easily scan applications that for whatever reason are not accessible. Cudos goes out to chrys87 for doing a fantastic job on this one.
  • CoreBird, an accessible gtk+ twitter client that integrates well into the linux desktop. Released under the gplv3 license.

The following new packages have been added into the community repository at my and other users request:

  • Tux’s tintin alteraeon sound pack, which adds sounds, scripts and other game enhancements to the popular alteraeon multi user dungeon.
  • Sonar has switched to using the espeak-ng speech synthesizer “http://github.com/espeak-ng/espeak-ng” as it’s primary speech synthesizer. This is a fork of the popular espeak text to speech synthesizer. Many many new improvements have been made to the already fast and responsive espeak, most of which are invisible to the average user.
  • Sonar comes in two editions depending on the desktop used. Gnome, which comes with the popular gnome shell desktop environment, and Mate, which comes with the popular mate desktop environment. Which to use is completely up to you, but mate works well on less powerful hardware, as well as apple macs.

Notes

Please note that the Mate version is missing our customized keyboard shortcuts. This will be fixed in an update to our desktop settings package shortly after release. Don’t select “autologin” during the install process in our Mate edition. If you do, you will be logged into a minimal gnome shell when your system reboots and will have to install gnome’s control center and turn autologin off before you can log into Mate.

Thank you for your interest in Sonar!


Written on March 6, 2016