Talking hooks for long lasted cli tools
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Talks gem — now your ruby and command-line tools can talk with you

Build Status talks API Documentation

If you want to HEAR some response from your code or command-line tools, just use this gem.

You can use this gem on MacOS X and on other linux/unix systems with espeak installed.

Now with support for notifiers through notifier gem! Check the notifier's README and find what notifier you want to use - there is support for every OS!

I added in all sections of this readme notes about usage notifier functionality. And small readme about usage with Growl notifier.

Here is a small screencast about talks

Soon we will finish the wiki and it will be (I hope) delimited and clear for understand.

Sponsored by Evil Martians



You're running some really long task and you leave the desk to drink some coffee, read a book or surf the internet and you want to be notified that the task has finished its execution. You don't want to check your machine each minute. With this gem you can just add a little hook at the end of your code and when the execution ends - you will hear it in voice that you have chosen from MacOS X say function collection or from espeak collection.

Now if you forgot power on you sound on machine you can always see notifications by notifiers like Growl, Kdialog, Knotify, etc. Full list of notifiers is here.

You can find some examples of talks usage in organization ruby-talks:

Examples from other people:


On MacOS X this gem is just using the native MacOS X say command line tool. On linix/unix this gem is using espeak speech synthesis.

For notifications this gem uses notifier gem.

In all examples below I've used MacOS X voice types. For espeak you can read section Using talks with espeak


You can configure default voices and messages for talks with ~/.talksrc file or with your_project/.talksrc file. It should be written in YAML format:


default_voice: 'whisper'
engine: 'say'
notifier: 'off'            # if this option passed - you will not receive notifications at all
  title: 'Not talks'
  image: 'path/to/okay.png'
detach: true               # added ' &' to command line command
notify_by_default: true    # everytime when you call Talks#say - it will call Talks#notify
  info: 'pipe'
  info: 'hello'
  warn: 'WE GONNA DIE!!!'

You can also do it in your code dynamically through Talks.config instance.

You can configure only the default voice for say method and voices and messages for 4 types of talks: info, warn, success, error

For command-line commands you can configure default voices and hook messages:


  voice: 'vicki'
  before_message: 'Bundler again will do all right'
  after_message: "Bundler's job is done here"
  before_notify: 'This will go to notification before `before_message`'
  after_notify: 'This will go to notification after `after_message`'
# notifier: 'off' # this option will turn off notifications for this command

You can create your own default preferences for each command-line tool which you want to run with talks or talking command in front:


  voice: 'bad'
  before_message: 'Now we will see what in the directory'
  after_message: '.'
  before_notify: 'This will go to notification before `before_message`'
  after_notify: 'This will go to notification after `after_message`'
# notifier: 'off' # this option will turn off notifications for this command
... and etc

Using talks/talking command-line tool

talks or talking command-line tool wrap your command-line commands with talks hooks:

$ talking bundle install

After that talks will wrap execution of this command with voice messages. By default messages will be like 'command_name task started/ended'. You can preconfigure messages in your ~/.talksrc file or you can send options right in the talking command:

$ talking -v agnes -bm 'We gonna die!' -am 'Not sure if we can hear that' rm -rf ./
# the same
$ talking --voice agnes --before-message 'We...' --after-message 'Not...' rm -rf ./

The same with notifications:

$ talking -v agnes -bn 'We gonna die!' -an 'Not sure if we can hear that' rm -rf ./
# the same
$ talking --voice agnes --before-notify 'We...' --after-notify 'Not...' rm -rf ./

Using talks in your code

$ gem install talks

Then in your code you can require and use Talks functions:

require 'talks'

Talks.say 'Hello bro!'

# There are 4 types of voice: say or info, warn, success, error 'This is info'
# Talks.warn 'Some text'
# Talks.success 'Some text'
# Talks.error 'Some text'
Talks.notify 'This will be shown to you by your notifier'

Talks.say can be customized with type of message and voice by adding options to this method parameters:

Talks.say 'Hello like pipe', voice: 'pipe'
Talks.say 'Hello like error', type: :error # the same as using Talks.error

All voices which I've found in say manual:

VOICES = %w(
  agnes albert alex bad bahh bells boing bruce bubbles cellos
  deranged fred good hysterical junior kathy pipe princess ralph
  trinoids vicki victoria whisper zarvox

Using talks with espeak

You can configure your talks engine even to tell MacOS X to use espeak:


engine: 'espeak'

Otherwise talks will set engine by default. It will be set to say on MacOS X and to espeak on all other OS-es if command which espeak returns non-empty string.

You can even configure your language in espeak (this gem still doesn't support different languages). Voices for espeak:

# =>
    'en+m1', 'en+m2', 'en+m3', 'en+m4', 'en+m5', 'en+m6', 'en+m7',
    'en+f1', 'en+f2', 'en+f3', 'en+f4', 'en+f5', 'en+f6', 'en+f7'

Using talks with Growl

For Growl you should be a Mac user. And you should have Growl version >= 1.3.

If it's ok for you - you need to do several steps for using talks with Growl:

  • Install the growlnotify script

  • Open the Growl Preference Panel (System > Growl) and activate “Listen for incoming notifications” and “Allow remote application registration” (in Growl v1.4 present only first option - activate only her) options on the Network tab

  • I don't really remember - but maybe you should restart your machine after that :)

Now you can use talks with Growl support:

$: talking -bn 'This is before notification wich will shown with growl' ls -la

Here is the screenshot.


I did it myself.


  • @gazay

A lot of thanks

  • @kossnocorp - for idea with notifiers and his pulls.

  • @shime - for grammar fixes in readme and better explanation of my idea.

  • @aderyabin - extended customization of talks is his idea.

  • @brainopia - bro helps me with any idea of mine. He advised me to do command line tool talks.

You can help me with this fun gem and I'll gladly add you here, or above.


The MIT License