What is SpeakRight?

SpeakRight is an open-source Java framework for writing speech recognition applications in VoiceXML.Unlike most proprietary speech-app tools, SpeakRight is code-based. Applications are written in Java using SpeakRight's extensible classes. Java IDEs such as Eclipse provide great debugging, fast Java-aware editing, and refactoring. Dynamic generation of VoiceXML is done using the popular StringTemplate templating framework. Read more...

See Getting Started, Tutorial, and Table of Contents

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SpeakRight?

SpeakRight is an open-source Java framwork for writing speech recognition applications in VoiceXML.SpeakRight apps live inside a web server, such as a JSP servlet. The SpeakRight runtime executes a set of flow objects, and generates VoiceXML pages, one a time. SpeakRight is stateless so it can work across multiple HTTP requests.

How is it licensed?

SpeakRight is licensed under the OSS-approved Eclipse Public License (EPL). Under this license anyone can download and use SpeakRight. There are no license fees for use within a commercial product. EPL's main restriction is that if you modify SpeakRight source files and distribute them, then you must release those files under the EPL. Of course, your own source files (that may extend or use SpeakRight classes) are excempt.

Where does the name SpeakRight come from?

The name comes from the term "speak right into the microphone". Interviewers used this phrase in the early days of TV. People being interviewed didn't know how to behave with this new technology, and often froze on camera. The goal of the SpeakRight Framework is to help make people comfortable with with speech recognition applications.

Why use SpeakRight?

I have written a number of speech apps on different SALT and VoiceXML platforms. After trying a number of different approaches (raw VoiceXML, drag-and-drop toolkits), I came to believe that the complexity of speech application VUIs required a code-based approach (see Benefits of a Code-Based Approach)

What's the current status?

The current status is alpha. Single-slot questions are supported, with NBest support. Audio can be audio files, TTS, or generated values (such as today's date, or an application variable). Inline, built-in, and external grammars are supported. Also supported: control flow, event handling, the model, DTMF-only-mode, and confirmation. Transfer and Record too.

Testing can be done from JUnit, a console app, from a web browser (apps can generate an HTML version of themselves), or from a VoiceXML platform.

Not supported: mixed initiative, hot words (link tag).
What platforms does it run on?

Currently has only been tested on Voxeo's free site. SpeakRight uses a template engine (see String Template template engine) so changing the output is often as easy as changing the template file.

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