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...

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Optional Sub-Flow Objects

It's common in a speech application for some sections of the callflow to be optional. if the user is a preferred customer do X. Or if the app has forceLogin enabled then do Y.

Applications can simply create or not create certain flow objects based on the required logic. However, an alternative solution is provided called optional sub-flows. The BasicFlow and LoopFlow classes have been enhanced. The flow objects they contain (called sub-flows) can indicate that they don't wish to run by returning false from shouldExecute. When this occurs, the sub-flow is skipped and the next sub-flow is executed.

The advantage of optional sub-flows is that the decision on whether to run or not can be deferred until a sub-flow is executed. The initialization code doesn't need to handle this.

However there are a restrictions: the final sub-flow cannot be optional. Because if the final sub-flow returns null from its getFirst, there's nothing to execute.

Example code that creates the callflow using a BasicFlow object:

//callflow creation..
BasicFlow flow = new BasicFlow();
flow.add(new PromptFlow("Welcome"));
flow.add(new RegisterUser());
flow.add(new MainMenu());

And the class definition for the optional sub-flow looks like this:

class RegisterUser extends BaseSROQuestion {
public Model M;

@Override public boolean shouldExecute() {
return M.userHasRegistered;
//..rest of class definition omitted..

Note. I'm not completely happy with this feature. It's handy but the cant-be-last restriction will be easy to forget and will only fail at runtime. Full test coverage is required!

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