I had the opportunity last night to be a tester for my friend Julie’s CIS Master’s degree thesis project at the University of South Alabama. It is a voice driven IDE based on Eclipse and using IBM’s Via Voice software.
Now of course whenever anyone gives me a headset with a microphone attached to it to put on a couple of things happen. First I have flashbacks of my days doing tech support which causes me to break into a cold sweat. Then I become the control tower scene in the movie Airplane – Roger, Roger, what’s our vector, Victor… etc. But after that I finally got focused and began to test the app.
Let me just say that the application is a very nice piece of work. I have encouraged her to get a project page up on the web so I can link to it, and also for her to hopefully release the source code under an open source license if the University will allow it.
The project deals with allowing the creation and manipulation of an SWT GUI using only voice commands. It does not deal with populating the code in the events on the visual objects just creating the GUI, its layout, and the properties of the visual objects.
A couple of things that stood out to me. The voice recognition stuff was very nice but still has a long way to go. Unfortunate, but that is just the fact of the times we are in right now.
Also I must have either a speech impediment or a crazy accent, because the Via Voice software really couldn’t understand when I said the words “clear”, “back”, and “two”. Of course I only trained it using a 5 minute passage from Treasure Island, but still it has me paranoid now that maybe I don’t know how to speak the Queen’s English.
As for the outcome of the road trip last weekend, all was as it should be. Def Leppard, contrary to my expectations, really put on an awesome show. I couldn’t have asked for more (well except for my friends picking a better spot to stand than right behind a big tree). From my vantage point, I can tell you that the guitar players on either end of the stage were great. Not sure about the guys in the middle of the stage since the tree was right there 🙂
It was truly a great send off to Rob. We will wish him well in his new position on the West Coast. Of course I’ll see him there in a week since I’ll be out in San Francisco for JavaOne. Not enough time left to get everything done before I leave this weekend, but I will manage somehow.