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Re: Comments on the Voice Browser Requirements specs

From: Peter Leftwich <Pete@Leftwich.Com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 13:03:25 -0500 (EST)
To: Yves Normandin <norman@locus.ca>
Cc: www-voice@w3.org, Yves Normandin <yves.normandin@locus.ca>, Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>, Peter Leftwich <Pete@Leftwich.Com>
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.10.10001171302200.87925-100000@earl-grey.cloud9.net>
I have carpal tunnel and would love to help, but am not a programmer.

I am a great bug tester, enhancement requester, and "usability
engineer!!" Keep me in mind to beta test! :) -Pete

On Sat, 15 Jan 2000, Yves Normandin wrote:
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> From: "Yves Normandin" <norman@locus.ca>
> To: <www-voice@w3.org>
> Cc: "Yves Normandin" <yves.normandin@locus.ca>
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> ReSent-Subject: [Moderator Action] Comments on the Voice Browser Requirements
>  specs
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> Subject: Comments on the Voice Browser Requirements specs
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> 
> We reviewed the Voice Browser Requirements specs with great interest. In
> general, our appreciation of the contents is definitely favorable and most
> of our comments are therefore relatively minor. Following is a summary of
> preliminary comments or issues that we have.
> 
> Dialog Requirements for Voice Markup Languages
> 
>   a.. Fields that are neither optional nor mandatory (see 3.5). The notion
> of a form with some parameters that it knows how to gather autonomously
> before returning to the server is a good one. Typically, there will be some
> mandatory fields and some optional fields, with the optional fields being
> initially filled in with default values. However, there does not seem to be
> a way of specifying fields that are neither mandatory nor optional because
> they are interdependent. For example, people might request a room by its
> name, size, or location. We want them to specify at least one of those
> before we make a query, but they do not need to specify them all. Which one
> they specify is up to the user. Thus, "a room in Building X" and "a small
> room" are both sufficient to trigger a query. These fields are not
> completely optional because at least one of them must be provided, but they
> are also not mandatory, since all of them need not be specified.
>   b.. State. The definition of a state seems to imply that states are
> explicitly defined (that is, with no variables in its specification). This
> is theoretically fine, and is appropriate for simple applications, but can
> have practical problems for larger applications. A more convenient approach
> for larger applications is to use the concept of state variables and rules.
> In this case, a state is not explicitly defined, but consists of the
> contents of the variables in the dialogue. Rules define the transitions from
> one state to another, by triggering on a subset of the values of variables,
> doing some processing when it is triggered, and changing the contents of
> some of the state variables, resulting in a new state. It would be nice if
> the capability to model applications in this manner could be built into the
> language (assuming that simple applications can still be specified simply).
>   c.. Style sheets. It would be interesting to explore the concept of style
> sheets to modify the default behavior of the voice browser.
>   d.. Confirmation Subdialog (2.1.2). Should the markup language be able to
> specify that the confirmation be implicit? For instance:
>   U1: I want to fly to Paris.
> 
>   S1: You want to go from Paris to where?
> 
>   e.. Suspended tasks (2.2.5). Should the markup languages allow links to be
> specified between certain fields of different forms so that when there is a
> task switch, certain fields in the new task could be set using values from
> the previous task? Similarly, if these fields are modified in the new task,
> the markup language could allow the fields in the original task to be
> modified accordingly.
>   f.. Modularity and Re-use (3.3). Is there any plan to develop a high level
> (vendor independent) API to the speech and telephony resources to be used by
> these dialog components so that they could be platform-independent (e.g.,
> like an applet Java running within a browser)?
>   g.. Call Transfer (2.8). In general we found the requirements somewhat
> light on telephony features. This may be a deficiency considering that the
> Working Group effort concentrates (as it should) on using the telephone as
> the first voice browsing device.
> Grammar Representation Requirements for Voice Markup Languages
> 
>   a.. Semantics Support (4.1). What's the difference between this point and
> the following (4.2)?
>   b.. N-Best Hypotheses (5.2). What kind of information in the grammar
> representation could be used to support the post-processing of N-best
> recognition hypotheses?
>   c.. Native Natural Languages (8.5). The grammar representation should
> support the specification that a given word can be pronounced in more than
> one language. For instance, a Spanish name (person, company, street) in an
> English sentence could be pronounced either with a perfect Spanish
> pronunciation or simply in English by "Americanizing" the name. In fact, the
> grammar representation should allow native languages to be specified at
> various levels within the grammar (e.g., grammar level, rule level, word
> level, etc.).
> Model Architecture for Voice Browser Systems
> 
> In general, we haven't found this architecture model very useful. I would
> suspect this to be true for many readers.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Yves Normandin
> Founder and Chief Technology Officer
> Locus Dialogue
> 460 Ste-Catherine St. West, Suite 800
> Montreal, Quebec H3B 1A7 Canada
> 
> Phone: (514) 954-3804
> Fax:   (514) 954-3805
> www.locusdialogue.com
> 
> 
Received on Monday, 17 January 2000 13:03:52 GMT

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