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VBWG official response to last call issue ("Interpretation of <mark> in VXML 2.1")

From: MattO <matto@tellme.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 16:54:12 -0800
To: <tgoebel@voiceobjects.com>
Cc: <www-voice@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00d101c50b1d$35b3a550$6401a8c0@sea.tellme.com>

Dear Tobias,

The Voice Browser Working Group (VBWG) has almost finished resolving the
issues raised during the last call review of the 28 July 2004 VoiceXML 2.1
[1]. Our apologies that it has taken so long to respond.

Please indicate before February 14th, 2005 if you are satisfied with the
VBWG's resolutions, if you think there has been a misunderstanding, or if
you wish to register an objection. If you will be unable to respond before
February 14th, please let me know. The Director will appreciate a response
whether or not you agree with the resolutions.

Below you will find:

 1) More information follows about the process we are following.
 2) A summary of the VBWG's response to your issues.

Thank you,

Matt Oshry
Chief Editor, VoiceXML 2.1

1) Process requirement to address last call issues

Per section 7.2 [2] of the 5th February 2004 Process Document, in order for
the VoiceXML 2.1 specification to advance to the next state (Candidate
Recommendation), the Working Group must "Formally address all issues raised
about the document since the previous step." 
Section 3.3.3 of the Process Document [3] sets expectations about what
constitutes a formal response:

  "In the context of this document, a group has formally addressed an issue 
  when it has sent a substantive response to the reviewer who raised the
  A substantive response is expected to include rationale for decisions 
  (e.g., a technical explanation, a pointer to charter scope, or a pointer 
  to a requirements document). The adequacy of a response is measured
  what a W3C reviewer would generally consider to be technically sound. 
  If a group believes that a reviewer's comments result from a
  the group SHOULD seek clarification before reaching a decision."

If you feel that the response is based on a misunderstanding of the original
issue, you are encouraged to restate and clarify the issue until there is
agreement about the issue, so that the Working Group may prepare its
substantive response.

If the response shows understanding of the original issue but does not
satisfy the reviewer, you may register a formal objection with the Working
Group that will be carried forward with the relevant deliverables. 

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-voicexml21-20040728/
[2] http://www.w3.org/2004/02/Process-20040205/tr.html#transition-reqs
[3] http://www.w3.org/2004/02/Process-20040205/policies.html#formal-address

2) Issues you raised and responses
In http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-voice/2004JulSep/0046.html you
raised the following issue which was registered as change request R103 Our
response is given inline:

Dear VBWG and VoiceXML community, 

having studied the WD for VXML 2.1 a bit, I came across a problem concerning
the new <mark> element support. 

As for the attribute "marktime", the spec says: 

"The number of milliseconds that elapsed since the last mark was executed by
the SSML processor until barge-in occurred or the end of audio playback
occurred. If no mark was executed, this variable is undefined."

Does this mean that if the caller does no barge-in, marktime is the same as
the duration of the prompt itself ("...until the end of audio playback
occurred")? I wonder why, since this would not allow to check how long it
took the caller to react to a prompt. What I want, e.g. in order to be able
to draw conclusions from reaction times to caller status (first caller,
power user etc.), is to know the time that elapsed since the end of the last
prompt (until "timeout" elapses or caller says something). 

This could be achieved either by not stopping the timer after the end of
audio playback, or by allowing to set an additional marker at the very end
of a prompt and check markname and marktime of *this* marker later on (e.g.
in the <filled> section). If the latter IS possible, you might want to adapt
the spec slightly, pointing to this possibility.

Thanks a lot, and best regards 

VBWG Response: Deferred

The driving motivation behind the marktime property is to reflect when the
user barges in on a prompt. As implied by the VoiceXML 2.1 specification
which is quoted above, if the caller does not barge-in and the only mark is
at the beginning of the prompt queue, then the marktime reflects the
duration of the prompt. Although no feature in VoiceXML 2.0 or VoiceXML 2.1
allows you to obtain the reaction time of the caller with a positive
timeout, you can achieve this by setting the timeout property to zero
seconds and by adding to the end of the prompt queue a silent audio file
(e.g. silence.wav) the duration of which is equivalent to the desired
timeout. The working group has opted to defer your feature request to a
future version of VoiceXML.
Received on Saturday, 5 February 2005 00:54:45 UTC

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