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Johanne Torres[September 15, 2004]

IBM Donates Voice Code


With the support of more than 20 speech vendors and platform providers, IBM (news - alert - quote) announced its contribution of software to the open source community, in order to make speech-enabled applications available at developers� reach.


IBM�s contribution is said to make it easier and more attractive for developers to build and add speech recognition capability in a uniform, standardized way, aimed at ending the battles over competing, proprietary specifications. IBM is contributing Reusable Dialog Components (RDCs) to Apache Software Foundation and also proposing a project at the Eclipse Foundation to donate markup editors for speech standards established by the W3C.


RDCs are often-used functions in speech-enabled infrastructure applications; they are pre-built speech software components that handle functions like date, time, currency, and locations (major cities, states, and zip codes). They enable callers to; for example, book a flight using an auto-agent over the phone. Multiple, reusable dialog components can be aggregated to provide higher levels of user functionality.


RDCs are Java Server Page (JSP) tags that enable dynamic development of voice applications and multimodal user interfaces. JSPs that incorporate RDC tags automatically generate W3C VoiceXML 2.0 at runtime standardizing speech applications, therefore, allowing J2EE developers to add voice interaction to Web applications. With this RDC framework available to the community, speech components built using it, will work together, regardless of the vendor that created them. Both the framework and a set of example tags are to be contributed to the Apache Software Foundation.


IBM's contribution of speech markup editors to Eclipse is said to give developers of speech-enabling applications the benefits of open, standards-based programming models and tools that mainstream developers have had. This can also allow companies to speech-enable their existing applications more quickly and efficiently since developers will be able to build speech applications from standards-based components from various speech providers in the same application.


Included supporters of the initiative are: Apptera, AT&T, Audium, Avaya, Cisco, Fluency, Genesys, Kirusa, Loquendo, Motorola, Nortel, Nuance, Openstream, ScanSoft, Siebel, Syntellect, Telisma, TuVox, V-Enable, Viecore, Vocomo, VoiceGenie, Voice Partners, and VoxGeneration.


"Since its initial $40 million contribution to launch Eclipse in November of 2001, IBM has continued to contribute to making Eclipse an open platform for application development and integration," said Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation. "With this project proposal, IBM is taking another step toward propelling innovation and giving Java developers the tools to work speech technology into their applications."





Apache Software Foundation




Johanne Torres is the contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was the assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


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