By James A. Larson
VoiceXML 2.0 is more than just a standard. It is a growing infrastructure and community of speech application developers. VoiceXML has become the following:
1. Open specifications that meet the needs of the speech development community
Three languages have reached the full recommendation status: VoiceXML 2.0, Speech Synthesis markup Language (SSML) and Speech Recognition Grammar specification (SRGS). Additional languages are advancing to become full recommendations:
2. The most widely used speech application development language
3. Portable across certified platforms
The VoiceXML Forum has created a series of tests to validate if a VoiceXML implementation conforms to the official W3C recommendations. Your VoiceXML application is portable among platforms from vendors that have completed the VoiceXML platform certification test.
4. Community of skilled developers
The VoiceXML Forum is actively engaged in enlarging and improving the community of skilled VoiceXML developers. Its programs include:
5. Bases for new, higher-level standards
In addition to tools that simplify the development of VoiceXML applications, additional tools are needed for configuring, testing, and monitoring VoiceXML applications so developers can identify and correct trouble spots to improve the user experience. Efforts for creating environments above the VoiceXML level include the following:
Each of the W3C languages undergoes a rigorous process to become a W3C recommendation. This results in a set of well-defined, open languages that can be used together to develop speech applications. These languages have been widely implemented with a platform conformance program to improve portability, as well as programs to increase the skill level of the community of VoiceXML developers. Just as the Internet is ingrained to the way we access information, VoiceXML is ingrained in the way we develop speech applications.