Larson Technical Services: Voice Technology Consulting

Exercise 2.5

Discuss the possibility of constructing a “transcoding” procedure that produces a VoiceXML document for the home page of the W3C.

A. Which of the steps (a) – (f) from question 2-6 do you think can be automated as part of the transcoding procedure?

  1. (a) Determine what info to extract. While it is easy to automate the extraction of data from the W3C home page, it is not, in general, possible to automatically determine what to extract. For example, if most of the callers are members of Working Groups, then it may not be necessary to extract general information that all members already know. On the other hand, if most are new to the W3C, then the general information should be extracted, but not the detailed Working Groups.
  2. (b) Determine whether to use menus or forms. It may be possible to automatic heuristics that determines whether to use menus or forms for each information set. However, these decisions should be reviewed by a designer and then user tested to make sure the decision is correct.
  3. (c) Determine the sequence that the menus and forms should be presented to the user. Because this is very dependent upon how callers will use the voice site, it may be impossible to automatically predict.
  4. (d) Specify the grammar. The words used as link names on the visual page can be automatically extracted for use in the grammar. A grammar specialists will be necessary to extend the grammar to include synonyms and phrases that callers frequently speak yet do not appear on the home web page.
  5. (e) Determine what event handlers to write. Every menu and form item should have the three major event handlers-mismatch, no response, and help. However, it may not be possible to automatically determine how to phrase each prompt in the error handlers.

B. Do you recommend implementing a transcoding procedure for the W3C web site?

Only under two conditions does it make sense to implement a transcoding procdeure:

  1. A designer fine tunes the transcoding procedure, providing the information that can not be automatically derived by the transcoding procedure.
  2. The web site does not change so that the extraction task does not need to be modified.

C. Do you recommend implementing a transcoding procedure that can be applied to any visual web site?

No, Web sites that frequently change their layout and/or content will break transcoding procedures.

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