Software

Web standards gain voice

Web developers are being called on for feedback, after the release of a speech recognition grammar from the World Wide Web Consortium.

Web developers are being called on for feedback, after the release of a speech recognition grammar from the World Wide Web Consortium.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) yesterday advanced the specification to candidate recommendation status—an indication the organisation sees it as stable and wants technical feedback from the developer community.

Speech grammar makes it easier to allow for variations in the way people answer questions, according to a W3C statement about the specification's release. Authors are able to specify rules covering sequences of words users are expected to say in certain contexts.

-The Speech Recognition Grammar Specification provides an XML language for application authors to define rules covering all the expected combinations of words that users are likely to say in a given context," it states.

The specification is the first of W3C's speech interface framework suite to make it to candidate recommendation status. The organisation's voice browser working group is also in the process of defining markup languages for dialog, speech synthesis, speech recognition, call control, and other voice response applications.

The standards will benefit people with visual impairments, or those needing Web access that does not require the use of their hands or eyes, said Dave Raggett, who leads the organisation's voice browser activity.

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