Our last two posts - about our screwup and about Holocron - have been fairly fun and lighthearted. Aside from the wordplay in the title, this is not one of those posts. Amazon has begun down a path, and we need to talk about why this is a really, really bad move for the platform and for us as developers...
Currently Alexa only recognizes English words. Amazon is just now starting to roll out support for other languages, with German up first. But, what if you want it to match words that aren't words?! That's crazy you say? Or is it?!! We encountered this problem, and this post is going to explain how we approached and solved it.
So, usually we use this blog to do things that are essentially self-promoting. "Look at all the sweet things we build", "Here's an idea to make Alexa better", "We discovered a hidden feature", etc. This is not one of those posts. This one is where we air some dirty laundry, which in turn exposes some issues with the platform as a whole...
Aside from dropping the podcast link last week, it's been a bit of radio silence from us for a while. That doesn't mean nothing has been happening, though, so we figured we'd drop a few relevant links!
Amazon have recently started a series of developer oriented podcasts to allow the community to share their experiences, tips/tricks, and general insights about Alexa development.
Listen in on our podcast episode where we talk about testing and debugging skills, and the A.S.K. Responder (Alexa skill emulator) we built for that purpose.
We're Episode 3!
Here at DERP Group, a common topic of conversation is that of "semantic vs syntactic" language for voice assistants, specifically Alexa. The real crux of the discussion is "How do you get a voice assistant to do what you mean, rather than what you say?" This question was was one of the driving forces behind our creation of DiceBot, as we explain in more detail after the break...
There's been a lot of talk in the Alexa dev community lately about all of the tutorial or template based skills that are flooding the market (and of course the related discoverability concerns). All these "build a skill in under an hour" type walkthroughs are great for bringing new devs into the fold, but it got us thinking about what it really takes for an experienced Alexa developer to build something well. The question we came to was "could one of us build a skill from nothing to submission in just one day?". To answer the question, I decided to try it out, all the while cataloging the journey. Read on for more...
Looks like CompliBot and InsultiBot have company - as of today DiceBot is now live on Alexa, and can be enabled at this link (if you're logged in already):
Lets just put this out there - DiceBot is all about cheating at dice. More about that after the break...
We're DERP Group. We build things for fun and profit. Right now we're super bullish on the rise of voice interfaces, and we hope to get you onboard.