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Showing posts from March, 2007

Coding "Hello, World" with Windows Speech Recognition

There's a great article out on the Windows Vista beta experience portal showcasing Windows Speech Recognition by Richard Costall entitled " Look, no hands ". I especially liked his demonstration of using Visual Studio 2005 via speech. In it, he points out several frustrations that I have also experienced using the program, but he proves that there are many excellent features in Windows Speech Recognition that can be used to sidestep some of Visual Studio's accessibility issues. In fact, he highlights the use of the Start Typing command as his means of actually coding the obligatory "Hello, World" application that he is demonstrating. If you're interested in more details on using the Start Typing command, be sure to take a look at my earlier post as well.

Using a Simple File Mutex to Integrate Complex Disparate Applications

As a Windows developer, one of the most challenging (and fun) tasks I sometimes get to do is integrating multiple disparate applications so they can communicate with one another. Most of the time this involves blending a .NET application with an automation application and doing the regular COM interop one would expect. However, occasionally something more interesting comes along. One such occasion popped up recently for me, as I had to design and implement a solution to integrate our mainframe terminal emulation client with an intranet web application. The main goal of this particular project was to provide a way to pre-fill an existing web form application with data from a mainframe screen. Normally, the user would have to read the appropriate data from the mainframe screen, manually enter the data into the web form, submit the form, and return to the mainframe terminal and key in a simple log entry indicating that the process was complete. Obviously, due to the nature of jumping back

"Start Typing" with Windows Speech Recognition

As a software developer with a physical disability that makes using a keyboard practically impossible for me, one of the most important capabilities of speech recognition that I always look for is keyboard emulation.  And by keyboard emulation, I’m not talking about entering a bunch of common words and phrases like I’m doing while writing this article.  This is called dictation.  Rather, I’m referring strictly to the ability to key short (or not-so-short) sequences of characters and/or key combinations like myVariableName or myFile.doc .  Words like these aren’t easily understood by the built-in speech recognition dictation engine because they are not in any dictionaries I know of (nor should they be), so another speech recognition mechanism is needed.  This is called typing. Vista’s speech recognition tutorial and the what can I say Windows help documents suggest one good way to type single keyboard keys— Press X .  For example, you can say Press a to type the letter a , and you c