|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
Quick instructions for non-perlmonk.org users: Dial 1-800-555-TELL. The first prompt will be for categories. Say 'Extensions', and when prompted for which extension, say 'Zero Eight Zero Three One' (08031). When prompted for home-node ID, say 'Nine Two Seven Zero' (9270). At the next prompt, say 'Weather'
So today I read an article on Slashdot (no flames, I only read the headlines...), and saw a reference to an ArsDigita Systems Journal article on VoiceXML: letting people talk to your HTTP server through the telephone. I thought this would be kind of cool to play with, so I wrote an application that allows you to retrieve your current XP and the $NORM value over the phone.
To use it, call 1-800-555-TELL (8355). At the main menu prompt, say 'Extensions'. At the extensions prompt, say '0-8-0-3-1' (Best said as 'Zero Eight Zero Three One'). You'll be prompted to say your homenode ID number, which should be said as 'Nine Two Seven Zero' (if you're me. I'd use your own homenode ID, if I were you).
At the prompt, you can say 'help', 'experience', 'norm', 'homenode', or 'weather'. Each pretty much performs the function you would expect. Updated 2001-03-15 04:37:00 GMT Changed 'xp' to 'experience', added 'weather' support.
I beat it pretty hard, and other than it not always catching what you're pronouncing (and no doubt a speaker phone doesn't help), it seemed to survive pretty well. The stats are pulled from the same database as the stats pages, so your XP will only be as current as the last scan, etc.
If you have any experience with XML, the VXML is quite easy to use. It took me about two hours to go from nothing, to a (hopefully) fairly stable app for doing simple data retrieval.
I'm idlely thinking about adding the Other Users box content as an option, although I have no idea how it would pronouce some of the users names. I may also add the weather report from the weather station on the boat.
If you've ever listen to AnaNova, the voice sounds a lot like the 'coder they use. It's generally pretty understandable, although sometimes you have to spell things a little funny to get her to pronounce them correctly.--Chris