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Stats Whoring - The VXML Way

by jcwren (Prior)
on Mar 15, 2001 at 07:04 UTC ( #64608=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Quick instructions for 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.


e-mail jcwren

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Stats Whoring - The VXML Way
by footpad (Abbot) on Mar 15, 2001 at 08:10 UTC

    Y'know...there are times the mind boggles at the possible repartee in your little floating castle:

    • "Wait a minute. I only read slashdot for the headlines"
    • "Honey, can I use the phone? I'm working on a Perl script...yes, one that's run by calling a 9, I mean an 800 number."
    • "No, I'm not answering a personal ad; I was calling oBoEL."
    • "$NORM, please. Huh? No, I'm not talking to Tuna, why do you ask?"
    • "VXML, not VIXEN."


    P.S. I really wanted to pick on Geico, but that didn't seem fair somehow. I mean, really, what's there to dislike about geckos? ;-)

      While there may be nothing to dislike about geckos, I admit to envying their having the coolest feet ever...
Re: Stats Whoring - The VXML Way
by vroom (His Eminence) on Mar 15, 2001 at 08:51 UTC
    This is too crazy although apparently when I say XP your fembot on the other end of the line can't figure out what I'm saying.

    vroom | Tim Vroom |
Re: Stats Whoring - The VXML Way
by Desdinova (Friar) on Mar 15, 2001 at 09:55 UTC
    Wow This is one of those things that makes me wish there was a +++++++++++++++++++++++++ radio button :>. This is really cool.
    UPDATE: All we have to is figure out how to get it to work with this and we can all have merlyn on call 24 hours a day ;>
Re: Stats Whoring - The VXML Way
by OzzyOsbourne (Chaplain) on Mar 20, 2001 at 20:06 UTC

    People worry about me and my overzealous fixation with PC's, but YOU, my friend, are the MAN.

    Anyhow, I'll see you at the next PC's anonymous meeting.


Re: Stats Whoring - The VXML Way
by Trimbach (Curate) on Mar 15, 2001 at 09:17 UTC
    That is just totally cool. You are the bomb. ++++++.

    Gary Blackburn
    Trained Killer

(ZZamboni: better late than never) Re: Stats Whoring - The VXML Way
by ZZamboni (Curate) on Jun 09, 2001 at 00:56 UTC
    I don't know how, but I had missed this node until today. This is absolutely fantastic and hilarious. And after reading vroom's comment, I kept thinking of Austin Powers' fembots while listening to the voice, which only made it better. Good thing I'm in an office of my own :-)

    JC, you are the king of the geeks.


Re: Stats Whoring - The VXML Way
by TStanley (Canon) on Mar 15, 2001 at 19:13 UTC
    jcwren, you have absolutely outdone yourself. This is definitely cool!!!

    In the end, there can be only one!

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