Cluecon

by Moshe Yudkowsky

Cluecon is now over, and a good time was had by all. Jay Phillips gave an excellent talk about Adhearsion; Truphone spoke about its new cellular clients and hinted at some new developments (just in time for the new Harry Potter movie, it seems that Truphone will have a Rug Rat Army to compete with Dumbledore's Army). And, showing up only for the last day of the conference, I was pressed into service to give the day's opening talk with one hour's notice. ("We all have hangovers, Moshe. We need someone to wake us up.") The title of my talk was "Who is the Competition?," in which I raised questions about how voice services can compete against new, very innovative, and compelling interfaces for non-voice services on cellular phones.

In a conversation with Jay after his talk, we discussed the benefits of programmatic interfaces (such as Ruby/Adhearsion) over pure descriptive telephony languages, such as CCXML. In my opinion, both have advantages and both have disadvantages; it's the usual series of tradeoffs. I am looking forward to using Adhearsion — especially since Jay announced that Adhearsion ported to Freeswitch with generous support from Gaboogie.

Thomas Howe gave an excellent talk about the need for innovation in telephony. By this I mean that he apparently agrees with me on the need for new thinking about VoIP. As he noted, "We've re-created the PSTN," but so far we've moved very little beyond that.

OpenMethods announced their open-source VoiceXML interpreter, which works on Asterisk and Freeswitch. More on this later.

And while we're on the topic of W3 languages for telephony: I will give a three-hour class at SpeechTek University, a CCXML Application Workshop. If you'd like to attend, use discount code D07 for 10% off conference registration.