W3C Ubiquitous Web Domain

Voice Browser Working Group Charter

Status of this Document

Per section 6 Working Groups, Interest Groups, and Coordination Groups of the W3C Process, this charter, and any changes to it, take effect by way of an announcement to the W3C Membership via w3c-ac-members.

1. Mission

The telephone was invented in the 1870s by Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell, and continues to be a very important means for us to communicate with each other. The Web by comparison is very recent, but has rapidly become a competing communications channel. The convergence of telecommunications and the Web is now bringing the benefits of Web technology to the telephone, enabling Web developers to create applications that can be accessed via any telephone, and allowing people to interact with these applications via speech and telephone keypads. The W3C Speech Interface Framework is a suite of markup specifications aimed at realizing this goal. It covers voice dialogs, speech synthesis, speech recognition, telephony call control for voice browsers and other requirements for interactive voice response applications, including use by people with hearing or speaking impairments.

Some possible applications include:

2. Target Audience

The Voice Browser Working Group should be of interest to a wide range of organizations involved in the design, support and infrastructure for interactive voice response applications. These include companies providing call center solutions, speech techologies, and application design and hosting services.

3. Context

The Voice Browser Working Group was first established on 26 March 1999 and subsequently rechartered on 25 September 2002. The Working Group is now being re-chartered for a further two years to continue its work on maintaining and enhancing the W3C Speech Interface Framework suite of specifications.

Here is a list of documents produced by the Voice Browser Activity

4. Scope

All work items carried out under this Charter must fall within the scope defined by this section.

VoiceXML 2.x
Maintenance of VoiceXML 2.0, and continued work on incremental releases including VoiceXML 2.1 that provide backwards compatibility with 2.0.
VoiceXML 3.0
VoiceXML 3.0 is the next major release of VoiceXML. Its purpose is to provide powerful dialog capabilities that can be used to build advanced speech applications, and to provide these capabilities in a form that can be easily and cleanly integrated with other W3C languages. It will provide enhancements to existing dialog and media control, as well as major new features (e.g. modularization, a cleaner separation between data/flow/dialog, and asynchronous external eventing) to facilitate interoperation with external applications and media components.
Speech synthesis and aural prompts
Work is expected on the maintenance of SSML 1.0 and on incremental releases including the say-as mechanism, and features for more expressive speech. Continued collaboration is expected with the W3C Cascading Style Sheets Activity on CSS support for speech synthesis.
Speech recognition grammars
This covers context free grammars and statistical models of speech, together with DTMF input. Work is expected on the maintenance of SRGS 1.0 and incremental releases, as well as a resumption of work on N-Gram models.
Pronunciation lexicons
These provide the basis for describing pronunciation information for use in speech recognition and synthesis, for use in tuning applications, e.g. for proper names that have irregular pronunciations.
Semantic interpretation for speech recognition
This describes annotations to grammar rules for extracting the semantic results from recognition, either as XML or as a value that can be held in an ECMAScript variable. The target for the XML output is EMMA (Extensible Multimodal Annotation Markup Language) which is being developed in the W3C Multimodal Interaction Activity.
Telephony call control for voice browsers
Driving CCXML 1.0 through to Recommendation status, followed by maintenance and work on incremental releases.

5. Deliverables and Schedule

This Working Group is chartered to last until 31 January 2007. The first face to face meeting after re-chartering is planned to be held during the Boston W3C Technical Plenary in early 2005.

Here is a list of milestones identified at the time of re-chartering. Others may be added later at the discretion of the Working Group, provided they fall within the scope as described in section 4. The dates are for guidance only and subject to change.

VoiceXML 2.1
Candidate Recommendation, February 2005
Recommendation, June 2005
VoiceXML 3.0
1st Working Draft, June 2005
Last Call Working Draft, March 2006
Candidate Recommendation, December 2006
Recommendation, June 2007
Pronunciation Lexicon
1st Working Draft, March 2005
Last Call Working Draft, July 2005
Candidate Recommendation, December 2005
Recommendation, April 2006
Semantic Interpretation for Speech Recognition
Candidate Recommendation, March 2005
Recommendation, December 2005
Voice Browser Call Control: CCXML 1.0
Candidate Recommendation, April 2005
Recommendation, December 2005

6. Relationship with other activities

These are related activities that we may need to interact with in ways to be determined, for example, to ask them to review our draft specifications, and for us to take advantage of their work to fulfil our needs. Collaboration across working groups will be essential to realizing the mission of the Voice Browser Activity.

6.1 W3C-related activities

These are W3C activities that may be asked to review documents produced by the Voice Browser Working Group, or which may be involved in closer collaboration as appropriate to achieving the goals of the Charter.

6.2 External groups

This is an indication of external groups with complementary goals to the Voice Browser activity.

7. Membership, Meetings, and Logistics

To become a participant of the Working Group, a representative of a W3C Member organization must be nominated by their Advisory Committee Representative as described in the W3C Process. The associated IPR disclosure must further satisfy the requirements specified in the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version).

Experts from appropriate communities may also be invited to join the working group, following the provisions for this in the W3C Process.

Each Working Group participant is expected to contribute 20%, or at least a day per week to this group.

All proceedings of the Working Group (mail archives, telecon minutes, ftf minutes) will be available to W3C Members.

Working Group participants are not obligated to participate in every work item, however the Working Group as a whole is responsible for reviewing and accepting all work items.

7.1 Email communication

The archived member-only mailing list w3c-voice-wg@w3.org is the primary means of discussion within the group.

Certain topics need coordination with external groups. The Chair and the Working Group can agree to discuss these topics on a public mailing list. The archived mailing list www-voice@w3.org is used for public discussion of W3C proposals for Voice Browsers, and Working Group members are encouraged to subscribe. To subscribe send a message with the word subscribe in the subject line to www-voice-request@w3.org.

7.2 Group home page

The Working Group page will record the history of the group, provides access to the archives, meeting minutes, updated schedule of deliverables, membership list, and relevant documents and resources. The page will be available to W3C Members and Invited Experts, and will be maintained by the W3C team contacts in collaboration with the Working Group Chair.

7.3 Telephone meetings

A weekly one-hour phone conference will be held. The exact details, dates and times will be published in advance on the working group page. Additional phone conferences may be scheduled as necessary on specific topics. An IRC channel may be used to supplement teleconferences. Meeting records should be made available in a timely fashion, in accordance with the W3C Process.

7.4 Face-to-face meetings

Face to face meetings will be arranged 3 to 4 times a year. The Chair will make Working Group meeting dates and locations available to the group in a timely manner according to the W3C Process. The Chair is also responsible for providing publicly accessible summaries of Working Group face to face meetings, which will be announced on www-voice@w3.org.

8. Resources

8.1 Working Group participation

This is expected to be a large working group. At the end of the previous charter, the Working Group had 88 participants from 47 organizations. To make effective use of this number of people, work may be carried out in task forces following the W3C Process "Requirements for All Working, Interest, and Coordination Groups". We also expect a large public review group that will participate in the public mailing list discussions.

8.2 W3C Team involvement

The W3C Team will be responsible for the mailing lists, public and working group pages, and for liaison with the W3C communications staff for the publication of working drafts. W3C team members are expected to adopt the same requirements for meeting attendance, timely response and information disclosure as are required of W3C Members. The W3C Team expects to allocate the equivalent of 100% of a full-time person to this work for the duration of this working group.

9. Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

Copyright © 2004 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio), All Rights Reserved. W3C liability, trademark, document use and software licensing rules apply. Your interactions with this site are in accordance with our public and Member privacy statements. This page was last updated on $Date: 2006/04/13 13:54:01 $