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Comment on the JSGF/JSML submission

W3C is pleased to receive the JSGF and JSML submission from Sun Microsystems.

W3C is working to expand access to the Web to allow people to interact with Web sites via spoken commands, and listening to prerecorded speech, music and synthetic speech. The W3C Voice Browser Activity has produced a set of requirements for interactive voice response applications and is now developing a set of specifications that meet these requirements. The Working Group is seeking to produce markup languages for interpreting spoken utterances, and for control of speech synthesizers. The JSGF and JSML submission provides a model for this work.

The JSpeech Grammar Format (JSGF) is a textual representation of grammars for use in speech recognition. Grammars are used by speech recognizers to determine what the recognizer should listen for, and so describe the utterances a user may say. JSGF adopts the style and conventions of the Java™ Programming Language in addition to use of traditional grammar notations.

The JSpeech Markup Language (JSML) is a text format used by applications to annotate text input to speech synthesizers. JSML elements provide a speech synthesizer with detailed information on how to speak text and thus enable improvements in the quality, naturalness and understandability of synthesized speech output. JSML defines elements that describe the structure of a document, provide pronunciations of words and phrases, indicate phrasing, emphasis, pitch and speaking rate, and control other important speech characteristics. JSML is designed to be simple to learn and use, to be portable across different synthesizers and computing platforms, and to applicable to a wide range of languages.

Next Steps

The W3C Voice Browser Working Group plans to develop specifications for its Speech Interface Framework using JSGF and JSML as a model. This work is already underway, and working drafts are expected to be published in the near future.

W3C is currently hosting a mailing list to discuss requirements and specifications for voice browsers. Details of how to subscribe, and pointers to public drafts are given on the W3C Voice Browser page.

Disclaimer: Placing a Submission on a Working Group/Interest Group agenda does not imply endorsement by either the W3C Staff or the participants of the Working Group/Interest Group, nor does it guarantee that the Working Group/Interest Group will agree to take any specific action on a Submission.

Dave Raggett, W3C lead for Voice Browser Activity <dsr@w3.org>