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Software Lets Programmers Code Hands-free 261

Yetihehe writes "New Scientist is reporting about a new speech recognition tool that promises to let programmers write clean code without ever having to lay a finger on their keyboard. 'The tool, called VoiceCode, has been developed to help programmers with repetitive strain injury (RSI). This is a common affliction for people who spend a lot of time using a keyboard or mouse and causes pain in muscles, tendons and nerves in a sufferer's arms and back. Some estimates suggest 22% of all US computer programmers, or 100,000 people, suffer from the condition.'"
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Software Lets Programmers Code Hands-free

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  • by Paco103 ( 758133 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @01:01AM (#15218763)
    Yeah. . . and of course we ALL hold our wrists slightly elevated the entire time, and we ALL drive with our hands in the 10 and 2 positions and do hand over hand steering. Wait. . . . what do I shift with. . . . no matter how much I'd like to think so, I'm not *that* talented! I personally benefit from ergo devices. Keyboard, chair (probably a bit excessive for most, but don't use folding chairs for computer chairs), and mouse. As far as wrist braces, I found I never have to wear them during the day if I sleep with it at night when I have any tiny indication of trouble. I'll wear it at night for a couple of weeks and then not wear it for months. The brace completely immobilizes my wrist (it's actually a nice splint from when I broke my wrist a few years ago). I found myself to curl that particular wrist in my sleep when pain started, therefore sleeping on it that way and aggravating it even worse. This has been the best cure I've ever found in the past 6 years or so that I've dealt with problems, and I've never worn a day brace since I started this procedure.
  • Speechclipse (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @04:16AM (#15219269)
    Voice-based programming plugin for Eclipse. []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 28, 2006 @06:38AM (#15219566)
    From the site: cgi?Why_code_dictation_is_so_hard []

    Programming languages were never meant to be spoken. Consequently, it is very difficult to dictate code.

    For example, to dictate the following C++ code:
    if (currRecNum < maxOffSet)
    The programmer might have to say something like this:

    "if open-paren Charlie uniform romeo romeo cap romeo echo Charlie cap-November uniform mike less-than max begin-capitalize begin-no-space off set end-capitalize end-no-space close-paren new-line open-brace new-line new-line close-brace up-arrow tab-key"

    Voice Code makes code dictation simpler by allowing the user to speak in a more natural and easy to utter syntax. For example, the above code could be dictate simply by saying something like this:

    "if current record number is less than max offset do the following"

    This is both shorter to utter and less cognitively demanding.
  • by g00dn3ss ( 549008 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @07:28AM (#15219727)
    In fact, computer use has been shown in studies not to be a major risk factor for carpal tunnel. Here's one article [] from a quick google search.

    I can also personally confirm these claims. I worked in a bus factory for a couple summers and my hands would continually go to sleep at night after my 9 hours at the factory. Yet I have never had a problem from coding, even with weeks of 11-12 hour days.

    Also, beyond all the other problems people have pointed out with using speech as input, it also interferes with the cognitive tasks needed for coding. Check out the article [], for example.
  • by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @11:24AM (#15221189) Homepage Journal
    Just for the record, RSI != carpal tunnel syndrome

    I have occasional problems with RSI in my hands and wrists, but I do not have the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. I found squeezing on one of those squeezie balls you can pick up at the sports store helps, as does varying the position of my hands (and using different pointing devices), and especially, not playing games too long at any time. In my experience, that's the worst cause of problems for me.

    Still even though my hands work fine, I'd love to check out the voice recognition software. I can think of times where that could be very useful.

  • by 3seas ( 184403 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @12:44PM (#15221912) Homepage Journal
    The following link describes a method of enabling your own vocabulary creation. /msg/117d0698cecc0f46 []

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.