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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 rufusdufus ( 450462 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @11:42PM (#15218444)
    Imagine you not only have a really good speech recognition system with a good language parser but an actual AI to talk to when you are writing your code. How well would this work? You can find out by getting a human friend to play Oz by 'hiding behind a curtain' and typing what you say in natural language. Try it. Then decide if a system like this will ever be useful.
  • Stallman's Disease (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drwho ( 4190 ) on Thursday April 27, 2006 @11:51PM (#15218486) Homepage Journal
    Some of you may know that RMS (Richard Stallman, GNU hero) suffers from bad RSI. He has to hire people to type the code he dictates. This could be really useful for him. Maybe he'll be a bit less angry when he can code again.
  • Re:For, four, fore! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DarkSarin ( 651985 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @12:09AM (#15218557) Homepage Journal
    I think this pretty much sums it all up. After all I recently played around with the voice recognition stuff built into MS office 2003 (that I didn't even know about until just recently), and found it to be amazingly useful, and rather limited.

    After all, the word recognition rate is limited, and as soon as you start getting away from dictionary words you run into all sorts of problems.

    how do you pronounce some of the function names for php (mssql_query? or maybe a nice bit of perl code? perl golf stuff would be insane!)

    It might work for languages like RUBY with loose syntax (near as I can tell it doesn't really matter what you do as long as you stick with same style for any given block of code), but i doubt C code will lend itself well to such a monstrosity.

    No, in the end, until we have a programming language that reads the way people talk, this won't work. Even then there will be issues.

    Now, if I could just think the structure (or even better, the results) and have it appear on the page, I would be excited about that. Of course, there are lots of times when that would be the opposite of what I wanted.

    Oh well.
  • Obligatory Picard (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Davus ( 905996 ) on Friday April 28, 2006 @12:15AM (#15218581) Homepage
    Computer, go to red alert [ytmnd.com]. Wonder if we'll be seeing issues like this?

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...