Archives / 2008 / May
  • Scoble Scale?

    Robert Scoble has an interesting post in response to Om Malik's suggestion that Twitter start charging "Super Users". Scoble would qualify as an edge-case when comes to social network . He has a history of hitting the limits like these on MSN Messenger and Facebook.

    Charging seems like an acceptable action to take for users like Robert who use these services at such a level. Robert is obviously getting business value out of these services and it is perfectly reasonable to get revenue from that. But I agree with Robert when he says that this won't completely solve their scalability problems. The amount they would have to charge would likely exceed the value of the service.

    I also hope that Robert is correct in his assertion that Twitter's problem isn't caused by how it manages the data. If Assetbar is correct in his description then Twitter has a problem. I have no knowledge as to how Twitter works under the covers but I sure hope Assetbar's description isn't accurate.

    I think we need to add another level to our description of scale: Small, Large , Enterprise and now Scoble Scale. Maybe he should rent himself out as a testing framework for social networks...

  • VoiceXML on Speech Server

    Yesterday I posted about an issue with Speech Server and Vista. One reader named Bill asked a question in the comments. My response was a bit long for a comment so I decided to turn it into a separate post instead.

    Hey Marc, are you using Microsoft Speech Server with VXML?  If so, what hardware are you using on it?  Also, does MSS support CCXML?

    Yes, I'm using quite a bit of VoiceXML. Most of the applications I work on are written to run against the Nuance Voice Platform. I've been using VXML so that I could run them against either platform (or any other platform for that matter).

    There are some issues that I ran into where I was using Nuance specific properties (example) that Microsoft doesn't have VXML equivalents for. In those cases I needed to write them using the Speech Server managed model.

    The key thing to keep in mind is that Microsoft has implemented the VXML spec pretty much verbatim. So as long as your application is pure VXML you should be fine.

    I haven't put Speech Server through any sizing tests so I'm not sure what the hardware requirements will be in the end. That said, my development machine is a DELL D830 with 4GB of RAM running Vista Ultimate. In the lab I'm using a DELL 1950 with 4GB of RAM running Windows Server 2003. In both cases I'm using a Dialogic DMG2000 gateway.

    As for CCXML, they don't support it and I don't see that changing. I actually think CCXML is going to go the way of SALT. With only Voxeo supporting a real CCXML implementation I don't think there is going to be a lot of call for it. Also, everything you would want to do with CCXML can be done using Speech Server's Managed API. This is just a guess on my part, I don't have any inside knowledge as to what Microsoft's roadmap looks like.

  • Reinstalling Microsoft Speech Server on Windows Vista

    If you're thinking of uninstalling/reinstalling Microsoft Speech Server on Windows Vista then this post might prove helpful.

    It seems that Speech Server Setup doesn't do such a good job uninstalling itself from Vista. And when you reinstall the server it fails to properly configure IIS. Namely it has a number of problems dealing with the *.speax exemption. This results it 404.2 and 500 errors being returned by IIS when you attempt to launch a Speech Server application.

    The workaround I've found for this issue requires manually mapping the handler for *.speax in your application's web.config. Adding the following to the <system.webServer> section will map IIS to the correct handler:

    <remove name="MSSCustomMap" />
    <add name="MSSCustomMap" path="*.speax" verb="*" modules="IsapiModule" scriptProcessor="C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_isapi.dll" resourceType="Unspecified" requireAccess="Script" responseBufferLimit="0" />