Voice programming: a how-to

01:15 PM - 01:40 PM on August 16, 2015, Room 701

Evan Fredericksen

Audience level:


Despite the many people who suffer from RSI, the subject of programming by voice is still a relatively unexplored one. Although there are numerous proof-of-concept demonstrations available online and many brilliant pieces of software that make voice programming possible, much of the configuration and learning of best practices are left to the user. This talk will cover what exactly goes into creating and using a voice programming environment.


Programming by voice is a subject that naturally raises suspicions about its feasibility. I will give a live demonstration to show that voice programming is not only feasible, but also quite pleasant and practical.

There are several components involved in a voice programming environment: the speech-to-text engine, transferring this text to the user's system (sometimes a surprisingly difficult task), figuring out how to match certain text patterns to functions, keystrokes and mouse actions, and finding and configuring a text editor or IDE that can accommodate these requirements. I will talk about my experiences with tooling for each step of the way, as well as various best practices found through personal trial and error.

Finally, I will talk about the potential for using for voice commands in gaming. The games will be primarily slower, turn-based games that voice commands can augment or even replace keyboard and (to a lesser extent) mouse-driven input.