Freitag, 10. Juli 2009

simon 0.2 released

Almost three years after the start of the development, the first stable version of the open source speech recognition suite simon has finally been released: simon 0.2 is ready for download.

With simon you can control your computer with your voice. You can open programs, URLs, type configurable text snippets, simulate shortcuts, control the mouse and more.

Because of simons architecture, it is not bound to a specific language and can be used with any dialect. It is also specifically designed to handle speech impairments which makes simon a viable alternative to conventional input methods for physically disabled people.

simon 0.2 is based off of the open source Julius speech recognition engine and the HTK (which - due to licensing restrictions - has to be installed seperately).

In comparison to the 0.1 series that never made it past alpha quality, simon 0.2 does not only bring stability improvements.

simon 0.2 is now based on KDE 4 and thus perfectly integrates in every KDE setup. This move also brings KIO to simon which allows for network transparency, transparent compression and more.

The seperate Juliusd application has been discontinued and replaced by the much advanced simond which features network audio streaming, centralized model management with automatic backups and more. simond is a command line application which makes it easy to set up a central simon server without the heavy X dependencies. For users of graphical environments the front-end ksimond has been introduced.

Moreover, the command architecture has been completely overhauled and now uses a much more flexible plugin architecture and supports individual triggers per plugin. New plugins include the list plugin (which can be used to display options), the composite plugin (similar to "macros"), a number input plugin and an artificial intelligence. Combined with the improved commands of previous simon versions this makes a total of 10 command plugins out of the box!

The import of the shadow dictionary now also supports PLS and SPHINX dictionaries which opens the door for dictionaries like the German GPL dictionary from Voxforge.

Because of the growing user base simon has been translated to English, German and French and also partly to Spanish, Dutch and Czech.

simon 0.2 is also the first version of simon ever to ship complete with an extensive user manual - available in English and German.

Next to the source package, the release is also available in convenient binary packages for 32-bit and 64-bit users of both GNU/Linux (Ubuntu and OpenSUSE) as well as Microsoft Windows operating systems and can be downloaded from the sourceforge project page.

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