omg how cool would this be for writing IF?

this isnt spam, i saw the commercial for this and the first thing i thought of is whether or not this would work for writing IF…

I’d say it is more useful for writing prose than for writing code. When you write code, you need a lot of non-standard typography (semi-colons and colons and brackets at the exact right points, tabs in Inform 7), and you can often speed up your development a lot by copy-pasting stuff. A speech-to-text converter is probably not too good at the former, and unable to do the latter.

true, i agree it would most likely not work for coding, but u could jam out your prose in Word and copy it over perhaps? also, in the extended commercial i saw for this software, you can cut and paste and bold and italicize, etc.

If you actually like to write, not cool at all.

I think I use a different part of my brain to speak than to write. (And I’m not sure I buy the accuracy thing - I’ve used a lot of voice technologies and they tend to be okay-ish at best.)

I can speak for Dragon (MacSpeech Dictate was the same technology on the Mac, but it became Dragon as well last year) as I’ve used it extensively for several years, including in writing IF. I bought it as I have chronic RSI and I needed to reduce my hand workload. These days I don’t bother typing any prose beyond a certain length, I just dictate it. I also use it to play most IF games, rather than by typing.

Regarding accuracy, it’s extremely accurate. Some people have had bad experiences with speech-to-text only 5-10 years ago, but the technology is already infinitely better than that.

In terms of writing IF - I tend to dicate a file full of prose, then copy paste it into the programming. I still do most of the coding by typing. As Victor guessed, it’s hard to deliver all the wiggly marks and weird formatting of programming by voice. You can actually do it better in Inform than in most settings, as it resembles spoken English. But lots of the software’s accuracy comes from a technical probability-based analysis of English sentences. Since coding doesn’t fall into those probabilities, it doesn’t work as well.

I played nearly all the IFComp 2010 entries by voice. I even programmed some of Leadlight in an Apple II emulator by voice when I had really bad RSI.

I didn’t like the idea of writing by speaking aloud at first, but I got used to it quickly. It’s just another mode of doing the same thing I’ve always been doing.

My only caution against Dragon is if you’re using a Mac. The current Mac version is ultra buggy. I mean to the point of unuseability, with lots of users complaining about it. The last tight version for the Mac was when it was still being sold as MacSpeech Dicate. On a PC atm, there are no such problems.

Hmm, interesting. Maybe I’ll look into it, then.

Back in the dark ages (2001) when I was doing corporate network and desktop support, I had a coworker who used Dragon (many many versions ago) to document his trouble tickets. The results were hilariously bad, such that you had to read it out loud to help you guess what he was trying to write, but he was determined to make it work. Actually, listening to him curse at it and then have to remove those words was even funnier. Glad to hear that it has improved drastically, but the memory will always make me smile.