IBM said Monday it will release as open source code some of its software for speech-enabling applications. The move is intended to spur development in the field and outflank rivals by making IBM's free technology the industry standard.
IBM is donating to the Apache Software Foundation its Reusable Dialog Components (RDC) technology, a set of building-block components for adding basic, voice-enabled functions to applications like data, time, currency and location interactions. IBM's RDCs are JSP (Java Server Page) tags; IBM is donating to Apache its framework and a set of example tag.
IBM is also donating a set of speech markup editors to the Eclipse Foundation, the guardian of the open-source Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment) IBM created.
IBM intends the editors to seed a new project at Eclipse for open-source tools for voice application development -- a preemptive strike against what IBM sees as the problem of proprietary and vendor-specific code in the nascent speech software development industry. Microsoft also offers a speech application software development kit and released in March its Microsoft Speech Server 2004.