Anyone here using node.js? / Alexa Voice Services


(Brandon Scott Corlett) #1

I’m going to be installing node.js on my LAMP server and am interested to know what kind of experiences people have with it.


(Isaiah Carew) #2

I’ve had OK experience using it for back-end services. I used node for Favd and some of Stacks Cloud. Since then I’ve gone back to doing most things in php.

I don’t mind JS as a whole, but find the node community doesn’t suit my programming style.

The biggest time sinks were:

  1. npm – and the bajillion dependancies that you must take on in order to do anything with node. Fiddling with incompatible dependancies drives me crazy.

  2. And a lack of language idiom: some folks like a more functional style – lots of lambdas, and some folks prefer more traditional code. I find the mix to be tough to keep my head around.


(Brandon Scott Corlett) #3

Thanks @isaiah, that is good info.

I’m going to have a crack at it to write an Alexa Skill. I wish I could stick with just PHP but I need a particular JS library.

I don;t like how Alexa’s SDK is restrictive with the natural language processing. My goal is to send the request to my server and then be able to use the Web Speech API to process the speech via Annyang.

If it works then it will allow for a much more fluid conversational chat bot.


(Isaiah Carew) #4

related: there’s an app that you can get that does Alexa. i use it for working on skills since i just have one echo in the kitchen.


(Brandon Scott Corlett) #5

Sweet! I’m going to have to try that.
I’m planning on picking up an echo this week. Right now I have Alexa on the Fire Tablet and my Raspberry Pi. Having it on iOS would be pretty sweet. That just expanded is to several other devices I have.


(Isaiah Carew) #6

What Raspberry Pi library did you use? Did you follow any specific tutorial?


(Brandon Scott Corlett) #7

I followed this tutorial at lifehacker. It sets up Alexa, a wake word, and Airplay.

The main limitation is I haven’t yet found a way to get it to run on boot. At the moment I just keep the three/four startup commands in a doc on my desktop and copy each into a terminal tab when I want to run it.

Also, you have to wait a moment after using the wake word. It’s not like the Echo where you can have one fluid phrase.


(Brandon Scott Corlett) #8

Have you published any Skills to Amazon’s repo?