Tool Time

It has been said that “a bad workman always blames his tools.” With this in mind, I’m always on the lookout for the right tool to develop VoiceXML applications. I consider myself pretty open to trying new things, and there is an interesting article in the recent issue of VoiceXML Review discussing the Eclipse Voice Tools Project.

I’ve dabbled with Eclipse in the past while reading some interesting articles about using it for XSL Transformations, but most of what I’ve heard about this tool comes from the Java developers I work with. There don’t seem to be any mild feelings – they either love it, or hate it.

Lacking that level of emotional investment, it seems worth a try to at least test Eclipse out as a tool for developing VoiceXML applications. There is a nice introductory article on Eclipse just up recently on Developer.com that might provide some nice background for anyone interested in learning more about this tool.

By the way, if your thinking that investing some time to check out Eclipse might be a waste given that you don’t do a lot of (or even any) Java development, this tool has a lot more to offer. I do all of my server side stuff in PHP, and there is an interesting plug-in for Eclipse that supports PHP development.

Additionally, IBM is releasing a cluster of development tools (dubbed the “Emerging Technologies Tool Kit”) as plug-ins for Eclipse. Given the wide spectrum of development that Eclipse supports, this tool seems like a good choice for voice developers (and others) to have in their toolkit.