From The Blog

Building Conversations With Alexa

Having an Amazon Echo Dot in my office is quite fun, and I've accidentally started writing more skills and giving a few talks about building skills for the Alexa toolchain. Today I created a skill that uses multiple steps to make a conversation and thought I'd better write down what I did so I'd be able to remember!

The basic idea is that when creating the "intent", i.e. the action that you want Alexa to do, you also define "slots". The slots are the variables; if this were a command line tool, they'd be the arguments you typed. It's possible to include both intent and slots in your wording when you speak to Alexa, but equally you can just invoke the skill and have it prompt you for the rest of the information. Continue reading

Package Parameters in OpenWhisk

I love OpenWhisk but I struggled a little to get the parameters attached in a sane way for a while so I am capturing my notes here for future reference! Parameters can be attached to actions or packages; I tend to break my actions down really small and pass data into them, while preferring to set parameters on the package that the actions belong to. Continue reading

Where was that GitHub Discussion?

Did GitHub change their activity feed? Or am I getting more confused now I contribute to so many different projects that I'm not a maintainer of? Either way, I struggle sometimes to find the pull request or issue that I had a discussion on to revisit or continue that discussion (yes, I get email notifications - and no, I don't take good enough care of them to find things that way).

GitHub has brilliant advanced search functionality, and what I wanted was:

is:pr commenter:lornajane sort:updated-desc

Which gives me a list of all the pull requests I've commented on, with the most recent first. I couldn't remember the exact repo name and I also often switch is:pr for is:issue as appropriate, but this search string has been very helpful for finding those odd things you want to follow up on.

Do you have a favourite GitHub search string combination? Would you care to share it in the comments? Thanks :)

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CouchDB: Scalable NoSQL

php[tek], May 2017

Working With Webhooks

php[tek], May 2017

Surviving Failure in RabbitMQ

DataLayer, May 2017

Workers, Queues and Data

OSCON , May 2017

Becoming Polyglot

CraftConf, April 2017