Pontifications

  • Alexa 30 step tutorial (only 30 steps LOL :))
  • Convoluted Python
  • "The developer has to manually code every single possible permutation of the phrase that they expect to hear." - e.g. Favorite doesn't work; you need to specify both favorite and favourite! Wow!
  • Official IFTTT Alexa integration isn't useful: "But like most IFTTT services, it isn't well supported by the company. It works with a few blessed services, but you can't bring in your own APIs, nor define your own responses." - Me: I don't understand how IFTTT survives; their integrations are too simple and aren't deep enough for experts and both beginners and experts get locked into the IFTTT trunk, what am I missing?
  • All of the above learned from: Amazon Alexa and Solar Panels and here's a tasty quote:

QUOTE

"I flatter myself as a reasonably competent techie and programmer, but f*ck me AWS Lambdas and Alexa skills are a right pile of shite! Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but they're a pain in the arse to get anything done.

I wanted something simple. When I say "Solar Panels", call this API, then say this phrase. That's the kind of thing which should take 5 minutes in something like IFTTT. Instead, it took around two hours of following out-of-date official tutorials, and whinging on Twitter, before I got my basic service up and running.

A quick bit of preparatory searching on Alta Vista 2.0 and I'd got incredibly frustrated."

END QUOTE