Finally. Unlike the second beta which wasn't really that exciting this is new release is IMHO again a huge leap forward.
Why? Well three new command plugins and one old one that actually works for the first time in this release? In my book that effectively doubles our plugin-count.
Composites take other simon commands as their arguments and execute them in order. Moreover you can introduce delays between them. A typical use-case for such a command would be:
Open a Chat with Anna.
This takes three actions: Open Kopete, type "Anna" to find her in the contact list and press return.
Those three actions have already been possible with old versions of simon but they had to be executed by the user. With the new composite plugin you can create a command that launches the executable command "kopete", the text-macro command to type "Anna" and the shortcut command to press return and associate a meaningful trigger to the combination.
List commands also take other commands as their parameters. However, instead of executing them one by one, lists - when triggered - provide the user with a small dialog pop-up that presents the commands that make up the list and let the user choose the command they want with numbers from 1-9. Of course lists can contain other lists so you can easily generate sub-menus if you want to. Composites in lists are no problem either.
This enables simon uses to effectively limit their vocabulary much more if they don't want to invest much time into training or just can't speak very well.
An example of a combination of those lists and composites would be a "Contacts" list-command which contains place commands to e-Mail addresses (mailto:email@example.com works great as place-command) and a composite plug-in to start a chat with Anna (see the composite part).
While not as exciting as lists and composites this plug-in was important too: It let's you input complex numbers easily by providing a calculator-like interface.
The desktop grid was even part of the 0.1 series but it was never controllable by voice and just included as a teaser for... well this version :)
Using the desktop grid the user can click any point on a desktop by saying a combination of numbers. When the desktop grid is activated, it devides the desktop in nine areas. Saying a number of 1-9 will then divide this region again in 9 parts, etc.
That way the user can precicly click any point on the screen - again only using numbers from 1-9.
Of course there have been other advancements too. For example the recording widget now displays the current "loudness" using the progress bar while recording and a lot of bugs have been fixed.
All in all 0.2 beta 3 is a really cool release and, if all goes well, might just be our last beta release...
I seem to have forgotten one final commit which, sadly, fixed some critical bugs (ksimond crash on startup and some plugin-loading stuff). I committed the patch now and am rebuilding the packages as I write.
Anyone who downloaded the release yesterday will have to download and install again. Don't forget to uninstall any previously installed 0.2 versions first!
Sorry for the inconvenience!