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C# for Programmers, 2/e

ISBN:
0-13-134591-5
© 2006
pages: ~1350

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This tutorial introduces Microsoft Agent—a technology for enhancing Windows applications and Web pages with interactive animated characters that can speak to users and respond to user input via speech synthesis and speech recognition.

[Note: This tutorial (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7) is an excerpt (Section 17.14) of Chapter 17, Multimedia and Graphics, from our book C# for Programmers, 2/e. These articles may refer to other chapters or sections of the book that are not included here. Permission Information: Deitel, Harvey M. and Paul J., C# FOR PROGRAMMERS, ©2005, pp.692–706. Electronically reproduced by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.]

Introduction to Microsoft Agent (continued)
Responding to Selections from the actionsCombo ComboBox
After the GetAnimationNames method has been called, the user can select a value from the actionsCombo ComboBox. Event handler actionsCombo_SelectedIndexChanged (lines 122-128) stops any current animation, then plays the animation that the user selected from the ComboBox, followed by the RestPose animation.
Speaking the Text Typed by the User
You can also type text in the TextBox and click Speak. This causes event handler speakButton_Click (line 45-55) to call speaker method Speak, supplying as an argument the text in speechTextBox. If the user clicks Speak without providing text, the character speaks, "Please, type the words you want me to speak".
Changing Characters
At any point in the program, the user can choose a different character from the charactersCombo ComboBox. When this happens, the SelectedIndexChanged event handler for characterCombo (lines 67-71) executes. The event handler calls method ChangeCharacter (lines 74-83) with the text in the characterCombo as an argument. Method ChangeCharacter stops any current animation, then calls the Hide method of speaker (line 77) to remove the current character from view. Line 78 assigns the newly selected character to speaker, line 81 generates the character's animation names and commands, and line 82 displays the character via a call to method Show.
Responding to Commands
Each time a user presses the Scroll Lock key and speaks into a microphone or selects a command from the Commands pop-up window, event handler mainAgent_Command (lines 131-157) is called. This method is passed an argument of type AxAgentObjects._AgentEvents_CommandEvent, which contains a single property, userInput. The userInput property returns an Object that can be converted to type AgentObjects.IAgentCtlUserInput. Lines 135-136 assign the userInput object to an IAgentCtlUserInput object named command, which is used to identify the command, so the program can respond appropriately. Lines 139-144 use method ChangeCharacter to change the current Agent character if the user speaks a character name. Microsoft Agent always will show a character when a user speaks its name; however, by controlling the character change, we can ensure that only one Agent character is displayed at a time. Lines 147-152 move the character to the current mouse location if the user invokes the MoveToMouse command. Agent method MoveTo takes x- and y-coordinate arguments and moves the character to the specified screen position, applying appropriate movement animations. For all other commands, we Play the command name as an animation in line 156.

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