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jjaquinta avatar image
jjaquinta asked

David Isbitski on the Certification process

Anyone seen David's latest post on the certification process? It's here: https://developer.amazon.com/public/community/post/Tx2OMH488CIUS25/Developer-Feedback-We-are-Listening-amp-Need-Your-Help-with-Alexa?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRokvqrPZKXonjHpfsX66espUK6%2FlMI%2F0ER3fOvrPUfGjI4CRMdjI%2BSLDwEYGJlv6SgFSrfFMapt17gOUhk%3D It's largely a work of fiction and marketing wish fulfillment. It is interest to see they've taken up my suggestion of having "weekly Alexa Dev Chats", which, of course, they portray as their own idea. Still deciding if I do a point-by-point takedown of the number of statements in it that diverge mildly or drastically from reality, or if it just isn't worth it...
alexa skills kitsubmission testing certification
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Galactoise avatar image
Galactoise answered
I don't understand... they did exactly what you asked them to do with the weekly chats. Why are you mad about that? They obviously weren't going to label it "Weekly Dev Chats as requested by Jo" in their blog post. Either way, you have to consider it progress that they're at least acknowledging the problem and trying SOMETHING. If it all turns out to be hollow, then so be it, but at least we won't be any worse off than we are now...
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jjaquinta avatar image
jjaquinta answered
No, I'm annoyed that that's [b]all[/b] they're going to do. Nothing else in there is new. And much of the rest is outrageous lies or marketing spin. "Many of us on the Alexa team read our developer forums on a daily basis". But they don't engage. So it is useless and pointless to say this. "The Amazon Skill Certification process is in place to give us the best chance of providing customers high-quality content." There have been numerous examples where providing high quality content is not the result. Innovation is stifled. The turnaround times make it impossible to do iterative development. And the stupid rigidity and pedantry shown for enforcing the rules shows that the intent of them is not something the certification team has its sights set on. Just look at the current list of skills and tell me it is providing Alexa customers "high quality content". And yes, they don't say it is. They say that's it intent. That's just marketing speak. Their money isn't where their mouth is. "The goal is to make the process as nimble, valuable, and transparent as possible." Again, that may be someone's goal somewhere. But it's not the reality we all have to deal with. The reality is far removed from this, and the blog posting ignores that. "Monitoring customer reviews of skills in the Alexa app" Has [b]anyone[/b] on this forum [b]ever[/b] been contacted by Amazon to say "hey, you're getting negative reviews"? [b]Ever?[/b] I probably hold the record for the largest number of negative reviews for a skill: Knock Knock Jokes had 31 (mostly bad) reviews. They changed something in Alexa's recognition and the skill was fundamentally broken. Yet David claims, with a straight face, that they "manually test sample utterances of all published skills every 24 hours to verify basic functionality". Maybe they do. But who knows. If they do they certainly don't tell anyone about when it fails. And so on, and so on throughout the whole blog post. The fundamental problem with certification is that there is no dialog with the certifiers during the process. There isn't one tiny thing in the entire blog post that addresses that problem. The "Improvements" they cite are all things to keep the same mechanical, "throw it over the fence" approach they have that is, really, just working so well for everyone. But maybe I'm just being jaded and cynical. Please. Point out to me anything they say they are going to do that is all that different from what they are currently doing and will make a substantive improvement to the certification process...
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