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Justin Rodino avatar image
Justin Rodino asked

Different Guidelines for Submission and Feedback from Submissions

I'm hoping someone can help me understand the skill submission process a bit better. First off, I submitted a skill twice and now I'm going from the "form letter" feedback but hoping to get a bit more clarity here. First off, both times it has stated that I don't validate the signature for incoming requests, however that isn't true. I have actually validated that and can systematically prove that - and also it shows it when testing the skill. Sure, I don't use AWS Lambda functionality, but that shouldn't matter as long as I'm following the rules. Second thing - if you don't call on my skill correctly it returns some default text and tells you how to use it and also to refer to the card in the app. Both times, this has been rejected because Case 4.1 states I should leave the stream open for Alexa to receive further input. However, let's try the following scenario "Alexa, volume". She doesn't hear a numeric and she replies "Sorry, I didn't get that, please try again" and actually closes her own stream, so isn't it the pot calling the kettle black in this case when Amazon is breaking their own rules/guidelines? Lastly, the second submission for my app, I challenged some of the feedback, yet never heard anything back. I think the submission guidelines are a bit flawed in so much that if you have feedback you can't really offer it, you have to resubmit and go through all of the paces all over again - as simply replying to the submission goes in to a black hole. I appreciate that there is a learning curve to the newer technology and that you want to ensure only good apps get through, but I think the process is still truly flawed and also is semi-hypocritical and can be biased based on who is actually doing the submission (I won't go in to the "suggestions" I received in this thread). Appreciate any further feedback Amazon might be able to offer on this. Respectfully, Justin Rodino
alexa skills kitsubmission testing certification
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jjaquinta avatar image
jjaquinta answered
>both times it has stated that I don't validate the signature for incoming requests, That's a weird one. I haven't seen that. I'm not sure what you can do there. >so isn't it the pot calling the kettle black in this case when Amazon is breaking their own rules/guidelines? What you quotes was not a skill. It was an intrinsic feature to the Echo. They play by different rules. The rules for skills, to some degree, ensure that if Amazon wants to develop an intrinsic feature in competition it can. For example, I have a Knock-Knock joke skill. It is much harder to use than the intrinsic knock-knock joke feature. There is nothing I can do about that, because 3rd parties have to live within those limitations. >I challenged some of the feedback, yet never heard anything back. I do not think I have ever, ever, ever heard anything back from anything challenged. They do not appear to read what you write back. They do not appear to read the submission notes. >I think the submission guidelines are a bit flawed I think the submission process is completely broken because 1) Several submission requirements are subjective 2) You get a different person each time you submit for certification 3) There is no means of having a dialog with the person certifying Put these three together and you get, from a user perspective, random results. I submitted the same skill three times in a row, and got three different feedback comments. I'll be tabulating these together sometime this will and will post the results. Based on that my company will decide if it is possible to continue to attempt to do business with a system that appears to be random. >want to ensure only good apps get through, I do not believe this is the goal of the certification process. I used to review every single skill enabled for Alexa. There are too many now so I don't. I was going to only review the good ones. There aren't many good ones anymore. The more interesting your application, the more things the certifiers can find wrong with it. Since it is different each time you submit, the only skills with a chance of passing through are the ones that are so simple there is very little to comment on. Mostly "fortune cookie" skills. The current certification process results in stifling innovation. >Appreciate any further feedback Amazon might be able to offer on this. Good luck with that. If you note, the Amazon staff who reply in the forum are not the people who certify skills. The same names appear in all of the "Amazon Mobile App" forums. The work all the areas and only say they will pass on the comments to "relevant teams". The only communication back is when new features are released, or not released. There is no dialog. The closest I've seen to getting into more than a two exchange dialog with an Amazon staff (other than simple support matters) has been by ranting. So, by all means, rant away. It's the most successful strategy so far. >_<
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justin avatar image
justin answered
Hi Justin, We apologize for any of the frustrations you've been facing with the certification process. If you could please send a contact-us addressed to me (Justin) with your skill's app-id, and I can help find clarifications in your issues and establish additional dialog. Thanks, Justin https://developer.amazon.com/appsandservices/support/contact/contact-us
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