The original Star Trek captain's log

What it does

Allows the user to record, edit, search by date, search by word or short phrase, and stores all log entries in a Google sheet for easy access.

How I built it

Using the Jovo Alexa Skill Framework, Node.js, and a lot of custom dialog mapping plus Google API for reading and writing to Google sheets, I created a skill that works as planned.

Challenges I ran into

The time out cycle for Alexa responses was a bit tricky, so I had to add a sound effect to let the user know when they had completed a sub-segment of the current log entry.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

By having the entries broken up into segments when recording, it allowed for the user to navigate the sub-segments and delete any they chose not to keep. I used one set of navigation but different modes to handle whether in edit mode or search/find mode to page through the entries.

What I learned

Alexa often has trouble distinguishing phrases that contain date/time information if you have slots that detect date/time phrase for other purposes. Specific commands are a trouble too if you are also capturing RAW phrases. I used dynamic dialog slots to overcome this issue.

What's next for Starship Captain's Log 2020

As the computer on Star Trek used to say, "Working..."

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