Mycroft is not just open source code, it is an Open Source Community of people from across the world.
In this new series of posts, we are meeting some of the people that make up our Open Source Community. You’ll get to hear about what they have built with Mycroft, and why they got involved.
Linus most recently developed the Recommendations Fallback Skill, which catches utterances Mycroft couldn’t answer and checks the Skills Marketplace to see if the user would like to install a new Skill that could.
Prior to that he created Skills for checking your email, casting audio to AirPlay, and has contributed to the Home Assistant Skill. He is also a key member of our Skills Acceptance Team. The Skill Acceptance Team reviews all Skills before they are accepted into the Marketplace. When he’s not writing his own Skills, Linus can often be found helping others in our Community Chat and Forums.
Linus, it’s great to chat. To start off, tell us a bit about yourself. Where in this big wide world are you from?
I live currently in Seattle, Washington – (where Amazon/Microsoft were founded.)
Other than coding and reviewing Mycroft Skills, how do you spend the rest of your time?
Outside of Mycroft, and school (and homework), I like to play jazz guitar for my school, play ultimate frisbee, rock climb, and bike!
Tell us about the Recommendations Fallback – where did the idea for this Skill come from?
I was trying to get Mycroft to tell me how to spell the word “aardvark,” however I had uninstalled the spelling skill, so Mycroft couldn’t answer me. I then just had the idea to create a skill that would download the skill automatically for me!
What do you think are the best and hardest parts of writing Skills for Mycroft?
The best part of writing skills for Mycroft is seeing the Community react to them. As I once developed skills for Alexa, I didn’t see anyone using them, or providing me feedback. This is the best part: hearing from everyone of what they think about the skill. The hardest part is definitely trying to get my skills to sound natural, as to make them sound like an actual person is talking to you.
Why do you think it’s important for Community Members like yourself to review other people’s Skills?
It allows us Community Members to give feedback to improve everyone’s skills to make them seem more natural, and to give the Community control of what is acceptable in the Marketplace.
What are you working on next? Any new ideas for Mycroft Skills?
A few days ago, I unleashed my Calendar Skill into the beta phase, where I’m already getting lots of good feedback. After the Calendar Skill, I’m going to start on a well-requested Skill: A Communications Skill, which will allow people to communicate between their Mycroft devices through a local intercom, messaging, calling, and with the release of the Mark II, video chatting! I also hope to create skills for Lyft, a ride sharing service. I also hope to begin getting Mycroft on to Apple devices, such as Macs, and iPhones.
What advice would you give others who might want to get started with Mycroft?
If you ever need help, just ask the Community! We are always happy to help. I’ve gotten the most help and learned the most about Mycroft through the Community, so don’t be shy!
Linus has done some awesome work. If you think you’d be a good Skill Tester like Linus, fill out this form!
Gez is the Director of Developer Relations at Mycroft. He comes from the land down under, has a strange love of crocodiles, and one day hopes to play the ukulele. If he’s not hanging out in our Community Chat and Forums, he is probably getting lost in the bush.