Gotcha with Skype, Bot Framework and LUIS

I hit a very annoying problem today with one of my Bots. It uses LUIS to react to the intent of what the user is saying. Two of the intents are “Weather” and “HowAreYou”. I’d run through the emulator and all the flows were working well. The user says something like;

  • “What’s up?” and the Bot responds with, “Ok, thanks how are you?”
  • “What’s the weather like?”, you receive, “lovely and sunny”

I published to Skype and suddenly the flows were broken.

  • “What’s up?” – “Cold today, brrrr”
  • “What’s the weather like?” – “lovely and sunny”

Why has that broken? Well the problem is that when Skype sends a request it is NOT sending the text in plain, it’s HTML encoding it. So rather than LUIS receiving "What's up?" it’s actually receiving, "what&pos;s up". This is then mapped to the Weather intent rather than “HowAreYou”. This is frustrating because the LUIS support is via a Middleware service and I haven’t found an option that allows me to tell it to decode the in-bound text. So my solution is to place a decoder in the Middleware pipe *before* the LUIS Middleware;

 public class HtmlDecoderMiddleware : IMiddleware
    {
        public async Task OnTurn(ITurnContext context, MiddlewareSet.NextDelegate next)
        {
            var text = context.Activity.Text;
            context.Activity.Text = WebUtility.HtmlDecode(text);
            await next();
        }
    }
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