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Re: Conlang software ideas

From:Boudewijn Rempt <bsarempt@...>
Date:Sunday, May 7, 2000, 14:50
On Sat, 6 May 2000, Peter Clark wrote:

> Jeffrey Henning wrote: > > This message stood out from the 3,978 unread messages in my LangReading > > folder. Ironically, I've been too busy programming to keep up with the > > list. Peter, thanks for the kind words about LangMaker/Win. It is open > > source, but is written in Visual Basic 3 and is dependent on an esoteric > > component (the Formula One spreadsheet engine). At some point, I would > > love to create a JavaScript version -- JavaScript, since it is the most > > used language and could run within web pages. Unfortunately, > > LangMaker/Win represents about 80 hours of work, and with four kids, > > three unfinished novels, a couple of web sites and my own software > > company, I don't have the time to re-implement it, as much as I would > > like to. > I was not aware that LangMaker was OpenSource. Last time I checked > (granted, this was a long time ago!) it was crippled to 100 words--is this > still true? Guess I should check my bookmarks more often, huh? :)
I think that it wouldn't take much more than 20 hours to reimplement Langmaker in something portable, like Python and tkInter - especially if the spreadsheet presentation is replaced by an html table representation. After all, all the hard thinking has already been done ;-).
> JavaScript is nice in that it uses a near-universal medium: the > web browser. Unfortunately, it can't write to disk, which means that all > those nice words would have to be cut/pasted. > I understand the lack of time. Makes me wish I was back in > college, where I always had the time to do other things than homework and > assignments. :P Then I would have taken that C course that I always > thought about taking. >
Yes, there has been a time when there was plenty of leisure for fun projects. However, most of them were canceled in favour of Project Pub, at the time - I'm rather more productive nowadays.
> Herman Miller wrote: > > I've occasionally had the idea to write a conlang-friendly Unicode text > > editor (with support for Tengwar, Engsvanyali, and other conscripts that > > require special handling), but I can never find the spare time.
I'm quite close to producing a usable Unicode editor, myself. What I need to do is integrate the editor I already have with a point-and-click character entry interface, and the basics are ready. The problem with Unicode and conlangs is that while there are a lot of conlang fonts, none of them have a Unicode encoding. There's a fairly usable Java Unicode editor that can run inside a browser, and Yudit is usable, too.
> That's what I forgot to mention! But not only Unicode, and not > only able to handle scripts like Tengwar (Enamyn also uses vowel > pointing), but also capable of printing text in any direction, and can > display texts in different directions on the same page. Enamyn has two > scripts, a horizontal script for everyday use, and a vertical script > reserved for scriptual or ornamental usage. In a book like the Bible, the > main text would be in the horizontal script, with selected or important > passages repeated in the vertical script. Something like this, where > ">" is horizontal and "V" is vertical: > ____________ ____________ > | | | > | VV >>>>>> | >>>>>> VV | > | VV >>>>>> | >>>>>> VV | > | VV >>>>>> | >>>>>> VV | > | VV >>>>>> | >>>>>> VV | > | VV >>>>>> | >>>>>> VV | > | VV >>>>>> | >>>>>> VV | > | | | > ------------ ------------ >
Now that's a serious challenge ;-).
> Need to find out if my WordPerfect 8 can do this. Anyone have > StarOffice and can tell me if it has such a feature?
No, not at all. You need to find special purpose exotic-language editors for features like that, and most of those are completely incompatible with anything else. Like mt-script, which had a lot of promise, but couldn't export to Unicode, couldn't print and didn't support input methods. Boudewijn Rempt |