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Language Creation: The International Language Construction Bulletin (working title :)) )

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Thursday, May 2, 2002, 7:55
Okay, sorry not to have sent this message earlier, but with all those posts I
didn't find a moment to sit quietly and write it down. But now I have :)) .

So according to the poll #7, a majority (of the people who answered the
poll :)) ) is interested in a Conlang Journal, for reading or writing in. So I
guess it's worth a try.

So here's the deal: it would be nice to have the first issue released on
Conlang Day (18th July), and I think I will need at least a month to convert
and put all articles together (especially for the first issue, for which I
still have to create a few tools :)) ). So I have to put the deadline for the
18th of June. Or rather, I put the deadline on the week of the 18th of June,
and lucky folks, on that week the 18th is a Tuesday :)) . It means that the
actual deadline is the Sunday 23rd of June. Note that this deadline doesn't
mean that I won't accept article submissions after that date, but that articles
submitted to me after that date may not find their way to the 18th July issue.
It will depend on how fast I could work on it :)) .

For the format of the Journal, I hear and agree on the idea of having something
with hyperlinks. I also think in this case layout is important, which means PDF
is the only format possible allowing both things. There's just one problem: I
have no idea how to make hyperlinks for a PDF file with the tools I have now (I
have now a very good PDF converter, but I still have to explore its
possibilities, especially when the original file is a PS file). It doesn't mean
that the Conlang Journal will never have them, but only that the first issues
won't, until I discover how to make it work nicely. Of course, if someone is
ready to take the PDF file and add the links to it, it'd be great, but it would
be a tedious job so I don't think anyone would be ready to do it...

For the publication itself, unless people want a paper version of it (I can
make that, no problem, but you'll have to participate in the shipping
costs :)) ), it will be sent by e-mail to people who request it, or put on a
certain URL for people who cannot receive attachments a little big :) . I'll
work on a webpage, but I can't make sure that it will be ready for the first

As for the format of the submissions, I can now accept the following formats,
in decreasing order of desireability: LaTeX, RTF, Word, WP and HTML (for the
last two, the converters I have are highly experimental and not sustained
anymore by their author :(( ). It may not be a very big list, but normally all
good wordprocessors can save in RTF can't they? :)) As for images, any format
will do. My copy of Paint Shop Pro does a marvellous job in converting from
plenty of different formats. But I insist to receive the images separated from
the article file too, even when it's a Word file. It's just in case the
converters make a mess out of the images in the article files themselves :)) .
As for the format of the articles, don't bother too much. I'll control the
layout of the final thing anyway :)) . Just try to make your articles
structured: paragraphs, titles and subtitles, etc... Don't bother about columns
and/or margin sizes, I take care of that :)) . If you want your images to be
put at a precise place in the article, just tell me so, I will do what I
can :) . For people who write their articles in LaTeX, I will make a
special "conlang journal" package, containing the layout commands and some
things to help you writing the articles. I can send it to you on request.
As for the layout of the journal itself, the first issue will be simple: two-
columns, two-sided. I will need the experience of making the journal to enhance
its looks. Of course, I can handle colours without a problem, but the text
should stay in black with a white background (if only for ease of reading :)) ).

You can send me articles of whatever size you want (within limits of course, an
article of two lines may be a little small :)), as well as an article of 60
pages may be a bit too big :)) ), on whatever subject (related to conlanging of
course :)) ). Translations, conlang reviews, grammars, reviews of relays, calls
for or reports of meetings, articles about linguistics with a conlang point of
view, sociological articles about conlanging, discussions about some feature in
different natlangs and/or conlangs, etc... (for future issues, a
rubrique "letters" for people who want to react to the articles they read in
former issues would be very nice) Everything is welcome. During the discussion
about the journal, plenty of good ideas were given as for the contents. Then
please make them! You are the ones who will give the contents of the journal!
Just one thing: I think the first issue would be the perfect place for a
conlang FAQ. Anyone want to make it? Also, I think Irina's idea of having for
each issue the title "Language Creation" translated in a conlang (in native
script :) ), with in the journal a complete review of the conlang it was
written in (for this one, it can be a lengthy one, with concultural notes and
everyhting you want to say about it :)) ). So, who wants to do it first? (I
don't feel up to the task yet :(( ) Be sure you'll be able to produce the
article in time if you want to have the frontpage in your conlang :)) .

As for the language in which the articles are written, as I said it would be
pretty nifty to have articles in other languages than English, especially in
conlangs, provided that you give also an English translation (or at least an
English summary with grammatical notes), so that people who are interested in
what you wanted to say don't have to fight for one week to understand the first
paragraph of your article :)) .

As for the editorial, for the first issue I'll write it myself, but for next
issues it would be nice to have someone different at each issue for the
editorial. I'll talk about it more for next issues :)) .

For the article submissions, you can send them privately to me as attachments
on my address: I will send a post once or
twice per week to remind you all about sending me articles :)) .

There were a few very kind people ready to help me with the journal, at least
for correcting articles. Could you please send me again an e-mail, privately,
so that I can add your e-mail address to my agenda (if it's not already
done :) ). I would like also to know what you can do (orthographic and
typographic correction, conversion, etc...) and what file formats you can read,
so that I know what to give to each of you. Thank you in advance!

So it's pretty much all I had to say about the Conlang Journal... No! I forgot!
What do you think of the title? (bearing in mind that the first part "Language
Creation" will always be in a conlang) Do you find it OK, or do you have a
better idea?

Now I think I said everything. So if I forgot something, please tell me, so
that I can correct that. I now wait for your submissions which are gonna fill
my mailbox very fast :)))) . Thank you all in advance!


Take your life as a movie: do not let anybody else play the leading role.


Maarten van Beek <dungeonmaster@...>
Tristan <zsau@...>
Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>