Thursday 26 January 2012, 21:27
I've just released the first packaged version of IDSgrep, which is an implementation of the ideas I posted last month about Ideographic Description Sequences. It's meant to bring the user-friendliness of grep to kanji dictionaries. Compiling it will require the usual Unix tools, and using it effectively will require a copy of KanjiVG, but you can look at the screenshot of it in action on the SF.JP site.
It'd be really nice if I could publish a paper about this. I'm looking at some academic-type computer science conferences, but it might actually be more on-topic for the more industrial or open-source type of meeting. If any readers have suggestions on what might be a good venue, I'd like to hear them.
Wednesday 18 January 2012, 13:40
As you probably know by now if you live under a rock and get all your news through the Net, several popular sites are protesting current US proposed Net censorship laws. I'm glad to see that happen, and I'm glad that a lot of people are paying attention, and I don't want to understate how glad I am of those things. But I'm also disappointed by a lot of what I'm seeing, too.
Wednesday 11 January 2012, 11:41
Not too long ago a free software project I'm peripherally involved in
decided it was time to replace its old and not broken version control system
with something new and broken, and the lead maintainer conducted a straw
poll of what the new system should be. My suggestion of "anything, as long
as it's not distributed" was shouted down by the chorus of "anything, as
long as it's distributed." Having lost the argument in that forum, I'm going
to post my thoughts on why distributed version control sucks here in my own
space where it's harder for me to be shouted down.
Saturday 31 December 2011, 21:43
It's the end of 2011, and I'm writing this from my parents' home in
Nanaimo, where I'm visiting over the year-end holidays. If you ask me how
this past year has gone, I'd have to say it's been mixed. Some good things
have happened; some not so good; and my current situation is what I'd call
Monday 19 December 2011, 15:14
I went through a bit of a crunch to get Tsukurimashou 0.5 out the door before my year-end vacation. With that done, and at least 99 kanji to do before the next planned release, I have a chance to sit back and think about some longer-term and spin-off projects. Here are some ideas on kanji searching.
UPDATE: A prototype implementation of the system described here now exists as part of the Tsukurimashou project, and you can check it out via SVN from there. Packaged releases will be available eventually.
Friday 16 December 2011, 19:15
This is an archived old announcement, for a version of Tsukurimashou that is no longer the latest. You can find the latest version in the Tsukurimashou project on Sourceforge Japan.
I've released a new version of the Tsukurimashou fonts (project home page). This one contains 776 kanji, including all those taught in the Japanese school system through Grade Two and half of Grade Three. The bigger news, however, is that I've also added a set of fonts for the Korean hangul writing system. Those should now be beta quality - you should now be able to write the standard modern Korean language in its entirety. Downloads: source code; precompiled fonts; demo PDF files.
These fonts are far enough along now that I'd really like to create a bit of "buzz" around them; that's part of the sneaky plan behind my recent technical postings about my experiences building the fonts. I'm hoping that a lot of people will read those, and, especially, share them on systems like Twitter and the other one. In the new year, after I've posted a couple more (I'm aiming for weekly technical postings), I'll evaluate whether they are attracting third-party traffic and whether I want to continue them. They take up time I could be spending on writing code, but having people use the software is important too.
Monday 12 December 2011, 22:39
Here are some thoughts on the Tsukurimashou build system. You can find the code, and some documentation of how to use the build system, in the package, but this posting is meant to look more generally at some of the issues I encountered while building a build for something weird.
The thing is, Tsukurimashou isn't a piece of software in the normal sense, but a package of fonts. It's written sort of like software, using programming languages, but the data flow during build doesn't look much like the data flow during build of the usual kind of software package. As a result, although it seemed like using Make was the thing I wanted to do, the way I've written my Makefile doesn't look much like what we might expect on a more typical software project. Working on it has forced me to see the structure of the project quite differently from the way I'd usually look at software, and maybe some of the ideas from that can be applied to other things.
Wednesday 7 December 2011, 18:06
December 2011 on Earth, but it is eternal midmorning on the third layer of
the Astral Plane. THOMAS OF AQUINO, NICHOLAS FLAMEL, and K'UNG FU-TZU sit
at a card table, in that order clockwise around the table. At the fourth,
otherwise unoccupied, spot sits an ominous blue-painted Chinese porcelain
Monday 5 December 2011, 14:56
I encountered an interesting problem on the Tsukurimashou project recently, and some inquiries with friends confirmed my suspicion that if anyone has solved it, they've done it in a language-specific way for ridiculous languages. It appears I have to solve it again myself. Here are some notes.
Thursday 1 December 2011, 17:30