The assorted finds of Artefact Publishing

Feeling aGUIsh

The IPA extension to Zounds is now close to being finished, in terms of backend code. It doesn’t handle stress markers (which are syllable based and precede the syllable they mark, both of which properties are incompatible with the way Zounds works), and it deviates slightly from the latest version of the IPA (Unicode doesn’t yet have characters for the new tone markers), but apart from that I think it’s solid.

Unfortunately, that means I can’t really put off making the GUI any longer. Since the whole project is written in Python, I’m going to use Tkinter, and I just know it’s going to be awful. I don’t mean the look of the thing (though it might not be great), but just writing the code. My past experiments with Tkinter were brief and painful — there always seemed to be a lot of code in order to do bugger all. I’m really hoping it will be different this time, but I think there’s more chance of a kind-hearted reader giving me advice and offering to help.

I have, in between writing the last paragraph and this one, noticed a discrepency between Unicode IPA charts and the Unicode standard, in the matter of which diacritic is to be used to mark retraction. Unicode specifies COMBINING MINUS SIGN BELOW (U+0320) while the University of Victoria’s chart and the almost copy at The Linguist List use COMBINING MACRON BELOW (U+0331). I’ve pointed this out to the University of Victoria people, so hopefully the discrepency will soon be resolved. So, procrastination is useful!

Posted by jamie on May 25, 2003 16:08+12:00


I have made a Unicode replica of the official IPA chart similar to the one created by the University of Victoria. However, mine is written in standards-compliant XHTML/CSS and is released under the GPL. And as LinguistList's adaptation of their chart facilitates the composition of IPA symbol strings by clicking symbols, my chart provides the same feature but is further developed: it also allows one to insert symbols into any part of the string; additionally, it keeps track of previously used symbols and optionally outputs XML entities.

I've worked hard on this project and I think it would be a valuable open-source resource for anyone needing to make phonetic transcriptions.

International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) Unicode "Keyboard": <>

Posted by: Weston Ruter on December 17, 2004 16:05+13:00

Lovely work, Weston! I shall certainly point it out as a fantastic means of writing Unicode IPA strings in the documentation for IPA Zounds. Thank you for creating it, and letting me know about it.

Posted by: Jamie on December 17, 2004 19:23+13:00