Archæology

The assorted finds of Artefact Publishing

December 20, 2003

Old English to modern English dictionary delayed

I had hoped that by the end of today I would have DICT files for the short Old English to modern English (and reverse) glossary I compiled this year. However, it’s not going to happen because I would like to be able to test it, and it seems that dictd and/or the other dictionaries I use are broken. Why? Oh, just because although the DICT protocol specifies a default encoding of UTF-8, many dictionaries don’t specify the appropriate headers, the server doesn’t understand locales, and I’m left looking for a different project to work on while the developers get it all sorted.

Oh, and I notice that the mailing lists don’t have web archives, so I can’t easily check what work is being done and if I might help.

Instead, I might look into just how awful it would be to mark up Friedlein’s critical edition of Boethius’s De institutione musica using TEI’s XML DTD, as it includes an apparatus criticus section. I’m thinking it will be mind‐bendingly awful, but it will be good practice for something, I’m sure.

Posted by jamie at 13:44+13:00 | Comments (11) | Permalink

December 18, 2003

Shaped by geography

Now that I live in Karori and work at home and at university, the scope of my movements has greatly lessened. In the short time since moving from Hataitai, I have noticed that on the few occasions that I’ve descended into town that it feels rather different. It has become a place that I visit only for its own sake, rather than as a place that is also part of normal travel to other destinations.

In other words, I feel like a visitor there, that it is a world I step occasionally into but which isn’t native to me (nor I to it).

Nowt so queer as folk, I guess.

Posted by jamie at 15:01+13:00 | Comments (1) | Permalink

December 11, 2003

Instead of progress

By request, here are some more of the things said in character during my Nobilis game:

Posted by jamie at 14:26+13:00 | Comments (1) | Permalink

December 02, 2003

The Nature of Order

Today I was given the first two volumes of Christopher Alexander’s The Nature of Order. Having read only the preface, I can confidently say that I am going to love this work, as I loved his earlier books (primarily The Timeless Way of Building and A Pattern Language) when I discovered them in Cambridge, England some years ago. I had been searching for them, without knowing they existed, ever since reading John Brunner’s Shockwave Rider, in which the town of Precipice is designed according to various principles and works, is alive. I had hoped that there was a real set of principles that could create that fictional place, and a couple of pages into The Timeless Way of Building, I knew I had found it. I remember vivedly opening the nicely bound but plain book, the sun coming in through a window of the university library, and then sitting out in a park beneath a lovely old tree alternately reading and looking about me at the people sitting, cycling, playing.

For those following along, these books talk about matters not a million miles away from what I talked about earlier.

There are reviews of The Nature of Order (or the currently published parts thereof), which may be useful for those with no previous exposure to Alexander’s thought.

Posted by jamie at 20:33+13:00 | Comments (0) | Permalink

December 01, 2003

IPA Zounds version 1.4.1 released

Another release, fixing a bug in variable handling in the zounds module. This bug does not occur when using the ipa module or the GUI, as they do not use variables in their input (that being half the point).

On Saturday I met someone who might have been a user of this program — she had studied historical linguistics, and knew about the software — except that she wasn’t. Oh well; I’m sure one of these days I’ll get some feedback from those who have downloaded the thing (of whom there are a few).

Posted by jamie at 21:26+13:00 | Comments (0) | Permalink

Internationalisation madness

I don’t understand gettext (specifically the Python implementation using classes). For a while there I thought I did (I could change my LANG from en_NZ.UTF-8 to nl_NL.UTF-8 and it would give me messages in Dutch), but the more I’ve worked with it, the less I understand (and the less it works). I have tried to find other Python code which uses it, but haven’t been particularly fortunate in that search. The web has let me down with regards to a tutorial on the matter, and the manual doesn’t seem to cover the questions I have.

This does create an opportunity, however, for me to use CVS in new ways. For there is a bug in all released versions of IPA Zounds which is fixed in the development version which is currently suffering the instabilities of the gettext problem(s). This means I need to create a branch and make a new release off that which just fixes the bug. (Speaking of that bug, is there a convenient method within a regular expression that I’ve missed for replacing [abc] with [def], where a is replaced by d, b with e, etc?)

So, a-branching I go.

Posted by jamie at 18:48+13:00 | Comments (3) | Permalink