The assorted finds of Artefact Publishing

June 22, 2007

On not switching to WordPress

I have just finished trying, for the second or third time, to switch to WordPress for running this blog. I got less far this time, with the latest version, than I did however many months ago I last tried. This time it failed on the import of entries from the current system — and it failed in that most wonderful way, by prompting me to save a file called admin.php (which was empty). Yes, that’s exactly what I like to see from a system which talks about a five-minute install.

Apparently, from what one person has said on the support forum, it’s a memory issue — and the import page does mention that if one gets an out of memory error, one should try something-or-other. But I didn’t get an out of memory error, I got a PHP page to download. I can understand not having ideal behaviour for a problem that one is unaware of, but for something that has been encountered and anticipated? That’s just shoddy.

So, once again, I’m not changing anything.

Posted by jamie at 19:06+12:00 | Comments (0) | Permalink

June 18, 2007

It’s actually not too bad...

I have been soft at work (this is somewhere between “working hard” and “hardly working” in the scale of effort) on the GUI for the next version of IPA Zounds. This time I am using Glade 3 and PyGTK MVC (a simple framework for using PyGTK and Glade with an MVC architecture, so that I have even less work to do).

My last exposure to GUI programming was just a couple of weeks ago, using Swing and Java. It was horrible — but then I don’t like Java, so perhaps it was just that and not Swing at all.

Anyway, I am hopeful that this will mean I am less reluctant to play around with the display, and may even result in the binary features model display appearing in the next release (rather than the one after that, as I originally anticipated).

Posted by jamie at 08:45+12:00 | Comments (0) | Permalink

June 02, 2007

Text to speech engines

You would think — or rather, I think — that if you’re going to make a text-to-speech system, you should base it on the IPA. That is, after all, its entire point. And indeed, various efforts in providing specifications for how to go about the task have included ways of including IPA information. However, the actual systems people have built don’t seem to use them. That is silly.

However, this has been recognised and some people have hope:

Unfortunately, IPA is difficult to learn and use and there is not yet standardization on the use of subsets of IPA for particular languages and dialects. Nevertheless, speech technology is converging on IPA as the only available system to represent the sounds of a wide range of languages and dialects. There is some hope that this convergence will lead to developer tools and increased standardization that will make IPA more practical.

So, in a similar manner to how computer people eventually caught on to the fact that librarian’s have been doing “metadata” for a long time and might know something useful about it, perhaps they’ll soon come to see that there’s merit in doing what beginning linguistics students do as part of a single course.

Posted by jamie at 14:48+12:00 | Comments (0) | Permalink