Changing the world through software

Computing for the environment and Computational Linguistics

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Domain Specific Languages and Natural Language

There seemed to be a lot of interest in Domain-Specific-Languages at OOPSLA 2005. Combining some of these ideas with my interest in Natural Language Processing and ideas from literate programming leads me to think that DSLs should me natural-language-like. One Domain Specific Language that has gone this way is Inform7, which I came across in Howard Lewis-Ship's blog entry Beyond domain specific languages. There is a white paper here.

It seems that the distinction between programming languages and natural language will become more blurred over time.
Brian Marick has a couple of interesting blog entries on sentence-style tests and wireframe tests. Tom White has an article on literate programming with jMock.


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Natural language refactoring tools

Brian Foote in Thomas Jay Peckish II on Refactoring wonders about a prose refactoring tool. That's something I've been thinking about for a while. Some interesting ideas were mentioned in this entry in the KOffice GUI design competition. If I find the time I would like to tackle some sort of semantic word processor project built on eclipse RCP. Other implementation possibilities would be and AbiWord plugin. With the addition of document understanding, a word processor would become not just a 'word' processor but a sentence processor and, eventually, a thought processor.

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Emacspeak – The Complete Audio Desktop

I first came across emacsspeak several years ago and was reminded of it over the weekend when a piece of rock hit me in the eye while out climbing. Luckily no real harm was done and I escaped with just a scratch. As the name suggests it is based on emacs but it doesn't just speech-enable emacs. There are currently 150 applications supported allowing the visually impaired to do anything from using google maps to programming in java and ruby.