This Blogger site is just a holding place for our news!

To access the Latin dictionary, click this link:

Numen - The Latin Lexicon - An Online Latin Dictionary

Thursday, August 28, 2008

iPhone Client Bug

There was a small bug in the iPhone/iPod touch AJAX code that prevented it from working. I've fixed that for the time being. Sorry!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

As promised, more updates...

I have no major updates, just small ones.

I cleaned up a bit more backend code so smallish bugs are slowly disappearing.

One of the most important things I've been doing lately is making the site "search engine" and "standards" friendly. I set the language to English officially, except on certain tags which are known to contain only Latin. On those, I set the language to Latin with the lang attribute. Also, I've been cleaning up the code to conform to XHTML 1.1 strict standards. Although my pages are not perfectly strict yet, they're definitely coming along.

Next, I cleaned up the styles on the flashcards page, since I hope students might start using that feature.

Finally, I added a couple of more paradigms. I added the relative indefinite pronoun (quicumque, quaecumque, quodcumque) and the reflexive pronoun (sui, sibi, se, se). You should know that the sui, sibi, se, se are listed alphabetically under a non-existant pronoun su. It makes sense, doesn't it, to conform with the tu, tui, tibi, te, te paradigm? I expect some experts will think this is weird, but since my database lexical entries for pronouns are entirely nominative, I didn't have much choice. Besides, I don't think it's a big problem. It happens in Greek dictionaries all the time where the "unknown" lexical form is listed with the asterisk/star, denoting a "probable but unattested form".


Monday, August 11, 2008

Paradigm Updates

I spent a few minutes today and added the demonstrative pronouns is, iste and idem and the paradigms for R type possessive pronouns noster and vester/voster. I also added the three defective verbs, coepi, odi and memini. Finally, I added the eo and ferre verb conjugations.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Prettying up the Joint

So I haven't had as much free time as I wanted this week. I've been busy at my day job getting everything "taken care of" before my last day there on August 13th. After that, I'll just be contracting with them for 5 hours a week, because I'll be a full time teaching and grading assistant for the University of New Mexico Foreign Languages and Literatures Department. I'm pretty excited about that!

Nevertheless, I had a few hours free tonight, so I did some sprucing up. I made some icons, fixed some style sheets and squashed some small bugs. There are a few things I want to include before the semester starts:
  • Add a few pronoun paradigms: is and iste for sure.
  • Add some verb paradigms: perhaps volo verbs.
  • Fix up the database backend, especially in the realm of update cascades (it's technical, and you're probably wondering what that means -- don't worry, it'll make things better).
  • Speed up the morphology lookup. It's not slow by any means, coming in at approximately 100 milliseconds per word. But still, I think I can get it down to 40ms. Every bit helps, especially if this site ever gets popular!
  • Make a new database and web server. Right now it's being graciously hosted at the place I work here on campus (Natural Heritage New Mexico). I've been the system admin there for about 5 years, but now -- as I wrote earlier in this post -- I won't be there for very much longer.
I'm sure there's more to update, but I think it's time to take a break for the evening. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Official OpenID Support

It's official! I've just completed the first phase of OpenID support. You no longer have to remember a username and password for this site.

How does it work? When you sign in simply type in your OpenID and you'll be taken to your provider which will validate your username and password. Depending on your provider, you might have to pass some tests (like captchas) or set an expiration date for your login.

OpenID is a fairly new and big concept for the Internet. Version 2.0 has just recently been ratified, so it's starting to get big exposure. In fact, Yahoo! now officially supports OpenID. For Yahoo! it's easy: just type in "" as your OpenID and they do the rest. Others who are known to offer support with a "special" URL are Blogger, AIM/AOL, LiveJournal, Verisign and Wordpress. For instance, my LiveJournal OpenID would be the same as my LiveJournal user page ( Others are jumping on the bandwagon as we speak. Myspace has officially announced support for OpenID, but when it will launch is unknown. In some cases, mine for instance, you can even "centralize" an OpenID on your own domain, a feature which works with many sites, but unfortunately not with Yahoo. But it does work with Verisign. For example, I set up my site as a "relying party" for my Verisign OpenID. I have a Verisign OpenID, but I can also use "" as my OpoenID, which then takes me to, which then validates my identification (username, password, fingerprints, security devices, pictures, captchas, etc). Once I'm signed in, it sends me back to the site where I was trying to login, and -- presto-change-o -- I'm logged in.

I'm excited about OpenID and I'm happy to offer it on this site. Personally, I hate having a username and password for every single site I visit. Sometimes my username is not available. Sometimes they have weird password rules. Some are longer, some are shorter, some want more numerals, more symbols and more uppercase letters. It gets to be a real hassle. Someday I hope to narrow my "password" list down to three logins total: a "throwaway" login, a "normal security level" login, and a "high security level" login. We should all be so lucky.

OpenID is very secure (using a lot of back-and-forth encryption and verification) but the "mental process" or "social engineering aspect" does present some security risks for you, but only if you're not careful. Always make sure that any site which accepts OpenID sends you to the real site. don't type in your password unless you're positive you're on the right site! Any hack can mockup a "fake" (but real-looking) Verisign or Yahoo! login page. It's up to you to make sure it's the real deal. Look at the address bar in your browser -- if it's real, it'll be at or If it's fake, you'll see sometihng stupid like Never ever ever trust an OpenID in a "new window" or in a "new tab" or in a "popup." Those are almost surely fakes.

Sorry about the rant, but since OpenID is such a new technology, there are going to be a lot of losers out there trying to take advantage of this great technology. Now, back to our regularly scheduled update...

There are a few features that I still have to implement to make this site's OpenID implementation perfectly complete: allowing you to change your OpenID once you've started an account, remembering your OpenID between sessions, and merging multiple accounts. But those aren't big show stoppers, and anyway these features should be up and running shortly. Enjoy!

Video Tutorials