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To access the Latin dictionary, click this link:

Numen - The Latin Lexicon - An Online Latin Dictionary

Saturday, November 28, 2009

OpenID Repaired

After the server upgrade a few weeks ago, I busted the OpenID login system. I've spent a few hours fixing it and improving it, so if you use OpenID to login then it should work now. Feedback is always welcome!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vocabulary Lists!

I mentioned that I've been working on vocabulary lists for those people who don't want/need/like flashcards. So now you can print out your flaschard deck as a study list! Give it a try!

  • Go to flashcards at the top of this page
  • Click "Print a flashcard deck".
  • Choose a deck.
  • Click the new button that says "Print Deck as Vocabulary List".
  • Then simply go to File->Print (or File->Print Preview)!
Feedback is welcome! I hope you find this new feature useful.

Regular Progress

I like to keep the news relatively fresh, even if nothing major is happening. But even though this is a somewhat slow time for Numen development, there are still a constant stream of small updates. I'd like to keep everybody apprised of the situation.

One of the benefits of having students who actively use this dictionary is their feedback. One of the things they noticed was that sometimes an error message pops up saying, "AJAX has timed out", and it would happen relatively often -- especially on the flashcard practice tool. So I dug into the code and found the issue: I designed the site so that -- if any request took more than a few hundred milliseconds -- it would give an error. Such timeouts always involve a balance between briefness and lengthiness of waiting, and I quickly realized that I had not struck that balance. So I bumped up the timeout duration to something reasonably middle-of-the-road and. Voila! Problem solved! Gratias vobis ago, discipuli.

More: My big project with Vergil and Livy is still paying off. I continue to correct dozens of tiny mistakes and errors in the data every week, and I was able to run some statistics. Excluding proper names and place names, the parsing engine can analyze and pin down around 98.5% of all the words in these two Augustan authors. So accuracy is definitely improving daily! I can't yet account for all false positives, but they seem to be less than a fraction of a percent (anecdotally).

Speaking of accuracy, there is still room for improvement in three key areas:
  1. syncopated forms (laudaverunt => laudarunt), which Livy loves by the way!
  2. irregular forms (bobus, filiabus)
  3. proper and place names (which do not, for the most part, exist as a regular part of the Lewis Elementary dictionary).
I have been cogitating over solutions for all three issues, but it might take a while to implement them -- probably not until December or January (winter holidays, yay!).

In other news -- I guess I have more than I had first assumed -- I've almost got a word list feature finished. This is for people who prefer to work with formatted word lists as opposed to flashcard decks (which I understand are sometimes referred to as index cards). The only major problem I have with this process is that the Lewis Elementary dictionary does not provide a "core" definition for most words, so the word list would have extremely lengthy definitions. I think one of my best options is to import the data from Whittaker's Words, which have more simple, more core-like definitions. But this could be problematic as a 1:1 mapping between Lewis' forms and Whittaker's forms would be difficult to achieve. Alas, I shall continue to think on this one.

Okay, so that's enough for now! Keep using it, and please keep reporting problems and errors! It may take a few days or weeks, but I eventually do fix all the errors!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

IE8 Flashcard Bug Fixed

Salvete omnes!

I fixed a small bug that affected flashcard decks in Internet Explorer 8 (and presumably earlier versions). If you couldn't create a flashcard deck in that browser, it should be fixed now!

As a side note, I've been working on a big project with Livy and Vergil. I've essentially been editing all the mistakes and unfound words in those authors. This is especially useful in Livy because we have a corpus of about 1 million words! So the accuracy of this dictionary is creeping up to the highest possible levels! With the exception of proper names and place names, I'll ballbark its accuracy with common classical authors at about 95%.

Also, thanks to the people who have been reporting errors and bugs! It's really helpful to have your feedback!

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