[tug-summer-of-code] A couple of project proposals

Jonathan Fine jfine at pytex.org
Fri Feb 13 18:00:16 CET 2009

Copied to trudick (at) hotmail.com (Todd Ruddick: JavaDict's author)

Hello Arthur

Todd:  Please comment on this discussion.

You wrote:
>> Scott, this is a very hard project, and may require skills you don't
>> have, such as high-performance and Canvas JavaScript.  (I don't have
>> these skills, and I consider myself a JavaScript expert.)
>   But we're not restricted to using Javascript, right?  Why couldn't it
> be, say, a Java applet or something?

No, of course not.  That's why I wrote 'may require'.  That said, I 
don't know if Java applets are the way to go now.  For example, a maths 
applet from about 5 years ago now no longer works.

And now it appears that these applets are slowly becoming incompatible 
with modern browsers.  (IE7 still seems to run these applets well 
enough, but my version of Firefox no longer does (in fact, I should warn 
you that it actually freezes up on some of these applets), and only 
certain versions of Sun Java Virtual Machine seem to run the applets 
properly.)  It also appears that the Java language itself has changed 
over the years; I have found that the most recent Java compilers have 
some minor issues with some of my old code.

>> I will make again the point I made earlier, which is that unless we can
>> obtain suitable handwriting recognition code, the project is not
>> practical (even though it may be great fun to try).
>   Gáspár Sinai's Unicode editor Yudit (http://www.yudit.org/) has had
> handwriting recognition for years, and it seems to be based on Java code
> (see http://www.cs.arizona.edu/projects/japan/JavaDict/ linked from
> yudit.org).  Of course, the focus there was on Kanji, but I don't see
> why it couldn't be adapted to general symbols.  And it's meant to be
> used with the mouse.

Thank you for answering this point.  I've not seen this program before, 
and it looks interesting.  I've looked at the online documentation.

Here's a key part of the instructions (in an image, unfortunately)
Enter a Kanji [in the entry area]
- release the button between strokes
- always use the "standard" direction and order

Do math symbols have strokes in standard direction and order?  I  don't 
think so.  And if so, this may prevent its adaption.

Example:  Is 'x' made of '\' + '/' or ')' + '(' ?

I hope we'll learn more about this when Todd Rudick gets back to us.


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