More Quick Fixing For SOLID

Author John Hatton | 16.04.2009 | Category Solid

Yes, I'm WALLOWING in a swamp of Standard Format files this week.  Soon we're doing a Lexicography workshop here in PNG, and in preparation, several of the participants are wanting to switch their 20 year-old dictionaries to FieldWorks Language Explorer.  I've offered to get their old SFM dictionaries in, and, Boy am I glad we have SOLID. Since we find it hard to prioritize work on SOLID over our other projects, like WeSay, I decided I should stay sane through this awful job by hacking on SOLID a bit as I go.  I wrote about my first steps yesterday.  Today, with version 0.9.302, we have a few more nice things:

  • Improved QuickFix: MoveUp capability to handle multiple root targets, not just \lx
  • Do alphabetic sort on markers when rebuilding the list.
  • Add “remove empty” quickfix
  • Ask user about saving when they exit.
  • Show marker that is the focus of the filter in bold, to make them easier to find.

Here's a screenshot of the QuickFix dialog at the moment… I know it's ugly, but I'm aiming at making my life easier here…




This last one might make more sense if you only specified which markers to *not* delete.  What would they be?  \sn? \rf?  David Coward, do you read this blog?

You may notice, there's little rhyme or reason to the default options here… it would be a nice contribution if someone in the community would compile a good set for us.  Send 'um  in, and we'll add it to the program.

New Quick Fix for SOLID

Author cambell | 15.04.2009 | Category Solid

One of the most painful parts of cleaning up a dictionary is this kind of situation:

\lx foo

\ps n

\ge blah

\bw German

\gr wanem

Here, the problem is the \bw(borrowed word) is an entry field, but it”s sitting in the middle of the sense fields.

SOLID 0.9.297 adds a minimal “quick fix” which can grab these kinds of fields and pull them up to the top of the entry.  You specify the marker, and the quick fix does it for all the entries.  As the quick fix dialog box says, this is dangerous, and I personally use it only because I also use Mecurial to take snapshots of my changes to files in between actions like this, in case something goes wrong.  But that”s a whole “nother post…

Other changes:

  • You can now click on the “count” table header to sort by marker frequency.
  • Uses the new Palaso system for defining writing systems.
  • Removed the mapping to FLEx, since nowadays, there”s no point.  If you want to use FLEx, either directly import the cleaned-up MDF (preferred), or export a LIFT file and import that into FLEx.

Art Of Reading comes to WeSay

Author John Hatton | 08.04.2009 | Category WeSay

Illustrations always cheer up an otherwise drab dictionary. Until now, you had to put in a lot of work to find or create illustrations, get the rights to them, and hook them into your dictionary. With the latest release of our 0.5 line (build 1917), adding illustrations is a lot more fun.

First, let’s have a visual tour of the new feature. Then I’ll explain about “Art Of Reading”.

To add an illustration, you just go to the Picture field and click “Search Gallery…”:

(Notice that the old “Choose Image File…” is still there. Eventually, we should make that button hidden by default, as it violates our desire to not send the WeSay user into the confusing depths of the file system.)

WeSay looks in the English meaning and uses it to search the gallery for matching illustrations:

Search Dialog

If that doesn’t show you the pictures you’re looking for, you can change the search terms and try again. Once you find the one you want, you double click on it. This closes the dialog and inserts the illustration:

Art of Reading 2.0 is a CD put out by SIL; ask around, someone near you may already have it. If not, you can order it here. From that page:

International Illustrations is the second artwork CD-ROM produced by the International Literacy Department of SIL International. This expanded, enhanced collection is the follow-up to Art of Reading 1.0 and contains over 11,000 indexed images collected from SIL and national artists around the world. Searchable by keywords.

Black and white line drawings (in compressed TIF format for Windows and Mac) are suitable for use in a wide variety of literacy materials, newsletters, bulletin board displays, and other cultural awareness materials.

Images come from Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, D.R. of Congo, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Sudan, Thailand, USA

I’m told there’s a version 3 in the works, which will be a DVD with even more illustrations and an Indonesian index. If/when anyone produces indices for French, Spanish, Portuguese, etc., tell us and we’ll add them to WeSay, too (I suspect you could use a computer translator to generate something useful, quickly). Notice, some of the description of how the package works is irrelevant. The included software is too unwieldy for a WeSay audience. WeSay bypasses that software, keeping the process as simple as you see above.

Get the latest WeSay here. As always, we rely on your feedback here on the blog, on the Google Group, or (if you have a problem) via email: issues at

Thanks to René van den Berg for inspiring this new feature.

Technical Details

  • Instead of leaving the CD in the machine, I recommend you copy it to the user’s hard drive. On Windows, WeSay will look for it at “C:\Art of Reading”. You don’t need anything but the “images” folder, which would be at “C:\Art Of Reading\Images”. When we ship this feature for Linux (soon), we’ll update this page with the corresponding location there.
  • I do not know if WeSay’s index of this package works with Art Of Reading 1.0. It works with 2.0, and should work fine for the forthcoming 3.0.
  • If you have a different image library which you think would be widely used, let us know. It would be great to have one which could be downloaded for free.
  • This feature is the latest (and last) major addition to WeSay 0.5, our “development” release. Projects created or edited in 0.5 cannot be opened with WeSay 0.4, our “stable” release as of the date of this posting.