Friday, December 18, 2015

Meta post

So I've been busy. Actually, the database says I've been insanely busy with paying work this year, by far my record year since I've been doing translation. As the year winds down and we move into January, I hope to get back to coding in earnest.

I've been looking at Stockfighter as a testbed for some of these Decl notions - in the sense that doing programming forces me to evaluate directions in the tools. For example, right off the bat I want to write a Perl API wrapper for convenience, and I'm doing that in a (quasi) literate manner using Decl syntax. The syntax stuff is pretty solid already; nodal access is still kind of primitive but it's just this kind of task that helps improve things like that. Most of what I'm doing can roll back into the Decl core as a whole, because it's all stuff like mapping and text generation.

I'm looking at TXL again to get a mental handle on tree transformations, and thinking of working through its tutorial examples, then translating them into a Decl context. TXL works from general languages to generate its internal syntax trees, and of course Decl basically starts from the syntax tree already, but the problem space that TXL was designed to work with is one of the things I think Decl should address.

Editing has also been on my mind again; I'm thinking of adapting Wx::StyledText to work with Decl in a native manner. It would be quite useful for debugging to be able to pop up a Decl text in a window any time I liked, especially once mapping starts to work.

I think I have a good handle on what needs to go into the Decl core, and a decent presentation framework for it as a book/tutorial/cookbook series. That seems pretty tasty. Although now I think maps are going to have to go in there, and they weren't yet (even though I was actually using them in the book already - as a part of literate programming, so maybe this is just added detail in that existing chapter).

I'm very close to being able to do a filesystem domain, and once I've got a handle on that, project management will be nearly trivial. And that means I can get back into NLP for real, because I'll have the framework in place to use it in the day-to-day in meaningful ways. That should pay off pretty well.

So that's kind of the rough situation here at the end of 2015. I've done some pretty solid work this year, even with the sad necessity to earn all that money. And I really think 2016 is where things are going to start to heterodyne.

Update August 2016: So instead we decided to leave Budapest and return to Puerto Rico by way of Bloomington. The result: no heterodynage. Maybe now that things are settling down and we have a new house in Puerto Rico. Of course, the coffee project is now starting to heat up, and that's a radically different kind of work.

Codebase as living organism

Here's an interesting article with a fascinating new metaphor, really two insights: (1) the machine is not the codebase and (2) the codebase can be seen as a living thing. Worth a read.