Wednesday, October 12, 2005

learning from dicologos

Dicologos is the dictionary of Logos. It is a great resource and there are many things to learn from it in order to make Ultimate Wiktionary a success. Dicologos has more than 7 million words, there are words in many languages and, the content is growing all the time and its main problem is that it is not well known and that its focus is on translators.

When translators use a dictionary, they typically use it to find confirmation for the translation of a word. All the rest is not really relevant to them. An ordinary user of a dictionary uses it as much as anything to find a definition of a word. As the bulk of the potential public for Dicologos is NOT a translator, the lack of definitions is a big problem when you want to establish public awareness of Dicologos a
Free resource. For Logos it is important that Dicologos is seen as an important resource because it demonstrates that Logos contributes to society by providing to the culture of our society.

When you have worked on this resource like I have, you will appreciate that it is much more responsive than the Wiktionary servers but you miss the cooperation, the sense of community. There are no talk pages like in all the Mediawiki Wikis. There are no mailing lists. There is no sense of community.

When Dicologos and the wiktionaries are to work together, a common ground must be found where the content and the communities can find each other. Technically, the content of the Wiktionaries cannot be converted to the Dicologos database because many types of information cannot find a place in the database design of Dicologos. In the same way it is not possible to convert the Dicologos data to the Wiktionaries because you have to do it so many times and, there is so much overlap in the data.

When Logos decides that they are going to work together in a lexicological resource, they will find that in Ultimate Wiktionary they can include all their content. They will have all the community features that are implicitly available in the
Mediawiki software. If they want to take the next step, they can work together in a resource that will be hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. The specific needs of Logos can be adressed in what will be the Ultimate Wiktionary. These needs will be addressed in a non-discriminatory way.


Saturday, October 08, 2005

A thesaurus of biological terminology

When people write about a subject they often use acronyms. Using these as a shorthand makes sense because the alternative is using LONG phrases time and time again. Depending on the subject, different often mutually exclusive acronyms are used. As many of the acronyms are often used together, it helps when you can identify these patterns.

The result is that documents can be identified to be about a particular subject and as a result it enhances the time spend; you will read about things that are of interest.

An other application is when words are used together in a given setting that they can be identified to be about a given subject matter. For translators it means that it helps to choose the correct meaning for a word. When this is done automagically, a correct translation glossary can be loaded.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

I work at Logos to make the Ultimate Wiktionary happen

Ultimate Wiktionary is this thing that I want to happen badly. I will do everything to make it happen. I will even go to Italy to do so.

I did go to Modena (Italy) to make it happen. Modena is where the Logos Group is based. They have been working for 20 years on an online database. This resource is huge; this resource is important. It has between 7 and 10 miljon lemmas. It has an active community of translators working on the content and it is my pleasure to help make this resource even better.

One of the things Logos wants to do is to cooperate with the Wiktionary communities and as Ultimate Wiktionary is also to be implemented in an Mediawiki environment, what does make more sense then to join the resources of two vibrant communities ?