Evan Langlois

== Evan Langlois ==

(brief edits Oct 13, 2014)

Hi, my name is Evan Langlois, feel free to email me at mailto:uudruid74ATgmailDOTcom. I used to run a WIKI over on http://stonehengeirc.dyndns.org. I mixed regular pages and wiki pages with a navigation bar in its own frame. It's still a work in progress, and I'm slowly adding features to the WIKI, and moving things away from the other scripts.

One thing I did is a spell-checker to add to the wiki. It's working at the moment, but as a mock-up and proof-of-concept to be added to the wiki code later, or maybe I'll just keep it separate and move the "SpellCheck" button into the wiki code. Look at the base page for links to it. Feel free to check it out and give comments. The server is SLOW; it's a P166 with only 32MB of RAM, VERY slow hard drives, and it's running other stuff at the same time; luckily, its Linux and not WindowsXP.

The spell-checking code is long gone and most web browsers now do this for you with the red quiggly lines. I'm still working on my language design though. The email address is now accurate - contact me there because I don't review this often (once a decade?)

It seemed okay, and fast enough. I inserted apostrophes where appropriate. I found the diffs oddly set out, though.

Diffs? Hmm ... well, which diffs? I'm still working on the spell checker, and its not yet ready for editing wiki markup yet, but it should be soon, at which point I'll integrate it into UseModWiki and post a few diffs so others can include it. -- EvanLanglois

To clarify, I meant that after editing a page, the diff result for that page seemed oddly ordered.

OK, I understand now. That's just the way UseModWiki does things. I haven't yet modified any function portions of the code. The spell checker is outside the main wiki.

Just a quick note. The spell-checking code is done. I really like it, and it only took a couple days (and the Aspell docs suck, Text::Aspell dies without perfect arguments, personal dictionaries aren't explained, and the UseMod code is odd, ended fixing some oddities as I was hacking at other pieces). Anyway, try it out at the site above, and let me know how you like the spell checker!! You can leave feedback here or there (preferably there, so you can spell-check your feedback if you like!)

I may get back into my little "project" soon, and if I ever write anything that could explain it satisfactorily I would. Seems to be a lot of intelligent people on the wiki whose advice and suggestions I would certainly appreciate, but my "project" is a programming language so simple as to be unexplainable without lengthy and verbose discussion. I'm basically testing an "overdesigned for simplicity" concept. Instead of making it constantly harder, and more complex, I remove stuff, and figure out how to do it better. Borrowed some concepts from SmalltalkLanguage and SelfLanguage, but runs in a more conventionally scripted like environment like perl, but using a hierarchal namespace, like java but you don't do all that silly doting .. it resolves that at run-time like everything else. Lots of things work backwards. It's an exercise in challenging myself to rethink why languages work and why they do it, and see if I can do something different and beneficial. For example, there are no control structures such as if/then, variables aren't memory locations, they are objects, and an object name is a "key". Syntax is nothing like C. Anyway, I'll get into it later. -- EvanLanglois

Very promising, but when I clicked Save after checking spelling and making a correction (via --edit--, because the suggestion list omitted mark-up punctuation), the correction wasn't saved (although the page was, apparently without changes, although diff wasn't convinced). Also, the single box provided after use of --edit-- is only one character wide under Netscape. When you've cured these three or four things, please leave a note here. Perhaps have a page for testing there as well. I also noticed I needed more single quotes to suppress a link being made than I would on this wiki, but perhaps that's not your fault, but a quirk of the wiki engine you chose.

==== long reply ==== Currently, the "correction" is only done when you click SpellCheck, not when you click Save, so if you use the drop-downs to correct a mistake you have to click SpellCheck an additional time for the changes to take effect. So your editing sequence goes from Edit->Save, to Edit->SpellCheck->play with drop-downs_>SpellCheck -> Save. Or, if you use the '--edit--' boxes, its Edit->SpellCheck->change drop-down box to '-edit-' -> SpellCheck -> edit textboxes -> SpellCheck -> Save. This is because the Save path falls back to the original code when you click it so I don't have to pre-filter it and then feed it back through internally, which means more work for the user. I'll look into fixing this.

The "--edit--" box is supposed to be as wide as the original text, simply because I wasn't sure what size to make it. I use Galeon as a browser, which uses the Gecko engine, and occasionally do a Lynx check of things as well. Konqueror also looks great with its KHTML widget ... Ok, just opened an old Netscape, and it looks like it does give tiny 1 char wide text boxes. :( Bug in Netscape. In fact, a lot of the site was pretty mangled looking. Not sure how to fix this ... maybe there is some minimum size for Netscape before it starts behaving, in which case I could have a fixed minimum, or check for old Netscape releases and not specify a size when those browsers are detected, making them the default size (which is kinda big).

As for the number of quotes, I think that is the UseModWiki engine ... those parts of the code I didn't touch at all. Trying as much as possible to keep changes in one spot and to a bare minimum. Considering the stand-alone version (that didn't save anywhere) was 10K, and increase the size of the UseModWiki code by about 7K of text.

Anyway, the drop-downs actually omit the punctuation for clarity and speed, but when the replace is done, it only over-writes word characters, so the punctuation will magically come back when using the drop-downs. This could cause undefined behavior if you insert the punctuation into the edit box. Again, possibly not very intuitive, but Aspell doesn't seem to like the punctuation when feeding words through its C API this way, and I have to be incredibly careful not breaking up things and screwing the word count, like the punctuation, quotes, brackets, parens, and HTML ... *sigh*.

It does try to recognize WikiWords as well, but can't seem to make decent suggestions when one of the words in the compound is misspelled, and seems to have some other errors somewhere too where it only correctly groks WikiWords maybe 50% of the time. The only way around it would be to break all the WikiWords and glue them back together, which would mean keeping track of which words have whitespace between them and which ones don't or something equally distressing and bug-prone ... so, there is some loss of intuitiveness (is that a word?) due to the desire to keep the program size down as much as possible. I may be able to do replaces on the words within the drop-downs to show punctuation, but that would require extra processing time to convert each suggestion back to normal instead of just the one you selected, and if you have "bad-speller" turned on, that extra time could be considerable as it can return an insane number of suggestions for small words (enough to make a GET crash on the first list of suggestions)

I think the main problem is that I don't have a decent base to test against. The web site and the channel it supports started last week at NIL when I got a wild hair and decided to put everything together. Its been a long week!! I'm hoping to get the word around to get more people trying it so I can find the "issues" and then find practical "work-arounds". No responses yet from anyone on any of the UseMod sites. They would be the easiest to use as Guinea-pigs since they can take the code as is without too many changes, and not have side effects until someone clicks the 'SpellCheck' button. I made extra sure the code-path was nearly virgin until you click "SpellCheck" which wasn't easy the way the code flows. Hmm ... no preview views on this site. Anyway ... I do appreciate your input!! I'll see how quickly I can address some of these, maybe this coming weekend.

==== my proposal to fix bugs - cut from my working source (netscape issues need more testing) ====
 # FIXME: this regex nasty ... needs to be optimized - blame EKL
 # Maybe convert everything to spaces that isn't a word char or
 # a single apostrophe, And treat as two words if we end up with
 # spaces between the words. - EKL
 # More Suggestions ...
 # Also, optionally replace back into the original now before inserting
 # the selection into the drop-down, probably using map{}. I was
 # also thinking of turning off Aspell's run-together-word features
 # and break WikiWords here, check them separately, and then combine
 # them somehow, maybe a flag in the cgi name that says that no white
 # space should be inserted after the word when putting the word stream
 # back together. - EKL
Congratulations! You found a bug! Fixed it! Hehee .. some sort of typo during translation, that comma never should have been there. I originally had length+2 as the size as well, but it made the edit boxes look odd. I've changed it to +1 to see how that is.

I just checked this at UseModWiki, and it does in fact make a link. See my page there, I'll leave it up. UseMod:EvanLanglois Hmm ... Don't know why that doesn't make an InterWiki link. Anyway, Like I said, that part of the code didn't change, and it acts the same as UseModWiki.

You're correct - I did the test using MeatballWiki, which uses some version of the software, but is evidently not the same in that respect.

Don't know if this is a bug or a feature. I wonder when the new UseMod will be released. And yes, Meatball is based on the UseMod code, but I think they try out the new changes there first. Meatball is a bit ahead of the release or something like that, or they use a heavily patched version. I may switch over actually -- EvanLanglois

It may be easiest to use <nowiki> tags around words to stop them from linking, but I don't think that works here, or it would have screwed up this page! I wish Wiki's were a bit more standardized, but there are some features I prefer on UseMod, such as the tab issue.

Well right now, its not shown around the words in question, but everywhere else it's kept for reference. I'll see if I can get it displayed around the textbox instead, so you will see commas and such after a word being used after the drop-down instead of gone entirely. Basically it was easier to wipe out excess symbols to stop the checker from complaining than it was to save it and put it back into the html output. The output uses map{} instead of a loop for speed so it kinda processes things at once (if only perl were threaded and did map{} and grep{} in threaded .... the speed advantage on SMP machines would be awesome) and I just naturally think closer to non-iterative methods. I'll see if I can get the punctuation issue cleared up in the next couple of days.

Which word? Best I can do is see if it's in the dictionary on the machine, and make sure its not in the personal dictionary. The personal one is where user-added stuff goes so it doesn't corrupt the system dictionary. If it is in there, I'll report it to people that made Aspell, and if it's not in there, it's my bug ... leave the text in question somewhere on my site and I'll see if I can figure out where the issues is. Maybe make a new SubPage of SpellChecker or something and leave the text in question on it. I'll find it. Not much activity on there yet. :(

I just put some garbage in the text box, and clicked on spell-check, but it ignored the garbage. Isn't it supposed to spell-check new text before it's been saved?

Well, yeah. But it seems to spell check it properly when I do it. I can't seem to repeat whatever you did. -- EvanLanglois

Well, when I used the link below and changed the word "something" to "somethingodd", the spell-check took no notice of it, regardless of whether I'd saved the change or not.

AH! Well, that's because the run-together-words option is on so that WikiWords don't throw off the spell checker. I'm gonna see how to break words by capital letters and spell-check each one separately, as well as break on / and : for subpages and interwiki links, etc. I noticed this site doesn't support the Interwiki that UseModWiki does, but I like it. Makes search engines easier too. Originally, the run-together-words option seemed like a good way to handle WikiWords, but I think some more clever coding is in order instead. -- EvanLanglois

But the spell-check ignores a change of "something" to "somethung"!

Yeah, page has been through a lot of revisions lately, and I added that with a link on the front page and in general, a huge site redesign. Still working on things. Also added a redirect from SandBox to SpellChecker/SandBox in case someone is looking for it.

Okay, I've done some major revisions of the regex parsing. Punctuation was screwing stuff up and making some misspelled words get ignored, among other problems. WikiWords are now parsed specifically, so run-together-words are handled as misspellings, and WikiWords breaks the word apart into its separate parts. Punctuation is displayed in place - it doesn't drop it anymore - much more intuitive. Text boxes have a slightly longer length (1 char) than the original word (I may change to +2 if you think that's better). You no longer have to click "SpellCheck" again after making changes - you can go right back to Edit or Save (of course, if you change the drop-down to --edit-- or --add-- you still must click SpellCheck to add the word or get the textbox to edit, but selecting words in drop-downs or after editing a text-box no longer require another click of SpellCheck). It even handles contractions properly, so if you have the word dom't with all those single quotes, it no longer gets confused, and you will get a drop-down with three single quotes on each side, and can replace dom't with don't. Much better! And some bug that stopped it from working with certain long pages seems to be fixed as well. -- EvanLanglois

Thanks. A brief test confirms the spell-check works okay now. I think it's a great feature, which deserves to be promoted.
Well how to start using wiki Wiki ?? please let me know SaumendraSwain

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