LaMeta entrance screen

This is the opening screen in Lameta

I'm trying the newly available snap package for LaMeta... My first reaction upon hearing that Nathan Marti had ported the software to Linux was Great! Snap installed no problem and the software came alive. The challenge I see with the start up screen is that there is no Privacy Policy and no indication on what Personally Identifying Information will be collected by the application and who will have access to it, when they will have access to it, and for how long. Colorado, where the main developer lives has a Privacy Law, GDPR applies in the countries of some of the software's funders. However, more than legal compliance (which may include the information in the deposits), a policy which applies to the software users would be helpful... I just wanted to test out the software, not give my personal information to some unknown machine.

AI and Society

I have been reflecting on how our environment is shaped by algorithms. We are presented options via algorithms (in cases like direct marketing). We are sometimes subject to the impacts of automation systems such as systems in California which assign the possibility of bail based an algorithmic assessment of the case file.

In an AI based culture we can’t control the AI based nature of those things reported around us(variable prices or news articles), but we can focus our relationships on those around us. The question of social importance is where does the AI influence us in the decision making process? The problem in legal frameworks are that the decision processes are directed graphs with bounded options. However we are not bounded in our decision making as individuals. That is, AI may not actually be more equitable or just than a human decision maker.

In a sense then to reduce decisions to AI decision makers is to show a certain amount of apathy.

Following Journler — with Obsidian

Many years ago there was a brilliant piece of software called Journler for mac. In someways this software was like WordPress for local use, it connected with many of the Operating APIs (like for pictures). I thought it was amazing. It officially died in 2015. However, for note taking I recently found a tool called Obsidian. But the content of Obsidian is maintained in markdown. I wonder if it could take the same place as Journler. One interesting idea the use of graphing (network graphs) from notes and tables in those notes.

Review of Endnote X8 for Mac

Some days I just don't like Endnote any more. In the past I have used a combination of Endnote and Papers2. A few years ago I wrote a review of Endnote X4 for Mac and I thought that I would go back and take a look at what I thought about that review and the new version of Endnote 8.

Keep in mind that I have over 8,500 references in my Endnote file. My biggest complaints are:

  1. It is slow.
  2. There still is no keyboard short cut for importing a reference.
  3. The "detect duplicates" script does not allow one to exit successfully prior to completing all the items in your detected duplicate list. (Which for some might be very long, and cause the script to crash!)
  4. There is no mechanism in the collections area to browse by Journal or Book series.
  5. When looking at a reference, there is no clear way to determine if it is in one of several collections (including in the check for duplicate script).
  6. There does not seem to be an export style for exporting to bibJSON. (I might be creating one soon).
  7. No auto suggest for missing citation metadata.
  8. for me, Endnote, when importing citations which contain a relative link to a PDF on my machine, does not actually import the PDF to an endnote managed folder. I want all my PDFs in one place. And if they are not in the Endnote managed folder I want a visual indication that they are outside the Endnote data folder.

These are my observations as I try and work with Endnote (and have over the last few months). For me, Papers2 (I haven't bought Papers3) nailed the interaction around PDF management and citation management, from a User Experience perspective. Papers2 just didn't have the custom Fields necessary for me.

Software Needs for a Language Documentation Project

In this post I take a look at some of the software needs of a language documentation team. One of my ongoing concerns of linguistic software development teams (like SIL International's Palaso or LSDev, or MPI's archive software group, or a host of other niche software products adapted from main stream open-source projects) is the approach they take in communicating how to use the various elements of their software together to create useful workflows for linguists participating in field research on minority languages. Many of these software development teams do not take the approach that potential software users coming to their website want to be oriented to how these software solutions work together to solve specific problems in the language documentation problem space. Now, it is true that every language documentation program is different and will have different goals and outputs, but many of these goals are the same across projects. New users to software want to know top level organizational assumptions made by software developers. That is, they want to evaluate how software will work in a given scenario (problem space) and to understand and make informed decisions based on the eco-system that the software will lead them into. This is not too unlike users asking which is better Android or iPhone, and then deciding what works not just with a given device but where they will buy their music, their digital books, and how they will get those digital assets to a new device, when the phone they are about to buy no-longer serves them. These digital consequences are not in the mind of every consumer... but they are nonetheless real consequences.
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Simple Linguistics software

I often see good (maybe not sexy), software, like iBable designed on the Mac for scientific purposes. I often wonder, “Why hasn’t anyone done something for or with linguistics?” linguistics is a big field. Don’t get me wrong. It is also a field with few standardizations for data interoperability, and even fewer standards for data description and markup. Just seeing something like iBable is inspiring to want to learn Ruby and do something for linguistic data.

The Apple developer program is only $99 a year.
Tutorial on Ruby by Phusion.