Thursday, 31 July 2008
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Monday, 28 July 2008
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
- tight control of authorship
- inherent facilities to control comments and spurious posts
- distributed architecture with no authorship control
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Monday, 14 July 2008
Sunday, 6 July 2008
I've started using AbiWord as an alternative to open office on the old ppc imac I have running linux and I'm quietly impressed at its capabilities as a lightweight word processor on an older slower machine.
It works, it's reponsive, it's fast and it can export in a lot of formats - what more can one need, and yet it's a fully featured word processor.
Apart from the help key on the mac keyboard becoming the insert/overwrite toggle I've come across no real idiosyncracies.
With open source - everyone focuses on OpenOffice as a Microsoft Office killer. AbiWord gets ignored, but actually it has all the functionality 90% of the popukace need yet it needs a much less meatier machine - ideal for small low powerd nano portables.
The book's an entertaining read - part linguistics, part autobiography - but in it he let slip he's tried once to get funding for an experiment for studying creole creation by putting together a group of people from disparate backgrounds without a common language in an isolation experiment.
The experiment never got funded primarily for ethical reasons. At the end of his book Bickerton hypothesises that you might see a 'found' version of the experiment in day care centres and schools where there are migrant kids from all over - like in the east end of London where there are primary schools where kids speak eighty different languages.
Actually I don't think you'd find such a found experiment as the kids are bathed in a dominant language - English - encouraged to speak it and go home to parents who want to learn English, even if in some cases for cultural reasons mum stays at home and never really learns it.
What is interesting though is the slang of disaffected youth such as in the housing projects around Paris where this argot of French, Arabic, Berber, Lingala and the rest has become a badge of defiance. Does this have the characteristics of a creole or is it something else?
I suspect it's probably fairly creole like but I'm not enough of a linguist to do more than wave my hands and make vaguely sensible comments ...