Monday, April 6, 2015

Odds and Ends

A few brief Plover tidbits for you on a lovely warm Monday afternoon:
  • On the Open Steno Blog, there's a wonderful essay by Paulo Paniago about his experience with adapting Plover to make it compatible with Portuguese and then essentially building a Portuguese dictionary from scratch! He now uses steno for all his typing, which he says is faster and more comfortable than qwerty. Great stuff.
  • On the Plover Google Group, user grytiffin posted some seriously cool photos of his tripod-mounted Ergodox machine. That looks like a Neutrino Group (Gemini/Revolution/Infinity) chassis holding the two halves of the Ergodox in place. He writes: "I traced, cut and attached 2 pieces of pine to the tripod, and rested the keyboard on the pine. The metal brackets are temporary until I can think of something else more elegant.  Next step, upload a keyboard layout to assign the vowels to the big orange keys." Just gorgeous.
  • Meanwhile, on The Aviary, user skwropb posted a fingerspelling dictionary that force-caps uppercase letters and force-uncaps lowercase letters, which is especially useful for Vim users like me. I've been using it for a while now, and I love it. No more unexpected actions after writing punctuation and then going into command mode!
  • Speaking of useful dictionary hacks, I've recently discovered a way to compensate for Plover's imperfect orthography for medical suffixes.


    When adding "emia" (defined as {^emia}) onto "hemoglobin", for instance, I would get "hemoglobinnemia", with the double n. Adding that extra {^} before the suffix circumvents Plover's orthography module and gives me the correct translation, "hemoglobinemia", without the extra "n". I'm adding these new suffixes whenever they come up by basically doing my "suffix define" stroke -- {^}\{^\}{#Left}{^} -- once, moving the cursor over to the right, and then doing it once more before writing the actual suffix. Comes in really handy when you're doing a lot of medical captioning, like I am.
  • Finally, I was lucky enough to get the chance to speak about steno and Plover at the Google Development Group's Women Techmakers Event last month, and I also wound up captioning most of the talks using Plover with Text-On-Top. You probably won't be able to glean much of what I talked about from my slides, since they're mostly just pictures, and unfortunately the event wasn't recorded, but I thought I'd post some pictures from it, just 'cause it was such a cool experience. There were about 100 people there, and I'd set my steno machine to send simultaneous Bluetooth to my Lenovo Helix running Text-On-Top plus my HP Stream7 running Plover with Vim. I also hooked up my StenoBoard to my Surface Pro so that people could come by during breaks and play on the machine for themselves. It was really fun, and I think I drummed up a fair amount of interest in Plover along the way!

  • And here's a 7-second video of me captioning the speakers as a group of us stood up in front of the audience to answer questions. Don't worry; there was another screen on the other side of the podium that was also displaying the captions, so we weren't blocking them out completely.


Paulo Paniago said...

Hello Mirabai,
Thank you for pointing to my essay, I’m glad you like it!
Hope many people read about what I just did : )
On your other topic you wrote about the puzzle, I was going to post this comment:
“How do you find those things (or how do those things find you)?
I didn’t post it because, since I had just written my essay, it might had looked like if I had the intention of receiving more attention to myself then you would freely offer.
So than again, thanks so much for all you did!!!

Mirabai Knight said...

Silly Paulo! You deserve all the attention you can get. You're awesome. (':

One of the guys who was trying to solve the puzzle emailed me, and then gave me permission to blog about it! I was pretty surprised and extremely pleased!

Charles Shattuck said...

What a great idea! To have a stroke whose only purpose is to define another stroke! Thanks for that!

Mirabai Knight said...

Yes, it's so convenient! I have one for prefixes too. But nb: meta-strokes like that can't be defined from the dictionary update window within Plover, because the special characters will be stripped out; you have to define them manually in the json file when Plover isn't running.

Charles Shattuck said...

Actually for those meta characters I've been editing my json file with plover running and then closing and restarting Plover, and that seems to work fine.

Unknown said...

Anybody able to create an ALL-CAP stroke? Working with a couple folks who use all upper case, and unsure how I can get Plover to display in all upper case.