Saturday, October 31, 2009

Google Chrome

Having tried out Google Chrome in its semi-native version (Windows 7 beta in VMWare Fusion on my Mac) I decided a few weeks ago to try out the Mac dev version. It installed fine and is fast and stable and has worked well for most although not all web sites. Today I decided to get the Linux version and after checking for a package with Synaptic - not there, as I suspected would be the case - I found a direct download at Google of a .deb file. It was one of the many cases of a Linux install being just as easy as in OS X: click to download, enter the system password when it's finished, click a few buttons and it appeared in my Applications->Internet menu. So far it seems fine (unlike Firefox, it works with the web site) and it's nice to have yet another browser to choose from.

The one problem was in importing bookmarks. Today I also finally got around to installing Xmarks and signing up so I could merge and synchronize my bookmarks on my two personal machines. That eventually worked out fine, but I wasn't able to find where bookmarks were stored on my Jaunty machine. Both bookmarks.html files I found included only the handful of default bookmarks that came with the basic installation. I still have no idea where they are, but I eventually learned that by going into the Firefox menus in Bookmarks->Organize bookmarks... it's possible to export them as a file and then import them into Chrome.

I'm not giving up Firefox as my default browser, but Chrome is an attractive fast alternative.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lewis and Short's Latin Dictionary

Thanks to A Third Way the old but comprehensive Lewis and Short Latin dictionary is now available in two more forms: both through a web interface and as a stand-alone Adobe AIR desktop application. The web interface joins Perseus at Tufts University, Perseus under Philologic at the University of Chicago, the Archimedes Project at Harvard, and the stand-alone joins the cross-platform Diogenes application.

I tested the web site with Firefox on my Mac (OS 10.5) and with Opera in Ubuntu Jaunty and the AIR app on both machines and it installed and ran flawlessly. Although it doesn't work with inflected forms, it provides a list of the ten entries before and after your entry so as long as the word you're looking for begins the same odds are good you'll find what you're looking for; when an entry for an irregular form is provided (e.g., tuli, lātus, the third and fourth principal parts of ferō), if the original dictionary includes a cross-reference it's provided, but not as a link. As with the other electronic versions and the print, macrons are shown for the main entry but not in the quotations. Search terms cannot include macrons (and in fact the not-found mālum was located at the very end of the M section in the context list of 20 rather than among the ma's), but entries without them generate results for words both with and without.

This is a 0.2 alpha version, and they write of their plans:

We are busy cataloging every word in the dictionary as to its part of speech, declension or conjugation, gender, and other grammatical information. In the future, this will allow searches for "every first declension word that begins with R" or "every third conjugation verb that's deponent". We will also be adding maps for the geographical entries, pictures of items where appropriate, and updating some of the less-than-modern English Lewis and Short sometimes present.

My thanks to Terrence Lockyer, who kindly posted about it to the Classics list.