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general

Musings on Effort and Passion

I just came across this post/article that contrasts 2 positions — passion results in effort, and effort increases your passion — and shows how they’re interrelated. The part about effort resulting in passion (or more likely: sustained effort -> mastery -> motivation) resonates currently, especially since sustained effort is not always easy when things feel difficult or change too often. Things changing often disrupts our ability to learn, I think, because we accrete knowledge only when we can incorporate it into the knowledge structures that we’ve already built. Being in this pandemic still means avenues for people connection and mentorship are harder to come by, so it removes opportunities to make those mental connections in our mind that speed up our knowledge, and in turn, successively, our mastery, our autonomy, our drive, and our passion. As insightful and timeless as essays from Paul Graham about how to do what you love and Steve Jobs’ commencement speech are, they start with a premise of passion and don’t really mention the gritty complement of hard work. Bill Burr’s bit is still hilarious, where he questions Jobs as “Nerd Jesus”. And the news yesterday of Roy Williams retiring as UNC basketball’s coach touched on lots of issues, but one issue is the change of an environment to one where there is less emphasis on the personal relationships and player development, especially if self-development requires a high level of commitment and overcoming adversity.

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general

D-Pub for Keyboards for Agglutinative Languages and Abugidas

I just noticed that a month ago, my defensive publication was officially published. It describes two main ideas for improving virtual keyboards that I talked about previously. The first idea is that languages that use abugida scripts should use their phonemes as the keys to make an efficient and intuitive keyboard. The second idea is a higher level idea, saying that agglutinative languages should use infix/suffix morpheme suggestions in the autocomplete list.

Defensive publications establish prior art that inherently protects future implementations, in open source or otherwise, because the prior art nullifies potential future patents, including by patent trolls. So anyone interested is free to try implementing.

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general

LearnTamil.com is Refreshed

I’ve updated my grammar lessons for learning Tamil at https://www.learntamil.com . It should have a cleaner look, easier to view on mobile devices, and you can listen to the audio files because they’ve finally been converted from RealAudio format to a modern common format, MP3.

Categories
clojure general programming Rust

Learning Rust for Beginners

Rust is a new-ish language that is very compelling in certain contexts, but learning it has a really deceptive learning curve, so I wanted to provide the links that I have found most effective for slow learning beginners like myself, especially because the “official” Rust book(s) are to me paradoxically hard to learn from despite being thorough.

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general

ICU4X Mailing List and 0.1 Release

For people who are interested in internationalization (i18n), they are likely writing software using ICU, the gold standard library for internationalization functionality and performance. Of course, ICU is available only in C++/C (“ICU4C”) and Java (“ICU4J”), and is quite the behemoth. In order to support other programming languages directly and to support more resource-constrained computing environments (ex: mobile), we have the ICU4X the project.

The first preliminary release, v 0.1, is now official, and the current code has been published in Rust crates.io.

To received future project announcements and to stay connected, sign up for the icu4x-announce@unicode.org mailing list.

Categories
clojure general programming tamil thamil

Deriving Lexical Data for Tamil from Scratch Using Morphology

I presented at the Unicode Conference 2 weeks ago, on Oct. 16, on important yet overlooked issues that concern languages that use abugida scripts and have agglutinative morphology, using Thamil language as a case study. Although the talk was mainly about the issues around dictionary data sets, other issues included input methods, and the need for phoneme level segmentation for these use cases. See below for more details:

Slides:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1EdNLgh8MyvSqDlm2I2_aXM-WgTINaZekXZWq0629ZLQ/edit

Pre-recorded talk:

The talk covered the following topics:

Categories
general

Tamil Names

I was talking with my friend about how Tamil names differ from Western names. During the conversation, we reminisced about how he was interviewed by a local radio show on how his name is “long”. I remembered feeling unimpressed by the radio segment with my friend, and it helped explain more about Tamil names.

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general

Ode to a Flame Lily

I just woke up from a dream where people were looking at a newly published book in English, and on one of the introductory dedication pages of the book was the translation of a Tamil poem. Both the book and the poem were as imaginary as the dream itself, but the first verse caught my attention and filled my senses:

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general

Distractions during shelter-in-place

Most people have daily stresses during this time of Coronavirus. Working from home is lucky compared to the impact on livelihoods and health. Social distancing is necessary but does have its own little impact. For the moments where you have time to connect with friends online and recharge by taking your minds off of the state of the world, here are some options:

Categories
general

More Instant Pot & other recipes

Now that people are sheltering in place and cooking, it’s good to record some more recipes. It’s even better when they are the kind that can easily scale up (can be made in pots of any sort).