Development

6/4/2005 10:36:36 PM

Development

My brother recently ask me why my software development is taking very long.

I have taken a number of steps early to help get my product out faster. I rely heavily on declarative programming and code generation techniques. I opted to develop under Whidbey tools to take advantage of the more productive tools and language features. I have licensed the full set of user interface library components from SyncFusion with source code, three different linguistics resources representing decades of work, and a multiple collections of graphical content from Icon Experience and other vendors. I may eventually spend more more on web design, finishing tools (for demos, documentation construction and installation), and software marketing.

I also told him that some of the technologies that I am working on are pretty hard.

First, I am essentially writing the equivalent of a wordprocessor with proportional text handling, dynamic pagination, and advanced formatting with heavy on-screen controls. There’s a class of applications besides wordprocessors that need document services, but it’s time-consuming to develop such services. (Code editors, which traditionally have been line-based, could benefit, as I mentioned in past, from rich text and graphical layout.) I think opening up the document application space is the direction that Avalon is going in the document support, and, while it’s including a lot of nice features such as advanced typography, I doubt it will be extensible enough for my needs. (I wonder too if Word 2006’s text support might appear glaringly weak in the face of Avalon-based rich text controls.)

Second, I am building a robust natural language processor—one that can accurately and efficiently process both full and partial sentences, even those containing errors such as missing, extra or substituted words. Some other requirements such as that automatic correction and isolation of errors, word sense disambiguation, and the ability to encode ambiguity. Since errors abound in natural language and computer parsing is imperfect, I seek a graceful way to handle both errors and incorrect parses that will allow the rest of the sentence to be examined and manipulated. Basically, I view words and symbols as a graph of nodes and then turn chaos into structure by building links between each node to form a fully connected acyclic graph.

I argued to deaf ears that Excel could be made more content-aware and intelligent; instead, we have heuristic-based Intellisense. It’s probably why I ended up working in PivotTables, a feature for data mining and business intelligence. Speaking of intelligence, Excel 97 did introduce a cool feature called “English Language Formulas,” that is now off by default, but can be turned on through the Options dialog/Calculation tab/Accept Labels in Formulas checkbox.

 

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My name is Wesner Moise. I am a software entrepreneur developing revolutionary AI desktop applications. I worked as a software engineer in Microsoft Excel group for six years during the 1990s. I worked on PivotTables and wrote the most lines of code in Excel 97-- about 10 times the median developer. I have a Harvard BA in applied math/computer science and a UCLA MBA in technology entrepreneurship. I am a member of the Triple Nine Society, a 99.9 percentile high-IQ society.

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