Saturday, March 29, 2008

How the Factor meeting went in New York

I invited all of you, at the very last minute, to come meet me in New York to talk about Factor and stuff, and at least two people asked me to post in detail about what happened... so here's my best shot. Dan McCarthy was the brave soul who attended, and we had a really interesting conversation about various aspects of programming. One thing we discussed was the inverse pattern matching library. I showed Dan how it works, and he found it really interesting that quotations were sequences at runtime—similar to s-expressions, but directly executed. Dan works as a programmer/sysadmin at a company that provides closed captioning services for media companies, and it seems like a more interesting task than I would have thought. There are some text encoding issues there (the HD captioning standard, if I understand it correctly, actually has encoding left unspecified for characters outside of Windows-1252, though it leaves room for two-byte and three-byte characters) and Dan has been researching them for a project for a Korean client. I explained the encoding definition protocol to Dan, and I'm going to try to get him to implement East Asian encodings, which there seem to be quite a few of in use (Shift-JIS, ISO 2022-JP, GB 2312, Big5, EUC-JP, EUC-KR, GB 18030). These all need big tables for encoding and decoding, and some require state to decode. Many have multiple possible representations of the same string for output, which complicates things somewhat. So, there's not much to report, but I've definitely learned my lesson about organizing things: I need to announce things more than 11 days in advance, and I need to advertise them better.

1 comment:

Muriel said...

Good for people to know.