by Caleb Jaffa

Lexikon Update

Unfortunately Lexikon has been neglected more than I would like. This is due to some projects that came my way and also trying to figure out how to proceed with Lexin and Folkets Lexikon. Unfortunately both projects only get vague updates on direction and status if any at all.

I will be focusing on getting Lexion 1.5 out the door ASAP. It has taken more time in part cause of the ambitious desire to support all the languages Lexin does. I’m trying to do it right since I know how frustrating it can be to have software that gets it so wrong it may as well have not tried.

After that I will be focusing on an offline version of Lexikon that works only with a database on the phone with word pairs from Folkets Lexikon. This will be a separate application and I’ll advertise its availability in the online version of Lexikon with an introductory price.

I’m not going to commit to dates or timeframes for either project though as the money I make and the nature of the projects make them hobby side work to my consulting work. There just isn’t a very large user base of iPhone/iPod Touch users who are learning Swedish. Throw in that Apple is appearing to take at least two weeks to approve application updates right now. Trust me though that I want the offline version of Lexikon with the bigger dictionary of Folkets Lexikon as much as anyone else and so I’ll be trying to get it off and in to the hands of Apple to approve ASAP.

One last thing I am still looking for people who speak languages other than English who can take a look at how Lexikon will handle their language. Hopefully I have a good handle on how best to support each individual language, but since I don’t understand anything beyond English and some Swedish native speakers would be appreciated. I’ve had some people look at it, but none of them are iPhone/iPod Touch users.

Folkets Lexikon Download

The data behind Folkets Lexikon is now able to be downloaded. I haven’t had much of a chance to look over it, but it looks like roughly 46,760 term pairs.

Probably the most important thing will be now that I have the data is figuring out the offline version of Lexikon. I’ve been hesitant to commit to anything until it was released, since there seemed to be some question if it would ever actually be released. There is a strong possibility that the Lexikon you know will continue as is. Perhaps with some modifications to switch from Lexin to Folkets Lexikon for the Swedish-English look ups. Then a second Lexikon like app would be developed with completely offline access. There are tradeoffs and advantages to both programs.

The current roadmap is to finish up update that has been in progress for Lexikon. Then to begin in earnest with figuring out what is going to happen and how best to package it up. I’m going to try and keep plans under my hat until I know for sure. Though if it is a separate application there will be a period to give current Lexikon users a chance to buy a discounted offline version before going to a normal price.

Hopefully Lexikon version 1.5 will be in Apple’s hands before the end of August and then current app approval times suggest another two weeks beyond that. Fingers crossed that Lexikon doesn’t require any additional time to be approved beyond that.

Updates and Twitter

I don’t believe this blog sees a lot of traffic from Lexikon users, but it won’t hurt to see if I can get some feedback. Progress has slowed a bit with the summer holidy upon us. Lexikon is a side project as a hobby, otherwise I would seriously be in the red.

I will be implementing all the Lexin languages. However how much interest is there in using more than one language. I know from SFI sometimes someone knows their mother tongue and English so quick access to both versions might be desireable. On the other hand I imagine most users will only use one language with Lexikon. This simplifies the UI and moves the setting to its proper iPhone place the Settings app. Most likely that is how Lexikon will work in the next update with the solicitation for input if the other way is desired. If I get enough requests I’ll make it part of a future update.

Also I have a specific Twitter account for Lexikon. You can even see the new icon design I’ve developed for the update.

I also have an update about a Folkets Lexikon and/or offline app. So far it looks like the downloadable database did not happen before the summer holiday. It will be interestig to see what happens in the Fall. Will development continue or is it frozen? Once it looks like Folkets Lexikon is stable I will be looking into using it for the English dictionary as it has at least twice the number of words. I want Folkets Lexikon as much as anyone, but without an API or much communication we all have to wait for it.

Slow as Molasses

Progress on Lexikon has been delayed. The next version 1.5 will support all the languages Lexin does. As well as providing suggestions from Lexin when a word can’t be found. I had hoped to have it to Apple in early June and then this past Monday. However since Lexikon is mostly a side hobby project it has been pushed down the priority list. I’m still optimistic baring any exceptional delays from Apple’s approval process that it will be in the App Store before July.