Some direction help for a newcomer

Discussion of Common Lisp

Some direction help for a newcomer

Postby PatrickForkin » Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:09 am

Hallo!
I am not a programmer but a writer. I am looking for a language with which I can develop some applications to "massage" texts which I write. I will use the applications for marking text with syantax coloring, segmenting sentences into clauses and thence into phrases.
My first question should be; is Lisp designed to allow a newcomer to do such?
2. is: Which dialect of Lisp and which platform would be the best choice in such a case?
3. is: Are there any archives of such topics which I could have access to?
4. is: Are there any useful portals for this topic on the web?
5. is: Are there any useful text parsers written in Lisp?
6. is: Are any members dealing with the same topic area?
7. and final is: If Lisp is not the best language for such, which language is?
I would like to hear from anyone with useful advice .
Kind regards, PatrickForkin.
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Re: Some direction help for a newcomer

Postby Paul Donnelly » Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:17 pm

PatrickForkin wrote:Hallo!
I am not a programmer but a writer. I am looking for a language with which I can develop some applications to "massage" texts which I write. I will use the applications for marking text with syantax coloring, segmenting sentences into clauses and thence into phrases.

Good luck, that sounds hard. This isn't an area I know a lot about, except that parsing the syntax of something more complicated than, say, lojban, is quite a job.
PatrickForkin wrote:My first question should be; is Lisp designed to allow a newcomer to do such?

I don't think any language is designed for that.
PatrickForkin wrote:2. is: Which dialect of Lisp and which platform would be the best choice in such a case?

Common Lisp and Scheme are good choices for most projects. I like Common Lisp better.
PatrickForkin wrote:3. is: Are there any archives of such topics which I could have access to?
5. is: Are there any useful text parsers written in Lisp?

Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming has a few chapters on this topic. As an AI text it's not comprehensive or 100% up-to-date, but as a Lisp text and an introduction to AI topics it's quite good. It has some chapter-end references to other books too.
PatrickForkin wrote:7. and final is: If Lisp is not the best language for such, which language is?

No, I think Lisp is a good choice.
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Re: Some direction help for a newcomer

Postby PatrickForkin » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:33 am

Hallo Paul!

and thank you for the responses even where they were not positive.
I will look more intensely at CommonLisp, because it nevertheless seems to offer more than most other languages.
I will test and move around in the product function and then come back to you to ask where I would be most likely to get my answers.
Thanks, PatrickForkin.
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Re: Some direction help for a newcomer

Postby Ramarren » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:43 am

There is an online version of a book on Natual Language Processing in Lisp. It seems to be missing figures and the code is not very idiomatic, but it might be useful.
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Re: Some direction help for a newcomer

Postby psismondi » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:10 pm

I am interested in this area also. I have done quite a lot of work writing programs that handle written english. However, as I have moved in the direction of trying to get programs to understand English grammar, I came to recognize that it is a very difficult problem indeed.

You may already know that it's a tough problem, and perhaps have some expertise in the area. Could you be a bit more specific about the nature of the text you want to process?

However, I would say that in general, the main difficulties will not be greatly alleviated by one's choice of language. For relatively simple text manipulation (ones that can be handled largely with something no more powerful than regular expressions) I have often resorted to Perl. (Lispers often hate Perl :roll: but I don't worry about that.) If you have some money to spend, and are also working at the level for which regular expressions are adequate, Omnimark is very powerful. In the case of some very special and formalized subsets of English, you might get away with using a parser generator in the yacc or antlr family, but that is a long shot to say the least.

In the end I chose Common Lisp for my work. The body of literature that is out there on this is pretty heavy, and does indeed seem to be AI or a cousin thereof. That makes Lisp a great candidate.

The learning curve was a little steep, but in the end learning Lisp has been the right choice for me.

Best,

- Phil -
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Reply from psimondi

Postby PatrickForkin » Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:22 am

Hallo!
In answer to your reply to my post you have indicted an interest in what I am doing with my text analysis and how it relates to what you do and have done, with text and programming in Lisp.
I would like to continue the dialogue with you and indicate my work on the subject and the directrion it is going in.
How do you suggest that we proceed: I believe that a topic between us instead of it being directed towards the whoöle forum is proabaly the best approach.
I will wait until you reply.
By the way where do you live?
Do you speak other languages than English?
Regards, patrickforkin.
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Re: Some direction help for a newcomer

Postby Yuli » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:27 pm

You might want to also look at Python, Ruby and even Perl. There's a recent book out on natural language processing with Python that's supposed to be very good (I plan to check it out in the future).

If you are willing to commit to it, you can do anything in Lisp (I'm in the process of learning it). But if you want to get started fast, other languages might be a better option for a beginner, such as Python or Ruby.

Another option would be to possibly network with like minded students or professional programmers and see if you can develop the application together

Hope this helps.
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Re: Some direction help for a newcomer

Postby nuntius » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:35 pm

I posted this link in another thread on this topic. That thread died; so I guess most people didn't see it.

The LKB is a large natural-language-processing framework developed in CL.
http://wiki.delph-in.net/moin/LkbTop
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