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cyocum (7706)

cyocum
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http://cyocum.blogspot.com/

An American post-graduate student living in Scotland.
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  Journal: Demystifying Ocaml's Functors on 2010.05.21 14:31

Journal by cyocum on 2010.05.21 14:31
User Journal

Since I started using Ocaml, functors have been rather mystifying to me. They are Ocaml's highest form of type abstraction through modules and, for beginners like myself, they can be down right frustrating to understand. So, I took it upon myself to learn how to write one of these things by hook or by crook. Here is what I took away from that experience.

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  Comment: Re:Publishers / extent of restriction (Score 1) on 2009.08.18 4:02

by cyocum on 2009.08.18 4:02 (#70136)
Attached to: LaTeX, the Humanities, and PDF commenting

No, you are correct. Other applications like the ones that I listed in my original post can add comments directly into the PDF that are viewable in Adobe Reader. In fact, annotation is part of the PDF standard. It is just getting Adobe Reader to activate its commenting features that is the problem.

That said, almost everyone has Adobe Reader or has heard of it. It is the same problem as trying to get people to use something other than Word; they will not want to install some other piece of software because they have never heard of it, even if that software is demonstrably superior. This is particularly bad in the Humanities where technophobia is rampant. So, getting Adobe Reader to unlock its commenting features would be a huge win.

As for moving publishers away from PDF, you don't. You bypass them by having your departments produce their materials without them. At least, that is my thought on the subject. Have your departments collaborate with colleagues in LaTeX then make that available in PDF on a website somewhere. The beginnings of that are already happening on Arxiv.org where most research is published in the sciences these days.

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  Comment: Geographically Challenged Americans (Score 1) on 2009.08.17 16:38

by cyocum on 2009.08.17 16:38 (#70120)
Attached to: What's in a name?

Maybe they are attempting to get the geographically challenged American market?

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  Comment: Re:Just hard (Score 1) on 2009.08.15 8:07

by cyocum on 2009.08.15 8:07 (#70083)
Attached to: LaTeX, the Humanities, and PDF commenting

That's quite alright. It is easy to do while reading things on the web.

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  Comment: Re:Just hard (Score 1) on 2009.08.15 4:05

by cyocum on 2009.08.15 4:05 (#70081)
Attached to: LaTeX, the Humanities, and PDF commenting

From what I understand, you must obtain a cryptographic key from an Adobe product to add to the PDF to enable commenting in Adobe Reader. I know the spec is HUGE (I had entertained crazy notions of implementing it but now I know why you need a large team of people to do so). Of course, I very much appreciate everyone's efforts (including your's) to make PDFs available on Linux.

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  Journal: LaTeX, the Humanities, and PDF commenting on 2009.08.14 17:24

Journal by cyocum on 2009.08.14 17:24
User Journal

One of the biggest problems when working with Humanities scholars (or scholars in other areas) is that they are accustomed to using the commenting features of their favored format (usually Word). Now, PDF has the facility to allow commenting. The only problem is that Adobe keeps the keys to this particular kingdom pretty tight. No open source PDF thing (other than PDFEdit, which isn't very stable from what I have read around the web) ca

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  Comment: Re:British vs. German Railways (Score 1) on 2009.07.23 11:09

by cyocum on 2009.07.23 11:09 (#69588)
Attached to: Alternative power

True, the Swiss system is small when compared to the German and UK systems. However, I never had a problem with DB while I was in Germany and the only late train that I ever encountered was by five minutes, which is much more acceptable than what ScotRail has done to me in the past.

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  Comment: British vs. German Railways (Score 1) on 2009.07.23 9:45

by cyocum on 2009.07.23 9:45 (#69586)
Attached to: Alternative power

Having been on both, I have to say that while I still like rail travel in general, the Germans (and even more so the Swiss) have it down to a relaxing, civilized art form.

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  Comment: The More Fun Question Is (Score 1) on 2009.02.25 16:38

by cyocum on 2009.02.25 16:38 (#67618)
Attached to: Writing Legal Contracts as Code

Are contracts a DSL?

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  Comment: Re:Wrong Audience (Score 1) on 2009.02.17 17:33

by cyocum on 2009.02.17 17:33 (#67465)
Attached to: How To Not Teach Programming (Haskell)

They are starting to teach Haskell as a first language at the University of Edinburgh as well. However, as someone with a background in programming and the Humanities, I have to say that all the Haskell tutorials for "beginners" that I have seen online and off have all failed miseribly. After the first few examples, they tend to fly off into the realms of higher mathematics when really, all I want to do is manipulate texts.

I have started teaching Perl to the Humanities students that I come in contact with (much to the chagrin of the Informatics Department) but Perl does what we want: it manipulates texts easily.

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  Comment: Re:It's not just the Kindle (Score 1) on 2009.02.12 14:50

Indeed. I think this becomes more pronounced in a digital arena. It becomes even more difficult to pin down what kind of abstraction of the material would facilitate citation.

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  Comment: Re:fixed width (Score 1) on 2009.02.12 14:47

While this might be a way of dealing with it, it seems rather ham-handed. Having all the publishers to agree to this will be just as bad as updating and maintaining any other standard. If one goes out of line and decides to be different, it all goes out the window.

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  Journal: Scholarly Citation in a Digital World: Some Thoughts on 2009.02.10 15:35

Journal by cyocum on 2009.02.10 15:35
User Journal

Amazon has released the newest version of the Kindle. This event has caused me to re-evaluate the relationship of Humanities scholarship and its most basic and technical part, to wit, citation. Citation is the bedrock upon which scholars in the Humanities (and the Sciences) build upon and comment on each other's work in publication. It is also the source of much of scholarship's tedium.

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  Comment: Re:The real way to write factorial in Perl 6: (Score 1) on 2008.12.07 15:30

by cyocum on 2008.12.07 15:30 (#66324)
Attached to: Perl6 Lives!

Like all good things, I hope Perl 6 will change my perception of programming.

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  Comment: Re:The real way to write factorial in Perl 6: (Score 1) on 2008.12.07 14:50

by cyocum on 2008.12.07 14:50 (#66322)
Attached to: Perl6 Lives!

Perl Golf still lives, I see. I had started playing around with subsets and had intended to update it with stuff like that but I will just say wow...that is really neat.

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