Friday, 9 September 2011

InScribeX Web directions (September 2011)

Next week Microsoft will be making announcements about Windows 8 and I expect this will raise speculation on software futures in the press. So now seems like a good time to forestall any questions about any implications for InScribeX Web directions over the next year or so.

In short, Silverlight/.Net has been a successful technical choice for development of IXW to date and I plan to continue to use Silverlight through 2012 to further evolve IXW and explore more aspects of Ancient Egyptian in Unicode as a cross-platform Mac OSX/Windows (XP and later) solution.

Nevertheless there are some other desirable developments in Ancient Egyptian on computer that don’t fit into the IXW cross-platform approach, for instance deeper integration with other applications and efficient support for a variety of low power and touch screen devices. I’d like to share some thinking on these topics here in the near future.

Meanwhile IXW is currently at Preview 3.3 (the third update this year) and I’m on track for a 3.4 release next month. The ‘preview 3’ series to wrap this Winter with 3.5 which completes the first draft of the word list/dictionaries and incorporates more analysis on sign lists.

I’ve been holding back user interface changes until Preview 4 which is intended to enable continuation of the step by step approach I’ve taken this year. Whereas the 2011 theme has been building a more comprehensive dictionary, the main 2012 theme is teasing out the relationships between ‘Simplified Egyptian’, hieroglyphs in Unicode, and MdC encodings and I hope to continue the dynamic of updates every 2/3 months in the 4.x framework. More on this closer to the time.