Wednesday, 15 February 2012

InScribeX Web 3.5 available

The InScribeX Web software is now updated to preview version 3.5, replacing the previous version 3.4. The software now integrates about 30,500 references in the Egyptian dictionary database, and the accuracy level of the database has been substantially improved over 3.4. Apart from some minor performance oriented changes, there is no change to software functionality.

3.5 is the last of the 3.x series. I hope to continue the periodic update process every two to three months during 2012 as was done last year. I'm currently shooting for a 4.0 version in the Spring.

4.0 contains some usability changes and continues to support Windows and OSX platforms via Silverlight. It drops any attempt to support Linux desktop. My main objectives moving IXW forward this year are to 1. incorporate tools to enable use of Simplified Egyptian and 2. Make it easier to use Egyptian with Unicode in an up to date HTML5 Web browser context.

A note on Linux. When I started writing InScribeX Web the situation with Linux on desktop and laptop PCs looked fairly promising. Moonlight (the Linux equivalent of the Silverlight software used to deliver InScribeX in a web browser) was under active development by Novell. Since then, Linux has been very successful as the foundation of the proprietory Google Android operating system for mobile devices but interest in Linux desktop as an alternative to Microsoft Windows and Apple OSX has declined, not grown. The demise of Novell as an independent company caused Moonlight development to stop in an incomplete state meaning it is no longer realistic to take the current implementation of InScribeX Web onto the Linux desktop. This fact is only one consequence of the fact that the whole cross-platform perspective has changed in recent years thanks to low power microelectronics enabling interesting mobile devices. A topic I'd like to return to in the near future.

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