Learn a new language in ZERO minutes

I’ve created a little app, that allows you to teach yourself any new language you want to learn. It basically allows you to type in some phrases, into a textbox, for then to have the app translate these phrases, into any destination language you want to learn – For then to have you repeat the phrase back to your computer. If you’re able to successfully repeat the phrase, you get a “green box”. If you fail, you get a “red box”. The app supports roughly 50-100 languages, depending upon which browser you use. Swedish, Greek, Italian, Spanish, French, Norwegian, Swahili, etc, etc, etc – It’s basically all in there! Watch the video below for a little demonstration.

Motivation for creating my little app

For more than a year I’ve been living in Cyprus, and it has bothered me that I still don’t speak Greek. I’ve been looking for courses, both online and offline, and I’ve even got a handful of apps on my iPhone, which is supposed to teach me Greek. But they all suffer from some ridiculous lack of flexibility, either by not teaching me what I want to learn, or by not being easily used. Hence, I decided I might just as well create my own little app. And in the process of course, give it support for all languages on the planet. Basically it’s a perfect Babel fish, or Rosetta stone if you wish …

Test the app here!

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UX, One Button to Rule em’ All

How would you feel if I told you that you could create rich web apps, with only one button, and no other user interface elements besides that single button?

To the right is an application, which contains almost 100 commands and actions. I can for instance send an encrypted email with it. I can search for something using DuckDuckGo, define a word at Dictionary.com, and have it do all sorts of different tasks for me. Without ever having to even touch my mouse or keyboard. In fact, I don’t even need to look at my screen to interact with my web app.

It works using speech recognition and speech synthesis, and is based upon Hyperlang. Everything is Open Source, and you can use it for free, in your own web apps. To see what I am talking about though, it is crucial that you watch the video below.

The origins of the One Button Interface

I once read a blog post years ago, which I can’t remember the link of. It told a story about Steve Jobs, and a group of sub contractors, who were going to create Apple’s CD burning software. The developers for the company who had been commissioned to create this CD burning software, were eagerly looking forward to have a meeting with Steve Jobs. The developers prepared for several months, creating a monstrous specification, covering all actions the user could possibly want to do. It had a monstrous menu, hundreds of buttons and UX elements, and it could probably do almost anything, besides splitting atoms.

As the day for their meeting with Steve came around, they were so eager to meet their “Guru”, they could barely speak. They were invited to Apple’s main HQ, and sat down and waited for Steve to come around. Steve came into the room, said “hi I am Steve”, went over to the whiteboard, created a rectangular square on the whiteboard, put another rectangular square inside the larger one, and wrote “Burn” on the smallest square. Then he said “This is the CD burning software, and this is its only UX element. Then he left the room. 5 seconds was what he had given them. 5 seconds. He didn’t even take a look at their specification …

Initially these developers felt angry, and that all their work had been in vain. However, after a couple of days, they realised that he was right, and that this was the only reasonable GUI or UX that would actually fly for the end users. Hyperlang is that button.

One button to rule em’ all!

Hyperlang is highly configurable, and you can localise it to any language on the planet. Creating a new “command” is done in seconds, by any “root account”, having developer privileges on the server.

Installation

You’ll need to install Phosphorus Five first, for then to visit the “Bazar”, and download Hyperlang. In addition, some of its commands are dependent upon Hypereval, which you can also find in the “Bazar”.

When you start it, it knows nothing. But you can import an example “dictionary” from here. This dictionary is dependent upon some of the Hypereval snippets you can find here. To upload your Hypereval snippets and/or Hyperlang dictionary, simply drag and drop the zip files into respectively Hyperlang and Hypereval, when logged in as “root”. And of course, everything is Open Source …!!

Try it out

You can test an example system I have developed in it here. However, this is installed on my home server, and running over a plain normal home user internet connection, on an old discarded Windows laptop. Have that in mind, if it is sluggish, since my server is arguably being “slash dotted” today, and it only has a 5Mb upload speed …!!

To test the system, you’ll need to login with the username of “foo” and the password of “bar”.

Have fun 😀

Hyperlanguage, a human to computer interface based upon natural language

Imagine if you could simply tell your computer what it should do, and it would understand what your intentions were, and actually do it? Or if you could create computer code, by speaking normal everyday English to your computer, and telling it what you want your program to do? And if it didn’t understand something, you could easily teach it, in a minute or two?

Well, you don’t have to imagine, you can try this today in fact. I’ve just created a new release of Phosphorus Five, which has a brand new app in its Bazar, called “Hyperlang”. Hyperlang works as an interface between natural spoken language, and computer code, and literally allows you to speak to your computer, and have your words transformed into computer code, and have your computer execute your code.

In such a way, it arguably becomes a Babel fish, or a Rosetta stone if you wish, between computers and humans. Implying that people who don’t have particularly much computer knowledge, can actually to some extent, in fact create computer programs, by simply speaking English (or Greek, Norwegian or Swahili for that matter) to their computers.

It starts out knowing nothing, but teaching it is very easy, and in fact integrated, by simply telling it “I will teach you”, every time you say something it doesn’t understand. This feature, combined with the ease of exporting and importing a “dictionary” of Hyperlambda2SpokenLanguage from one installation to another, allowing for merging dictionaries – Makes it become an excellent tool (I believe) for replacing most UIs, arguably, on the planet. Basically, any “sys-admin” with an averagely equipped bash script brain, can easily create a “vocabulary” of phrases and words, and associate these with some piece of Hyperlambda, which is evaluated when the phrase is spoken. This trait also makes it an extremely “collaborative tool”.

One language to rule em’ all!! 😀

In the video below, I am demonstrating the system. And believe me, this is simply something you’ll have to see, in order to even believe that what I am saying above is true. Simply put, because sometimes, if something is too good to be true, it actually is true!

Testing it out – After installing Phosphorus Five, you need to install at least both “Hyperlang” and “Hypereval” from the Phosphorus Five “Bazar”. Then you can download a dictionary file from here. Simply drag and drop that file into your “Hyperlang” app in P5. When you have done that, you’ll need to also install a “Snippet file” for Hypereval, which it depends upon for some of its actions. You can download that snippets file here. After downloading the snippets file, drag and drop it into your Hypereval module. Then click the “flash” icon, from within any app in Phosphorus, and you’re greeted by “Daniel”, if you’re using Google Chrome. However, you can change between roughly 60-70 different languages. Only English is currently localised though, and have associations towards code at the moment. But translating to any language you want to, is literally as easy as typing a phrase into a textbox …

Notice, I have only worked with this for only 7 days, so it may have some quirks and bugs. And I don’t think it works with anything but Google Chrome (currently) to be honest with you. Remember to turn on your “Microphone” since otherwise Chrome won’t allow you to initiate speech recognition …

Patient – Doctor, my computer understands me now!
Doctor – Great, I guess you’re not sick anymore then …

😀