Polyglot Emacs 20.4
Finally, for JE work, Emacs is not alone. As planets circle the sun, I surround Emacs with several programs that help me figure out the Japanese or Chinese source text or that aid in delivering it in a form demanded by a client. My assistants include the following:
Sumomo: a parser of Japanese syntax (no mean feat in a script where there are no spaces between words)
Kakasi: a converter of kanji into kana or Romaji (see Figure 5)
Xjdic: Jim Breen's JE Dictionary which, beside being extremely useful as a dictionary, is a splendid example of a collaborative, Net-based project (see Figure 6)
Bookview: a front end to ndtp, a server of Japanese electronic reference books (see Figure 7)
Also available are many nifty GNU or GPL-licensed programs that circumambulate the Linux kernel and can be called into service at a moment's notice, such as ls, wc, grep, xdiff, telnet, ftp, wget and fvwm2. Finally, there is Mozilla, Star and Corel Office, ApplixWare, the American Heritage Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary.
Whatever your arrangement, to be productive it must be consistent and persistent, i.e., for a certain task (like CE or JE translation) you must be able to recreate the same arrangement quickly. I have an init.hook file configured so that these applications all start up when I start fvwm2. By renaming it, I can immediately set up a different desktop for a different task. (See Figure 8 for one possible layout of a translator's desktop.)
With Emacs 20.4, we have the first version of GNU Emacs that is equipped to function as the main tool in a multi-script text worker's workshop.
Jon Babcock lives on the old family homestead in Montana, far from the maddening crowd, studies karma and dharma and kanji culture and, when necessary, translates Japanese for pay. He started using GNU programs and Linux in 1992. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
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