The command-line interface is one of the oldest, yet commonly used human-computer interface, where users type textual commands with arguments to get desired results. Developers often provide command-line options for software applications along with a graphical user interface. Several programming languages provide standard libraries to help programmers parse and handle command-line arguments. However, both CLI and libraries have evolved all these years, standardizing the way how commands are built and adding along with new functionalities like the use of colors, auto-completion, auto-correction etc. …

Language learning is both fun and challenging. If you already know speak one language and wish to explore a new language, a language very close to the language you know, the first few weeks of language learning may be fun. You find and even try to find the similarities between the two languages and, you enter the state of confidence that this language learning is not as difficult as it seemed. However, reality strikes when we venture to listen to a few videos and TV series. We finally realize that though we can get some words in the program, we have not understood the vast majority of them, and we are lost somewhere between our pronunciation and our comprehension. …

Most of us, at some stage, may have argued with our friends regarding the color name. I recall many such discussions where I could not completely agree with the suggested color name, often arguing whether the object is green or blue, red or brown, etc. I recall learning twelve colors during the initial years of learning, and I think that the number might have reached somewhere between twenty and thirty during the later years. …

Languages have some interesting aspects. Two of which are synonyms and antonyms. Where synonyms can be used to find similar words for a particular word, antonyms, in contrast, give you a word with the opposite meaning. And the way by antonym works is interesting. One feels that the languages assume an underlying duality.

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Photo by Ren Gillard on Unsplash

Duality may be referred to as binary choices, where everything can be limited to yes or no questions. When some statement is not affirmative, we may need to find another way to say it in the affirmative, and antonyms come into the picture. “Is this not hot?” can be rephrased as “Is this cold?”. Hot and cold, day and night, dawn and dusk, good and bad, long and short, etc., are some words coupled with their antonyms. One may get the impression that languages are meant to express the extremities. How to represent the states in between? Languages have adjectives like very, much, less, more to specify extremes of the extreme states. Yet, one cannot completely ignore words like noon, which refers to an interval somewhere in the middle of dawn and dusk. Words like warm, lukewarm, etc., can be used to say for objects with a temperature between hot and cold. The use of such words is subjective, even though they may seem objective. …

Human languages have evolved significantly over the past millennium. To avoid ambiguity and ensure preciseness, some people have even constructed new languages during the past decades. A few such languages were constructed for special purposes and short use. The newer recent ones called the programming languages are meant for communication between humans and machines. However, all of them face a major problem: extinction.

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Photo by Gabriel Sollmann on Unsplash

2019 was celebrated as the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL). Many languages around the world are in danger of extinction. There must be some efforts to protect the languages from complete oblivion. Thanks to the various campaigns during the awareness year of IYIL, several media articles on indigenous languages were published. …

What happens when you come to a new place, and you don’t know the local language? Your first attempt may be to try to speak all other languages you may know. If you are lucky enough, the person in front of you may respond in any of these languages. But sometimes, your efforts to communicate using languages may end in vain. Then you try to use something you believe is a universal human language: signs and gestures. You try to use some signs, gestures, and even mimicking sounds to communicate your idea. …

There is more than one way to express our thoughts in any human language. Some persons may express it with one single word. Others may describe their thoughts in multiple sentences. The goal is to express our feelings to others. When we start learning a new language, assuming that we already speak at least one language, the initial days of learning is hard: a whole new bunch of words and phrases. Learning becomes significantly difficult when the new language has a different script from the languages we already know. But can language learning be made simpler? Do we really need to learn multiple languages? What could be the first phrases to learn? …

During the final year of my high school, I came across the poem ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost, where the poet concludes with his desire to go on with his travel despite the beautiful view of snowfall in the woods. The words from this poem rhyme in my ears every time I hear the word ‘travel’ motivating me to go on newer adventures. And whenever I start on a journey to a new destination, my excitement knows no bounds, the deep desire to discover something new, something different each time. Several years have passed since I started my first travel without my family. I have traveled both alone and along with my friends, both of which have a different experience to tell. Traveling alone gives you the total liberty to get lost in some streets. It gives you the freedom to take the same street repeatedly. You can also visit whatever place you want. Though it may seem adventurous, it may turn boring, especially because you don’t have someone to share your experiences with. On the other hand, traveling in a group, especially with friends, is fun. …

I started photography some years back. I think that the primary inspiration came from my father’s analog photography; even though most of his photographs revolved around family and friends. But he had stopped photography a long back. And all I recall is that his analog camera no longer worked. Nevertheless, this apparently inutile device left a lasting mark on my mind. And as soon as I could afford a mobile phone with a camera, I purchased one with quite humble camera settings. Here again, I followed in my father’s footsteps. Most of my initial photographs revolved around my friends and family. …

Our thoughts, as well as interests evolve and our reading sometimes reflects this evolution. A major part of our reading has now moved to the internet and the way we use to read the news on the internet has changed dramatically over the past few years. From reading news on certain news outlets to reading the news headlines on social media, we can get a glimpse of this rapid change of the reading habits of users. However, we still use some sort of bookmarking for saving certain articles for future reads and references. These bookmarks, whether on browsers or social media websites contain valuable information, which can be used to improve our future reading as well as remind us of some forgotten topics of past interests. A reading profile can be built by the analysis of the articles read in the past and the associated tags used by the readers. …

About

John Samuel

Data Science Research, Photography, Art and Traveling

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