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Alex Boche
@alexboche
@annakirkpatrick Sorry to hear about those issues with your advisor, that sounds difficult. No worries, there is no rush. I haven't been doing mathematical writing recently, but I'll be starting a PhD program in mathematical economics in a couple months so I'll be writing math by voice regularly for many years to come. Would be interesting to see a video of you coding with your eyes sometime if you have time.
Alex Boche
@alexboche
At some point,it might be worth compiling a set of mathematical vocabulary words.Someone mentioned there is a way to add words en masse using Natlink. not a priority right now just mentioning it to get it into the general consciouusness. Rüdiger's dragonphrases is another product that mightt be useful for this . other engines will bring new possibilities too
Mike Roberts
@mrob95
Good idea, I have kind of started this but only got as far as "heteroscedasticity" and "leptokurtosis". Will add it to mathfly later and then it will just be a case of creating the list in settings.toml.
Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick
@alexboche @mrob95 I have a partial list of math vocabulary words that I used with my previous system for writing math by voice. I will see if I can dig that up.
@mrob95 I wanted to check with you on what I think is an omission from the LaTeX module. I don't see any way to dictate the double backslash ('\\') , beyond the brute force way anyway. I see that you do include the \linebreak command, but it is really more of an advanced command for special purposes or power users. I noticed that one of the templates does include the double backslash in a table so I just wanted to check that I'm not missing something here. Thanks!
Mike Roberts
@mrob95

@annakirkpatrick Sounds good! I have added a list in settings.toml called add_words which should automatically add words to the vocabulary on start-up.

Lack of a double backslash command beyond "backslash backslash" is an omission

Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick
@mrob95 Great! I'll grab the updated version and add the list I currently have. I can also take a look at my existing vocabulary in Dragon (specifically custom words) and pull out the math stuff that I've added over the past 8ish year.
And I'll add a command for double backslash; it gets used a lot!
Mike Roberts
@mrob95

Something like

"line end"  = "\\"

in [commandnoarg]

Should work

Or if you want a carriage return as well:

"line end"  = "\\\n"
Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick
Aren't backslashes escaped in the *.toml files?
Mike Roberts
@mrob95
yes, but one backslash is automatically added for all commands, so we just need one more (I think)
Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick
Yep, that would make sense. I'll test it out and let you know if I run into problems.\
Alex Boche
@alexboche
in might be good to have the add_words vocabulary list be a dictionary that has spoken and written forms. I don't know how that works,I think Natlink has a way. Caspark mentioned this (pseudo-?)code on the Talents slack. Not sure does the spoken forms:
import natlink

def add_words(words):
    for word in words:
        known_word = natlink.getWordInfo(word)
        if known_word is None:
            natlink.addWord(word)
Mike Roberts
@mrob95
Yeah the natlink docs are somewhat cryptic
I'll do some research
Dragon is usually reasonably good though at getting the pronunciation right
Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick
Re: written and spoken forms, my files do include both when the spoken form does not clearly match the written form.
The Dragon gui lets you import a list (plain text file) of words and phrases with written and spoken form specified. They are separated with a backslash. (And hence you can't add anything that itself contains a backslash. Nope, there is not an escape mechanism. I did check.) Just sharing this in case it gives some insight into what natlink is looking for.
Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick
@mrob95 I have implemented the line and command as you suggested, specifically I chose the version with the carriage return as it is common style to include a carriage return in source in this setting. I'm getting the double backslash and carriage return output correctly, but I am also getting a space after the carriage return. Which isn't a huge problem, because LaTeX ignores a lot of the white space details from the source file, but it is annoying if you are trying to keep clean human-readable source . I'm guessing this behavior has to do with inclusion in the section [commandnoarg], as generally putting a space after a command is the desired behavior. Does this may be indicate that the command belongs in another section? Maybe the misc_symbols section? Or is there a better way to handle this?
@mrob95 in the documentation, did you intend to use a long dash for "or" when listing spoken forms? I'm guessing you actually meant |, as that is the character you use in the source. But | needs to be escaped in LaTeX outside of math mode. Since I'm already working on the documentation, I'm happy to fix that issue while I'm at it. Just wanted to be sure I correctly understood your intent before I started making changes.
Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick
@alexboche congratulations on getting accepted your PhD program! At the moment, I'm probably not the right person to tell you how great graduate school can be. (I'm still super frustrated with my advisor, but I am slowly working through it.) I do believe it is a worthwhile endeavor though. If I didn't, I would not still be doing it myself!
If I can remember, I will turn on a screen recorder next time I'm using eye gaze for code on my personal computer. It is pretty cool, and totally different than speech to text.
Alex Boche
@alexboche
thanks!
Mike Roberts
@mrob95
Okay I have added a new [commandmisc] section in latex.toml which allows arbitrary alternating commands with the "insert" prefix. So we can do:
[commandmisc]
"line end"           = ["\\\\", "enter"]
Hope pulling changes isn't causing too much bother
Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick
@mrob95 the [commandmisc] section should be great. Thanks!
And pulling changes is no biggie. I'm pretty comfortable with git and certainly couldn't suggest an easier way.
Mike Roberts
@mrob95

np, if you need more flexibility for commands then dragonfly is not at all hard to learn see e.g.

https://github.com/mrob95/MR-caster/blob/master/caster/apps/chrome.py

Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick
@mrob95 thanks for the link! Once I get the basics of LaTeX dictation down (both adding commands and getting over most of the learning curve), I am thinking about setting up better integration with vim for easier editing. That looks like a really useful example to work from.
@mrob95 I packaged up my changes so far into a pull request. It's only a handful of commands, but they are significant in terms of usability. I'm sure there will be more as I continue working, but you might as well have these for now.
Mike Roberts
@mrob95
And thanks for the PR, looks good. Regarding the docs I'm going to do a cleanup job at some point, I think I noticed that pipe is formatted as a long dash and thought "that will do" ^^. Might even change them from LaTeX to markdown
I get an absurd amount of value out of dragonfly and use it for pretty much everything - text editor commands, programming language commands, math commands, git commands, web browser commands, etc etc
Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick

@mrob95 I'm hoping maybe you've seen this error message before and can point me in the right direction. Here's the sequence of events:

  1. I started up Dragon but natlink didn't start. I did not get the "messages from Natlink" window, and commands like "enable X" were not recognized as commands.
  2. Pulled latest version of mathfly from master, just to be sure. (Couldn't run rebuild command.)
  3. I ran the natlink configuration and reregistered NatLink. Rebooted computer and restarted Dragon.
    Same problem as 1, so I checked my path. Somehow Python 3 had jumped over Python 2 in my path. I fixed that. Rebooted computer. Ran NatLink again being sure I was using Python 2.7. Reboot again.
  4. Now Dragon starts with NatLink, but I am getting a bunch of error messages.
    ```
    Vocola not active
    Ignoring rule 'sublime'. Failed to load with:
    cannot import name ContextAction
    Ignoring rule 'sumatrapdf'. Failed to load with:
    cannot import name ContextAction
    Ignoring rule 'wordpad'. Failed to load with:
    cannot import name ContextAction
    Ignoring rule 'core'. Failed to load with:
    cannot import name ContextAction
    Ignoring rule 'ScientificNotebook55'. Failed to load with:
    cannot import name ContextAction
    Ignoring rule 'LyX'. Failed to load with:
    cannot import name ContextAction
    Ignoring rule 'latex'. Failed to load with:
    cannot import name ContextAction
    Ignoring rule 'latex_maths'. Failed to load with:
    cannot import name ContextAction
    Ignoring rule 'alias'. Failed to load with:
    cannot import name ContextAction
    - Starting Mathfly -
    Say "enable <module name>" to begin, or
    "configure <module name>" to make changes.
    Modules available:
    natlinkmain started from C:\NatLink\NatLink\MacroSystem\core:
    NatLink version: 4.1whiskey3
    DNS version: 13
    Python version: 27
    Windows Version: 10
    User defined macro's (UserDirectory) enabled: C:\Users\Anna\Documents\NatLink\mathfly

```
Any advice?

Mike Roberts
@mrob95
Try running
pip2 install -U dragonfly2
ContextAction is something new which was only added recently to dragonfly
Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick
Thanks! That fixes it.
Alex Boche
@alexboche
@mrob95 @esc123 can you guys explain what you like better about scientific notebook than Lyx?
my experience is mostly with Lyx, but I am also learning regular latex now. considering trying scientific notebook
esc123
@esc123
Jeez it's been so long since I used Lyx now that I can hardly remember why I switched! I recall SN being more convenient for voice rec because it was more streamlined to write multiple lines of Math continuously. Just "math mode" and away you go. I believe in Lyx when you begin a new line you must then specify that you will be writing math in that line. Probably an easy issue to overcome through creating specific commands for such but yeah.
Also I remember there being significantly less requirement in SN for moving the insertion point to the correct place before dictating the actual math. With Lyx I remember having to constantly move the insertion point using ross, dunce etc whereas again SN seemed much more streamlined in that regard.
esc123
@esc123
Furthermore for me specifically , I have a touch screen (Surface Pro) and I am now using the pen to highlight math in SN I've already written so I can copy and paste repetitious math content from one line to the next and then just change the values you are calculating, very convenient for Linear Algebra say. This is quicker and puts less strain on the voice. This way I am using voice commands as an adjunct to this copy/paste with pen along with AutoHotKey scripts to further streamline repetitive tasks and common commands. Anyway, using the pen to highlight text in this way thankfully doesnt really do to much to RSI symptoms and SN + touch screen makes it very easy to do so. This wouldn't be the case with Lyx
Mike Roberts
@mrob95

@alexboche pretty much what @esc123 said. In scientific notebook you can go into a permanent math mode where everything you type is assumed to be math, regardless of new lines et cetera, whereas LyX requires you to constantly reset the mode and it is easy to accidentally jump out by going to the end of the line or w/e. Also in SN you can select and manipulate blocks of math easily. Since I mostly used it for bashing out homework assignments or completing exams the ease of getting stuff down in SN easily outweighed its lack of complex formatting options.

I think the main use case for LyX is as an alternative to raw LaTeX for technical writing, but since I know LaTeX pretty well and am comfortable in a text editor I don't really have a need for it.

btw if you are considering trying SN, then I would definitely recommend version 5.5 over version 6 if you can get it. Version 6 is much closer to the behaviour of LyX and I really think they have made it worse.

Anna Kirkpatrick
@annakirkpatrick
@mrob95 I've noticed in dictating LaTeX with mathfly that Greek letters always have a space after them by default while latin letters do not. Was this an intentional choice? While it doesn't cause any real problems, expressions like $\Omega _{k}$ in source are nonstandard from a style standpoint. In case it's not clear, $\Omega _{k}$ and $\Omega_{k}$ compile to the same typeset result, since LaTeX ignores most whitespace characters in math mode.
Alex Boche
@alexboche
in lyx, one puts a space after anything with a backslash in front of it to get it to render the character, so sounds like maybe that just got accidentally carried over to latex.
Mike Roberts
@mrob95
That is kind of deliberate, because an extra space usually doesn't cause compilation problems whereas omitting a space often can, I'm not 100% sure that it's the best solution though
esc123
@esc123
@mrob95 have you looked into Scientific Workplace at all? Seems to have the same capabilities as Scientific notebook but with much more formatting capabilities albeit for a much higher price.
It's disappointing what you said about SN 6.0. I hadn't looked into it but was thinking about the upgrade. Given what you said I'll most likely abandon that idea.
Mike Roberts
@mrob95

I've looked into it but didn't really fancy spending that much for something which I'm not sure I have a use for. The same commands should work though if scientific workplace were added as another context for the scientific notebook commands.

I downloaded a 30 day trial of version 6 and managed to get most of the commands working so if you wanted to give it a try I could make a pull request? I suspect that if you prefer SN to LyX then you will prefer the old version though. It's a shame because I really liked 5.5 and it is pretty much impossible for anyone to get hold of now without buying MathTalk.

esc123
@esc123
No I'll leave the trial of SN 6.0 at least until after my exams but it is a shame the software has developed that way as 5.5 is very useful. Regarding Workplace, I am in the same boat as you only using SN for homework and the like and wouldn't be sure if I would actually use what looks like full LaTeX formatting capabilities. The rough and ready has been adequate up to now.
Interestingly you said you use SN for exams as well. My Uni wouldnt allow that so I'm using a scribe instead. It's going to be a bit weird as I have never used one before and the dictation will be slightly different than the Mathfly lingo I've gotten accustomed to :P
Mike Roberts
@mrob95
Ah that is a shame, my uni were surprisingly blasé about me using my own PC and being in my own room for exams. I was all ready to have a big argument about it but they just said yeah that's fine do it however you want ^^. Do you know if you'd be able to meet the scribe first to lay down a few abbreviations and ways of describing things?
Then again a lot of the scribes I've met have been PhD students or similar so they may be able to interpret pretty well what you mean