David Beroff (d4b) wrote,
David Beroff
d4b

On Natural vs. Formal Language

Yesterday was five years since Cat Lady quit smoking, (after two packs a day for half a century). We went out to celebrate.

Here's a video from a new voiceover client; hopefully my first of several he has planned:

Update: corrected video location... again.

And finally, an excerpt from some directions I gave my Venezuelan graphic artist, who also happens to be fluent in about five (natural) languages. The stock certificate project is growing, and I need her to compare the (x, y) coordinates between certificate scans, so I can make the PDF generation software more flexible. I was explaining to her that a computer is basically a very dumb child that needs to be told how to do everything in excruciating detail:
You're obviously very comfortable with human languages. You will find many differences between natural language and formal ("computer") language, but ultimately, they have the same goal of facilitating communication. The language you'll working with is called PHP, and the specific library used to create PDF files is called TCPDF. Do not stress over this!! You only have to read the code, not write it, and I'm pretty certain that it will take you less than a minute to get comfortable with it. PHP has grammar, punctuation, verbs (functions) and nouns (function parameters), and you'll quickly figure out what you need, (and simply ignore everything else). Everything is in the second person imperative form! :-)

What you'll need: SetXY() is the function that (would you believe?) sets X and Y for each element. Its function parameters, the two numbers in the parentheses, are the actual X and Y. (Shocker!!) Cell() outputs a specific string into a rectangular area (a "cell") as defined by the first two numbers, width and height. You won't really need those two numbers, but the third parameter is the string getting sent to the PDF. This is your (big) hint as to what the element is that's getting output!! Finally, writeHTMLCell() sort of combines those two functions, where the first two parameters are the cell's width and height, and the next two parameters are X and Y. I think that's really all you need. Like I said, ignore the rest; I've already cut a lot of extraneous stuff out for you.
Tags: bic, cat lady, health, outsourcing, video creation, voice
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