FieldWorks Language Explorer again

I’d heard some decent reviews of SIL’s Language Explorer from people whose judgment I trust, so I thought it might be time to try again. my first experience with Flex was not very good. The software kept crashing, it ran slowly, and it was a horrible program to get stuff into and out of. It also seemed like the program wanted to do the analysis for you. It’s all set up with parts of speech (which may or may not fit the language you’re working on), and it’s fiddly to edit entries. I need to interlinearize a bunch of examples for the grammar (and there’s the Laves text project as well…) so I thought this might be a way to speed up hand-interlinearizing, and to make sure everything is consistent.

I downloaded Flex 6.0.4 for my netbook (it’s Windows only) and four hours or so later, I was ready to import my lexicon. Except I couldn’t, the program kept crashing. A bit more exploration reveals that Flex has two web sites, one of which has a more recent version than the other. 350 mb download later I have a lexicon imported. Now I can’t import the morphology db, though. Four crashes and error reports later, still no clue about why it doesn’t work (the “test” import says there are no errors).

Preparing the texts for import looks even more fiddly. Mine aren’t interlinearized (sounds like it doesn’t matter, since they can’t import the interlinearisations anyway). The texts have to be one per file. That’s ok, except that most people importing from toolbox have them in a single file. I have 350+ texts in two files. Guess I’m going to learn how to write a script that will split the files into individual files.

I will give it an hour to import my texts. After that, it’ll be back to working by hand with text files. I wish I could be more positive about this at this stage but if I can’t import a previous project there is nothing to say about the program.


2 responses to “FieldWorks Language Explorer again

  1. I found your site because I wanted to know if linguist programs can run on a netbook. FLEX is a resource intensive program. Have you got it working better? Are you familiar with Paratext? It is a Bible translation program. I’m also wondering if it would run on netbook, specifically windows 7 starter. I would really suggest you switch to Fieldwork’s language explorer 7.0. It might still be a release candidate or they may have released it, but it hogs a lot less system resources and memory.

  2. I did get it working a little better with the pre-release version, but still not to anywhere near fast enough for daily use. Even on my Vaio with 4 gig of memory it was barely adequate, and my lexicon import kept crashing. I’ve heard of Paratext but haven’t used it (I don’t do Bible translation).

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