Life Lexicon update collection thread

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dvgrn
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Life Lexicon update collection thread

Post by dvgrn » November 25th, 2021, 4:44 pm

Lexicographers Wanted
It's been almost three and a half years now since the Life Lexicon got an update. The longer it goes between updates, the harder it becomes to get caught up... which is exactly why it once went eleven years between updates.

Three years isn't too bad, yet. We can probably dig up most of the new terminology that needs to be added, by looking through the News archive on the LifeWiki and the Pattern of the Year competitions. But I could still definitely use some help.

"Why bother?"
There is a lot of overlap these days between the Life Lexicon and the LifeWiki, but I think it's still worth keeping the Lexicon up-to-date within half a decade or so. In good part this is because the Lexicon travels with Golly. There are all kinds of useful small patterns that I get out of the Lexicon when I need them for a construction project. But nowadays, if I want to go and find a Bandersnatch that way, I'm out of luck.

The latest version of the Lexicon is kept in this Git repository. But since nobody has ever even once contributed anything to that repository... my sense is that a more convenient collection mechanism is needed for new definitions. So let's try a forum thread!

Ground Rules (Sort Of)
Similar to contributions to Golly's pattern collection, the more "finished" a definition is when it's posted here, the more likely that it will actually make it into the Lexicon. "We need a definition for X" might end up getting cheerfully ignored, but if someone makes the effort to produce an actual Lexicon-compatible short definition, I'll be much better motivated by not wanting to let all that work go to waste.

Head Lexicographer Especially Wanted
If someone would be interested in taking over and leading this next Lexicon update project, that would be great too -- as long as it's someone who can pay close attention to all the fiddly typographical, grammatical, and historical details, so that the update will actually be an improvement! David Bell and I have gotten through a couple of rounds of Lexicon updates now, but it's (fair warning!) a whole lot of work. Even so, it might be time for it to be somebody else's turn.

The Plan, Such As It Is
The current to-do list is here. I'll start by adding more terms like "Bandersnatch" to that list, I guess, and then remove them from the list as the final definitions get added to the individual files in the repository.

hotdogPi
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Re: Life Lexicon update collection thread

Post by hotdogPi » November 25th, 2021, 8:08 pm

Patterns can probably be taken from the "patterns found in 2019/2020/2021" thread, with the exception of the U-turner and Octomino II which aren't there because they're not discoveries but can still be in the Lexicon. "Iwona active region" also seems to be the standard name for this object:

Code: Select all

x = 5, y = 2, rule = B3/S23
ob3o$2o!
In addition, "index fossil" is probably something that you're the best at describing.
User:HotdogPi/My discoveries

Periods discovered: 5-16,⑱,⑳G,㉑G,㉒㉔㉕,㉗-㉛,㉜SG,㉟,㊱,㊳S,㊵㊷㊹㊺㊽㊿,54G,55G,56,57G,60,62-66,70,72,74S,75,76S,80,84,90,96,100,102S,108,110,112,114G,116,117G,120,126G,128,138,147,154,156,180,196S,217,486,576

S: SKOP
G: gun

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Re: Life Lexicon update collection thread

Post by dvgrn » August 11th, 2022, 4:36 pm

Just looked at this again, and it had been a couple of years since I had even updated the to-do list for this project.

I'd like to get a new Lexicon release put together, not for the immediately upcoming Golly 4.2 release, but for Golly 4.3 whenever that happens.

"Ready-for-editing" candidate definitions
As usual, I'll be hoping that people can contribute complete definitions here that they think could be added to the Lexicon. Lists of terms that need to be defined, but aren't yet ... are not so terribly helpful, and therefore might not get much attention. I always end up doing lots of editing anyway, but it really speeds things up when I'm not starting from a blank page.

I think quite a lot of definitions can be copied and abridged straight from LifeWiki articles. However, there will clearly be a lot of arbitrary judgment calls this time around: the Lexicon is not the LifeWiki, and not every pattern documented in a LifeWiki article really needs a Lexicon definition.

What's Worth Including?
There are three general categories of new terms that I think should be included:

1) New terminology that probably didn't exist the last time a Lexicon release happened. These entries answer questions like "what does SKOP mean?" or "what is a DBCA?"
2) New large engineered objects that have names and are referred to regularly, but can't be displayed as an ASCII pattern. A good starting point is the POTY nominations list, so I've added 2020 and 2021 POTY nominees to the to-do list. Not all of them need Lexicon entries, of course, but some may inspire several entries. Examples: "DOGun SaGaQR", "SSOL", "Remini", "QuickSilver Demonoid". Conversely, if something didn't get a POTY nomination, it might not be getting discussed often enough to need a Lexicon entry (e.g., maybe a LifeWiki article is good enough).
3) New named objects that fit inside 64x64, that are likely to be used as components of larger constructions -- e.g., "Bandersnatch", "meatball", "speed tunnel", "Charity's p16". It's nice to have these kinds of things within reach of easy copy/pasting from within Golly, so it might be good to err slightly on the side of including more of these rather than less -- even though more complete information will almost inevitably be available in LifeWiki article form.

New HTML display functionality?
I haven't looked into this yet, but with the upcoming update in Golly 4.2 to use wxWebRequest instead of wxHTML (which was done to support https:// links) maybe there's something that could be done to improve the presentation of the Lexicon a bit further, especially getting a Find function working across all Lexicon text. Might be a forlorn hope, but once that change is in, it seems worth having a fresh look.

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Re: Life Lexicon update collection thread

Post by Book » August 11th, 2022, 4:59 pm

Lexicon appears to be used as an authoritative source for a lot of wiki info. My concern is how we avoid getting into a loop (the source for the wiki is lex which was sourced from the wiki which...).

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Re: Life Lexicon update collection thread

Post by dvgrn » August 11th, 2022, 5:11 pm

Book wrote:
August 11th, 2022, 4:59 pm
Lexicon appears to be used as an authoritative source for a lot of wiki info. My concern is how we avoid getting into a loop (the source for the wiki is lex which was sourced from the wiki which...).
It's probably not a huge problem in practice. The Life Lexicon had a 2006 edition, which was a major source of information for Nathaniel's original set of articles when the LifeWiki was created in 2009. That's bound to give the impression that the Life Lexicon is a source for LifeWiki information.

However, for topics that didn't exist in 2006, the LifeWiki article is very very likely to have come into existence long before the Life Lexicon entry. We could probably even make that be standard practice: anyone who wants a given Life Lexicon entry to exist, should start by making a LifeWiki article of the same name, or a redirect where appropriate.

The authoritative source will already have been documented in the LifeWiki article, and that reference information does not have to be copied into the Lexicon entry -- we can do short definitions in the Lexicon, with the understanding that more background, links to sources, etc., will be available in the corresponding LifeWiki article. I'll add something early on in the Lexicon Introduction page to point out that assumption.

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Re: Life Lexicon update collection thread

Post by hotdogPi » August 18th, 2022, 9:30 am

Null reaction: A reaction between two or more objects that has no net effect, as if the objects didn't react at all.

Index fossil: A rare object, or more rarely a methuselah or diehard, that almost always forms from the same seed of just a few small common objects surrounded by empty space. Given the object, you can typically tell how it formed because that's pretty much the only way it forms.

The term "fallback" is described quite well on the wiki.

Leading edge: The configuration of the front row of an active region. Usually, it is described as the number of cells, such as a two-cell leading edge, but nonconsecutive cells may require a more detailed description such as obo.

Partial result (already exists): add a paragraph saying "For high-period oscillators, partial results can also be the result of objects reappearing in the correct position but with perturbations that can't be made with sparks or catalysts and/or junk that can't be deleted."

apgcode: A way of uniquely identifying objects using short strings of text. While the code is not very human-readable, the prefix tells you what type of object it is.

Hensel notation: The primary way of notating range-1 Moore neighborhood isotropic non-totalistic rules.

Shield pentaplet: b3o$o3bo!
U-turner: 2o$ob2o$b3o$2b2o!, or anything in the same sequence
R-turner: bo$obo$o2bo$3bo$2b2o!, or anything in the same sequence
Iwona active region: ob3o$2o!, or anything in the same sequence
Sandwich: this sequence: b3o$o3bo$2o$2b3o!
Toast: this sequence: 3bo$b3o$o3bo!
Octomino II: bo$3o$ob2o$3bo!
Octomino II to glider: 3o$b3o$5b3o$5bo2bo$4bo$3bo!
User:HotdogPi/My discoveries

Periods discovered: 5-16,⑱,⑳G,㉑G,㉒㉔㉕,㉗-㉛,㉜SG,㉟,㊱,㊳S,㊵㊷㊹㊺㊽㊿,54G,55G,56,57G,60,62-66,70,72,74S,75,76S,80,84,90,96,100,102S,108,110,112,114G,116,117G,120,126G,128,138,147,154,156,180,196S,217,486,576

S: SKOP
G: gun

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Re: Life Lexicon update collection thread

Post by Book » August 18th, 2022, 3:55 pm

How about a def for "active region"?

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