mitcho Michael 芳貴 Erlewine

Postdoctoral fellow, McGill Linguistics.


Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo’

日本語サポートを含む Ubiquity 0.5 リリース

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Mozilla Japan ブログUbiquity を紹介する投稿を上げたので、ここでもクロスポストします。 Here’s a cross-post of a Ubiquity 0.5 announcement (in particular regarding the new Japanese support) I wrote for the Mozilla Japan blog.

Mozilla Labs の実験的プロジェクトのひとつ、 Ubiquity の最新版、バージョン 0.5 を昨日リリースしました。 (Mozilla Labs 正式発表 [英文])

Ubiquity はウェブをより有益に、より使いやすくするために自然言語で Firefox を操作するインターフェースを提供します。ウェブ上のオープン API と機能が増えて行く一方でどのようなインターフェースが必要であるのか。その答えを追求した結果、テキスト入力の正確さとスピードと自然言語の心地よさを合わせたインターフェースができあがりました。例えば「麹町を地図で表示」、「これを (誰々) へメール」などを自分の言葉で入力してブラウザを操作することができます。新しいコマンド (動詞) も簡単に JavaScript で書けるので、拡張性も非常に高いプラットフォームです。

ユーザにとって「自然な構文」 (“natural syntax” [英文]) という目標の下、数ヶ月の研究の結果、Ubiquity 0.5 では複数の言語の異なる構文に対応できるパーサを実装しました。Ubiquity 内蔵のコマンドもローカライズ可能になり、0.5 ではすべての内蔵コマンドの日本語、デンマーク語とポルトガル語版が搭載されています。

リリース直前に Ubiquity の日本語紹介ビデオを作成しましたので、どうぞご覧ください。日本語モードでの使用方法も説明されています。

Ubiquity 0.5 日本語紹介ビデオ from mitcho on Vimeo.

日本語サポートが入った Ubiquity 0.5 を是非ご使用ください。このインターフェースをより多くのユーザが「自然に」使えるよう、これからも開発を続けていきたいと思います。

Ubiquity presentation at Tokyo 2.0

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009


This past Monday I presented at Tokyo 2.0, Japan’s largest bilingual web/tech community. I presented as part of a session on The Web and Language, which I also helped organize. Other presenters included Junji Tomita from goo Labs, Shinjyou Sunao of Knowledge Creation, developers of the Voice Delivery System API, and Chris Salzberg of Global Voices Online on community translation.

I just put together a video of my Ubiquity presentation, mixing the audio recorded live at the presentation together with a screencast of my slides for better visibility. The presentation is 10 minutes long and is bilingual, English and Japanese.

Ubiquity: Command the Web with Language 言葉で操作する Web from mitcho on Vimeo.


Notes from BarCamp Tokyo 2009

Monday, May 18th, 2009

This past Saturday was Tokyo BarCamp 2009 at Sun’s Yoga offices. I of course gave a presentation on Ubiquity and our recent localization efforts, including Parser 2. As you can see, I signed up quickly:

CC-BY-NC iMorpheus

Here are the slides I used in that session. There are two “demo” sections in the slides… the first was a simple demo of Ubiquity 0.1.x showing off the translate, map, and edit-page commands. The second demo was of Ubiquity Parser 2 and showing off how little code it takes to add your language to Ubiquity with Parser 2.


Attachment Ambiguity—or—when is the gyudon cheap?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009


Every day on the way to work I walk by a fine establishment known as [[Yoshinoya]] (吉野家), Japan’s largest gyudon (牛丼) chain restaurant. For those of you whose lives have yet to be graced by [[gyudon]], it’s a bowl of rice topped with beef and onions stewed in a sweet-savory soy-based sauce. Loving gyudon and being a cheapskate, I naturally noticed the recent 50 yen off gyudon promotion at Yoshinoya. The above photo is a photo of part of that sign.

Part of this sign, though, made me think about our new Ubiquity parser. In particular, it was the attachment ambiguity in the end date of the promotion. The text in the photo above literally is “April 15th (Wed.) 8PM until”. (Note that Japanese is a strongly head-final language, and that the “until” is a postposition.) There are two possible readings for this expression, as illustrated by the two [[principle of compositionality|composition]] trees below.


Talking Ubiquity in Japan: 拡張機能勉強会にて発表

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Yesterday I presented on Ubiquity internationalization and the new parser design at the Mozilla Extension Development Meeting (Japanese), a community event organized by some extension developers in Japan. There were a couple other Ubiquity-related “lightning talks” as well, so I’ll summarize some of the interesting ideas from those talks below.

昨日第11回Mozilla拡張機能勉強会で Ubiquity の国際化と次世代パーサについて発表してきました。色々鋭いコメントをいただき、僕も良い勉強になりました。^^ スライドの方をslideshareに載せたので、是非参考にまた見てみてください。ライトニングトークでも Ubiquity の話で盛り上がったので、そのLTの内容で特に面白いと僕が思ったものを下に英語でちょっとまとめてみます。



Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Went to Tokyo 2.0 last night to hear about [[OpenSocial]] and De facto resident photographer Jim Grisanzio got a nice pic of me. ^^

Creative Commons License photo credit: jimgris

Ichifuku ramen—一福ラーメン

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

About two doors down from my new place is a restaurant serving [[ramen]] (ラーメン, derived from the Chinese 拉麵), a distinctive type of noodle. Ramen noodles are wheat-based but crucially use kansui (鹹水), a mineral-rich water.1 This water colors the noodles yellow and helps add a certain firmness to the noodles. The noodles can be served in a variety or different ways (with regional variations as well), but it is most often served in a [[miso]]-, soy sauce-, pork broth-, or salt-based soup.

The store down the street is called ichifuku (一福). Not only is it one of the closest restaurants to my house, it’s also been featured on a number of ramen restaurants and websites. The store is known for its delicious miso ramen but also for its more creative, Western-style arrangements. The female shopkeeper is often running everything by herself, gardening out front as well as cooking and playing great music.

Here are some pictures of the great food they serve:

If you ever come by the Hatsudai area, I highly recommend a visit. The address is: 東京都渋谷区本町6−6−4.

  1. NB: Kansui in Japanese refers to a specific type of solution, while the same word in Chinese simply means “salt water.” 

My Palace Mansion

Monday, August 18th, 2008

I’m certainly not the first one who’s noticed that Japanese apartment buildings often have weird English names (I can think of [[Tony László]] in one of the [[Is He Turning Japanese%3F|ダーリンは外国人]] books.) In fact, I moved into my very own “Palace Mansion” myself a couple weeks ago. No, really. That’s the name of the place.

A mansion? By Japanese standards, yes.1 A palace? Um… not quite. Take a look—here are some pictures from my move-in.


  1. マンション (“mansion”) in Japanese actually refers to an apartment complex of at least a certain size. It’s an instance of [[wasei-eigo|和製英語]]—English-sounding words in the Japanese lexicon which, for some reason or another, do not actually exist or mean the same thing in English.