WeSay really wants to focus on gathering data. It really doesn’t want to become a full-powered dictionary layout system. Ideally, there would be an invisible, friction-free means of getting a simple dictionary printout at the click of a button, and customized one with a couple clicks. And perhaps a third, ultra-flexible, standards-based, high-end dictionary publisher where that is called for.

So we’d have:

A. Useful for everyday WeSay users, with no training.
B. Good enough for final publication of many projects, with a little training or computer savvy.
C. Powerful enough for any project, perhaps needing a specialist.

These three scenarios are all now in the works from various SIL software teams, and I’ll blog about them as they become available to WeSay users.

Today, I’m please to update you on #2, the growing interoperability of WeSay and Lexique Pro. Lexique Pro is a highly-regarded, free dictionary tool for MS Windows. From the LP web site:

Lexique Pro is an interactive lexicon viewer and editor, with hyperlinks between entries, category views, dictionary reversal, search, and export tools. It’s designed to display your data in a user-friendly format so you can distribute it to others.

Starting with version 3, LP can directly read the LIFT-standard XML files which WeSay uses. No need to go through the “standard format” or “MDF” first.

Starting with version 0.5 (our current development track), opening your dictionary with Lexique Pro got really easy:
Open in Lexique Pro button

You can get the latest WeSay here. Lexique Pro 3.0 is currently a beta, available here. With the 31 Oct beta of LP, at least, there are a number of things still to be worked out, but I expect we’ll see first-rate LIFT-based printing in LP this year.

Technical details

When you click this button, WeSay actually writes out a modified form of your LIFT file to the “exports” subdirectory of you WeSay project. While it is still compliant LIFT, some preprocessing is done to help printing programs show the right things. For example, homograph numbers are computed, headwords calculated, and any fields you have turned off for the current user are stripped from this file. We refer to this kind of file as “PLIFT” for “publication” lift.