Beginner's Workbook in
TREE DRAWING PRETTY
COMPARISON || NYU VANILLA || LEHNER || KOSTKO || VINCENT
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The book Natural Language Computing: An English Generative Grammar In Prolog, by Ray C. Dougherty, is an introduction to the basic ideas of linguistics and an introduction to the symbolic processing language Prolog. It provides detailed information on how to use Prolog to encode the data structures one finds in the morphology, syntax, and semantics of human languages.
The book contains an IBM compatible 3.5 inch disk containing a Prolog interpreters for IBM PC and Macintosh, plus all of the programs in the book. If you insert the disk into drive A: or B: and type A:INSTALL (or B:INSTALL), it automatically loads all of the Prolog materials into your computer so that you can run the programs discussed on these pages. The book is an introduction for people unfamiliar with linguistics, grammar, and symbolic processing languages
If you feel confident in using decompression utilities, setting up your own directory structures, and installing the programs, then all of the materials on the disk are also available on this site for download via a modem.
All of the software on these pages may be downloaded and used by anyone. Some of these software projects represent a lot of work by one or more people, perhaps working over years. Why would anyone give away their work?
Is the free software, particularly Lisp and Prolog compilers and interpreters, as good as the software you pay hard earned cash for? Usually it is excellent, but has zero frills. Most commercial packages have editors, graphics, debuggers, and so on that greatly decrease the frustrations of programmers. The edit-Prolog-edit loop is much simpler in professional products. Commerical products usually make more efficient use of memory, crash less often, and offer a variety of printing options.
I have tried and used an evaluation copy of LPA Prolog (by Artificial Intelligence International) on the IBM PC and was very impressed with its power, speed, convenience, editing capacities, and graphics abilities. I have not tried any other commerical products for the IBM or Apple. If you are looking for an excellent Prolog, you would be happy with LPA Prolog.
At New York University, each student has an account on the Academic Computing Facilities UNIX or ULTRIX machines. Normally students do their work in Quintus. Many, however, like to work using laptops or at home. These use the IBM and Macintosh software. Advanced undergraduates and graduate students working with Prof. Dougherty can use the exotic equipment at the Innovation Center.
As Mae West said: "I've been rich, and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better." Undoubtedly the best is to work on a university maintained UNIX machine running Quintus. There are lots of consultants around to help. But you can do a lot with less.
If you find any of the materials here useful, please include a pointer to the site on your pages or in your work.