Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Interesting idea for a Java project

Today I came across an interesting idea for a Java project : Shorthand (speedwriting) applications.

It's a relatively simple concept, but it's an interesting idea from a programming perspective as it will test your string manipulation expertise and give you good exercise in arrays! Also, I bet not a lot of kids are going to be doing something like this, and it's really quite fun to test out the program on various shorthand and speedwriting concepts.

So, how does shorthand work ? It's basically a way of writing down words quickly while taking notes and is mostly used by secretaries, typists, writers and journalists. There are many shorthand and speedwriting systems, but almost all of them have the same common principles. Of course, the following section won't be hard for MXIT freaks to understand!

Shrthnd sa wy f rtng smtng na shrtr wy tht s fstr ltho nt qte s isy t ndrstnd.

Shorthand is a way of writing something in a shorter way that is faster although not quite as easy to understand.

Phew! So where's the programming exercise then ? Well, why don't you write a simple program that will identify common words in a text file and shorten them, thereby creating a list of shorthand words someone can study so that they can write faster. Then write a counter-program that will extract words from a text file and expand them back to their proper form, highlighting words it did not understand as it goes along.

This project can easily make use of a database for storing and retrieving words (shortened and expanded) and could very well be sold to a few clients as well!

Try searching the Net for shorthand and speedwriting to get more ideas on how these methods work. This is also a very nice idea for a research project as it's sure to draw the attention of your teacher as being a unique effort!