Lexeduct

You can try Lexeduct live in your web browser here: Lexeduct Online

"this is not a wheel I've re-invented before"

Lexeduct is an experimental framework for text-processing pipelines, written in Javascript, usable both on the console under Node.js, and in a web browser.

It is currently a work in progress. The framework and usage and everything is subject to change without notice. The version number is nominally 0.1-PRE; there is not yet a released version.

Being a framework, Lexeduct inevitably handles some use cases well, and other use cases poorly. See the "Limitations" section below for more details.

The name "Lexeduct" is in analogy with "aqueduct": conduits for words intead of water.

Basic Usage

The main tool is lexeduct.js. You can cd into the src directory and run it as ./lexeduct.js, or you can put the src directory on your executable search path, for example like

export PATH=$PATH:/path/to/lexeduct/src

and run it as lexeduct.js from anywhere on your system. (YMMV on Windows.)

The basic usage is

lexeduct.js {param=value|transformer-name}

So, for example,

$ echo 'Hello!' | lexeduct.js upper
HELLO

Parameters can be given with the syntax name=value before the name of the transformer they are to be applied to:

$ echo 'Hello' | lexeduct.js chars=e remove-chars
Hllo

You can of course use shell pipelines to compose transformers:

$ echo 'Hello!' | lexeduct.js upper | lexeduct.js chars=' ' insert-chars
H E L L O !

Or you can name multiple transformers on lexeduct.js's command line to compose them:

$ echo 'Hello!' | lexeduct.js upper chars=' ' insert-chars
H E L L O !

Multiple transformers are applied left-to-right.

$ echo 'Hello!' | lexeduct.js chars=a insert-chars upper
HAEALALAOA!A

$ echo 'Hello!' | lexeduct.js upper chars=a insert-chars
HaEaLaLaOa!a

Transformers

The idea is that this repository will eventually contain a giant catalogue of possible text transformers that can be composed. Or at least, more than are presently included.

Each transformer is in a seperate Javascript file in the src/transformers directory which exports, node-style, a single function called makeTransformer which takes a configuration object and returns a transformer function. The transformer function takes two arguments: the current string to process, and (optionally) an object which can be used to store ancillary state. Every transformer function should return either a string, or null (not yet supported), or an array of strings (not yet supported.)

The module may also export a couple of other things, like an English description of the transformer, and the possible configuration options. For a reasonably simple example, see the source of the upper transformer, in upper.js.

State deposited into the state object is shared by all transformers, so it's a good idea to choose a key that you think will probably be unique.

In-Browser Version

Run ./make.sh from this directory (or the commands it contains) to generate a Javascript file which contains all the available transformers in a format suitable for loading in an HTML document.

Then open demo/lexeduct.html in your browser. It provides a UI for composing these transformers and applying them to text provided in a textarea.

Acknowledgements

Lexeduct was partly inspired by, and is partly a product of parallel evolution resembling, Michael Paulukonis's TextMunger. It is also indebted to various and sundry discussion with him, and others on the GenerativeText Forum, particularly John Ohno.