Authors Comments, August 2007, following availability of EasyReader Version II
I started EasyReader in the year 2000 to help some American friends who had been studying Irish on their own. EasyReader began as it was meant to be, a simple tool to speed up dictionary queries and equally tedious grammar references, during our one-a-week reading sessions which on average would cover only a few pages of text in a couple of hours.
I was well into the joys and leisure of retirement at the time, and I did not realize what lay ahead if EasyReader were to be a useful product beyong the original scope. One of the facts I discovered early on was that programming concerns rather than the Irish language part were my biggest problems. Not only the program itself (including, e.g., the provision of ER facilities to other programs, such as MS Word, Email, Web Browsers as well,) but related activities, the design and maintenance of a website, various and sundry marketing and sales activities, travelling, seeking advice, etc. A basic hope of mine during the first few years of EasyReader availability was that there would be some contribution, particulaly in the area of dictionary and thesaurus, from program users. ER had provisions for users to add words, phrases, and idioms to their own copy of the ER data base, and collect their additions for forwarding to email@example.com There they would be edited, incorporated into the master database, and made available in frequent downloads to all users.
This first version of EasyReader was published in February 2004.
EasyReader VersionII was published August 2007. In this Version (with updates), the number of dictionary entries has more than doubled. New features have been added, including a comprehensive Help section. And as promised when EasyReader Version I was announced, it has been made available to current users by download from Irishforlife.com/updates for free.
With the availability of Version II, my plea is still the same, a request to users to keep the words and phrases coming, particularly the type phrases that are not the word-for-word direct translation from the English, but ones which describe life the Irish way. (This will add value of the search tool which now accepts an Irish word(s) or English word(s) as input and will display all phrases that contains the word(s).) Thesame request goes for user-detected errors. Being a one-man operation, the perils of being one's own editor are increasingly better appreciated by me.
The goal is to have a product which does not need my personal involvement. The structures are now in place to have this happen in the near future and with the cooperation of users, EasyReader may indeed reach the goal of becoming a lifetime tool.
Bua agus Beannacht,
Bethesda, MD, USA