Simon builds his own RiveScript Editor

Simon has been working on a RiveScript Editor for creating chat bots. RiveScript is a markup language, that gives chat bots the ability to respond to messages from humans using natural human language. This project will involve server side programming, which means that Simon will have to go through the whole process of hosting it on Heroku once he’s finished. So far, he decided to give himself a break in the middle of programming the syntax highlighting, which he found a little too much boring work, so not sure whether the editor will ever be published. In any case, Simon has got quite far and the interface looks good.

Simon has already built three chat bots using RiveScript online editor and Atom.



Analysis and generation of text-based data. What else to do on vacation?

During the vacation, Simon worked on several programming projects playing with language and grammar, from Daniel Shiffman’s Programming from A to Z course at New York University. Those included creating a new context free grammar sentence generator, using a markov chain in a Google form, creating a diastic machine with JQuery and making a regular expressions tester in JavaScript.







Another great date

imageimageimageimageWe are growing fond of our new friends who, just like us, have moved from The Netherlands to Belgium to homeschool their kids. It’s for the first time ever that Steven and I don’t feel like we have to explain ourselves or our unconditional respect for our children’s individual choices, the freedom that we raise them in or their giftedness.


Japanese Project

imageSimon has this recurring interest in Japanese, although he is not officially learning it. It began with him learning the whole Katakana alfabet at age 4, all by himself and in just a few days. Ever since then he’s got his relapses. Last Friday he all of a sudden came up with a project to make Japanese number posters. He designed them himself, looking up the “spelling” in both Katakana and Hiragana (it was a lot of work looking for the modified characters).


On having a best friend


Simon’s best friend from Amsterdam came over to visit for two days, the only true friend who loves Simon dearly and whose friendship has already endured the distance and months of being apart. That is a lot when you’re 6 or 7. I watched them play together a lot. Even though Simon doesn’t seem to have developed the same ability to truly miss someone (of this he admits himself), I know this “having a best friend” holds a special place somewhere deep inside him and is important for him in its own way.

Probably the most exciting part of the visit was going to Het Steen, the oldest building in Antwerp, where there was a dark room for experimenting with light.