It’s recently occurred to me that, while I’ve been busy being a good thesis student – researching, reading, talking, experimenting- I’ve completely neglected to document any of my thoughts or findings online. Bad ITP student!

So here was last week’s experiment, the Email to text message converter.

I’ve been taking what I’m calling the “Ze Frank” approach to my thesis. That is, every week I’m doing at least one mini-project related to my topic. So far it’s been fun! I’ll post all of the others in a bit, but this one was also a weekly assignment for Daniel Shiffman’s Programming A to Z class that’s due tomorrow.

It’s not very robust yet, as you can see it’s only really looking for a few different words or phrases that I normally use. The idea is to be able to write an email to someone and have it converted into an SMS. Or, rather, have the language shortened and converted to a style that’s acceptible for text messaging.

I’ve noticed a lot of email to sms apps popping up on the web lately, and I think it’s funny how much they’ve missed the point. Also earlier this week when my phone was disconnected I found myself stuck a few times emailing my sister’s phone, which is essentially the same thing as sending a text message. I realized that you simply can’t write an sms message the way that you write an email. There’s the physical constraints (small screen size) and then there’s just the difference in acceptible content for one medium over the other. I also did this because it’s interesting for me to think about what stylistically separates different types of communication, and the differences in etiquette.

I’ve really been enjoying Daniel’s class, dispite the fact that most of what we’re doing goes way over my head, and the best I can usually do is modify and tweak his example code. Not that that really matters. Hopefully, I’ll just be able to come up with some ineteresting things and, should the need arise, I’ll be able to do some textual analysis type stuff should my thesis end up calling for that.

Here was this week’s class assignment too. You know, since I’m already here and all. It reads a text input, counts the number of acronyms in the text and then rates the author’s nerdiness. Can’t wait to get some ITPers blogs running through this thing.