Reordering superblanks

From Apertium
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Currently there is a major problem with how formatting / superblanks interacts with word/chunk reordering in Apertium.

If the input is

<a id="foobar" href="">Foo <b>bar</b>.</a>

and we want to reorder the words, we currently only reorder the words, and don't touch (or even look at) the blanks, since we don't want to mess up the html, so the output becomes

<a id="foobar" href="">Бар <b>фоо</b>.</a>

but now the bold has shifted from source word "bar" to the target word that was "foo" in the input.

Ideally, the output should be

<a id="foobar" href=""><b>Бар</b> фоо.</a>


All language pairs do this kind of thing:

$ echo '<i>Perro</i> <b>blanco</b>' |apertium es-en -f html
<i>White</i> <b>dog</b>

And those that don't, will at some point mess up whatever formatting they're given.

The problem is not only that we bold or italicise the wrong word, but also that it limits any possibility of accurately finding out which words were reordered during translation. This kind of reordering information would be useful for systems like Mediawiki's Content Translation (see discussion).

A more serious problem, noted by User:Mlforcada and galaxyfeeder in this discussion, is that tags that are in a valid order in t1x can still be moved around inside chunks in t2x, e.g.

input:       <i>foo<i> <b>bar fum</b> fie
after t1x:  [<i>]^SN{^foo<adj>$[<i> <b>]^bar<n>$}$ ^SV{^fum<adv>$[</b> ]^fie<vblex>$}$
after t2x:  [<i>]^SV{^fum<adv>$[</b> ]^fie<vblex>$}$ ^SN{^foo<adj>$[<i> <b>]^bar<n>$}$

The t2x rules may have completely "correct" blank handling in that they output all input superblanks in the correct order, but they have no way of looking at the blanks that are inside the chunks, so they reorder them wrongly.

Possible solution

User:Tino Didriksen's post at outlines a solution:

For each format, we need a list of inline tags; for HTML this would include <b>, <i> and so on.

Other tags, like <p> are treated similarly to before, but inline tags stick with their words:

Given input string "<p><b><i>My sister lives</i> <u>in Wales</u></b></p>" you turn that into

    My <b><i>
    sister <b><i>
    lives <b><i>
    in <b><u>
    Wales <b><u>

Now on outputting, we can just put the inline tags on each word – this might mean some tags are unnecessarily duplicated, but that should be fine.

What we need to support something like this in Apertium:

  1. Each deformatter needs a list of which tags need the inline treatment
  2. Deformatters have to turn <p><b><i>foo</i> bar</b></p> into something like [<p>][{<b><i>}]foo [{<b>}]bar[</p>]
    • Can it be as simple as [{}] or does it have to be more complicated? As it is, {} is escaped in regular superblanks, so an unescaped {} inside [] would have special meaning.
    • Also, reformatters need to distribute the tags again; preferably merging consecutive identical tags, although that's probably not too important.
  3. Pretransfer will have to distribute the tags as well, so [{<i>}]^foo<vblex>+bar<prn># fie$ turns into [{<i>}]^foo# fie<vblex>$ [{<i>}]^bar<prn>$
  4. Transfer modules have to treat the inline-blanks differently from other superblanks
    • A one-pattern rule will have zero superblanks, but one inline-blank. A two-pattern rule will have one superblank and two inline-blanks, etc.
    • Inline blanks should not be in <b pos="N"/> elements, but be part of the <clip>
      • For example: <clip pos="2" part="blank"/> where "blank" is a special part (similar to lemh/lemq/whole/tags) and using "blank" as a def-attr leads to a compile-time error.
      • Note that if a word is deleted, we should be fine; removing an inline blank will not mess up HTML etc.
  5. Transfer modules should ignore <b pos="N"/> elements, outputting non-inline blanks before rules
    • To deal with the t2x/chunk-reordering issue mentioned above, <b pos="N"/> should no longer output anything. Any non-inline superblanks that are between patterns (ie. the stuff that would go in the b element) should be output before the rule. This would remove the whole issue since now only inline-blanks are allowed in chunks.
    • This would also deal with the issue mentioned by Sergio that transfer rule writers forget to output b elements, or output them in the wrong order.