User avatar
Mequa
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:54 pm
Location: England
Contact: Website

New Raspberry Pi app: Wisdom of the Epicurean Philosophers

Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:35 pm

Now for something a little different in terms of Raspberry Pi software.

I've recently created a philosophy-based app (one version in C++ with GTK, another in Java 6+ using Swing), which presents some selected portions and quotes from ancient Epicurean philosophers. It can display quotes at random as well as navigate through them.

Included are selected portions from (modernised public domain translations of) the works of Epicurus, Democritus (as an important precursor), Diogenes Laërtius, Cicero, as well as a bit of Thomas Jefferson's writing on Epicureanism. All have been formatted into bite-sized quotes, in addition to allowing portions of these works to be read sequentially and navigated.

Expect more to come from this in updates, in both content and software features. It's a completely free and open source project and will remain free to use, with no restrictions. I hope this provides some food for thought as well as educational value, and perhaps even some personally helpful information.

Download Raspberry Pi native version
Download Java desktop version

The Raspberry Pi native version has already been submitted to the Pi Store (under Media), pending approval.

Both versions are confirmed working on Raspbian, although naturally the native version launches much faster. Simply extract the archive and run the "wisdomexplorer" binary inside the folder which also contains the "sayings.txt" content file.

The Java version also runs on any PC (Windows or Linux) or Mac. Source code (and build scripts) is also included in both archives.

Also planned are a Web-based version which runs in a browser, and versions for tablets and smartphones (e.g. Android).
Last edited by Mequa on Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Mequa
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:54 pm
Location: England
Contact: Website

Re: New Raspberry Pi app: Wisdom of the Epicurean Philosophe

Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:07 pm

Screencap of Raspberry Pi version, running on Raspbian:

Image

From the Pi Store submission:

Tagline:
Ancient yet very modern wisdom for living a happy life.


Key Features:
- Explore selected and modernised portions of public domain translations of the work of ancient Epicurean philosophers, in addition to both ancient and modern commentators.

- Explore selected portions of the work of important precursors to this philosophical school, such as quotations of Democritus.

- Display a quote at random, from the entire available content or a specific section.

- Navigate through portions of the included content sequentially, and skip across sections.

- Undo and Redo functionality for navigating through content, whether viewed sequentially or random.



Again, I hope this free app will have serious educational merit, not only outside of the traditional STEM fields the Raspberry Pi is primarily aimed it, but also of historical interest to students of STEM fields, given the undisputed status of Democritus and Epicurus as early scientists. Democritus (c. 400 B.C.E) first formulated the theory of the atom, and Epicurus (c. 300 B.C.E) was responsible for introducing the concept of physical indeterminacy to physics, anticipating modern quantum theory.

Without the ancient Greek natural philosophers, there would be no Isaac Newton, who famously said that "If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants."

This free app aims to make the advice of these ancient luminaries on living a happy life, as also inspired modern evidence-based psychotherapists such as Albert Ellis, more accessible to a modern audience.

Available now for your Raspberry Pi.


Mequa

toxibunny
Posts: 1382
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:21 pm

Re: New Raspberry Pi app: Wisdom of the Epicurean Philosophe

Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:45 pm

cheers!
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

User avatar
Mequa
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:54 pm
Location: England
Contact: Website

Re: New Raspberry Pi app: Wisdom of the Epicurean Philosophe

Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:03 pm

My neighbour just came round and tried this out. She informed me that this very much compliments her mindfulness meditation practice, which although very helpful can stop one thinking if over-done. This will definitely get your brain firing on all cylinders. So for anyone interested in really getting the most of this app, I can recommend some kind of mindfulness meditation to compliment it. :)

Despite the fact that I plan to add a lot more content, in addition to more software features (including improving the text input format), I made the decision to push the Pi Store release directly to "Finished" rather than "In Progress". This of course also includes the source code and build script (it uses GTK, so the requisite development packages will need to be installed if you want to build it yourself).

It's a relatively simple app and has been rigorously tested for bugs, and already has enough features and content to already be considered "Store Quality" in my assessment. I'll add further updates later with some major enhancements. Of course, there's no need to wait for a Pi Store release, it's available to download now.

I'm not sure how long this will take to be approved for the Pi Store, as I think it would make a good addition to the Pi Store as a free app. As with the Java version which uses the same content file, I made sure to only use content from public domain translations from the Greek and Latin (including some with expired copyright) to avoid any copyright issues, linking where I got it from online and crediting the original translators in an included readme.txt file, before making a few edits for readability purposes (as well as excising some misleading religious language and sexist renderings from the original translations).

As far as I am aware, the content of this is family friendly enough. It's up to the Pi Store crew to review it for suitability. It's as simple enough as reading the included sayings.txt plain text file.

I may run into a few issues there though if I later decide to include some excerpts from the Roman Epicurean poet Lucretius. He makes some very frank references to sex as well as some rather misogynistic remarks. So for a future release I might have to make some very tough decisions for this project between bowdlerising the text and compromising on family friendliness. Not an easy one to decide...

User avatar
Mequa
Posts: 172
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:54 pm
Location: England
Contact: Website

Re: New Raspberry Pi app: Wisdom of the Epicurean Philosophe

Fri May 08, 2015 11:50 pm

A web-based version of this app (coded in HTML/JavaScript) is available to run from a browser here. It works fine on Web / Epiphany on the R.Pi.

That makes 3 versions of this app available, coded in 3 languages, all of which run on all models of the Raspberry Pi.

The native version has the advantage of launching instantly from the desktop on Raspbian (as well as other Linux distros), and is extremely lightweight.

Due to administrative issues, the Pi Store download is not available. I've not heard back from IndieCity regarding this.

Return to “Other projects”