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Written by la tsani:

What is cmavlasisku

I thought today that a small terminal-based lojban dictionary would be useful. It's just a simple .NET application that fetches a vlasisku page and parses the HTML into text in the terminal.


The program currently features defining any single lojban valsi. Also, listing the contents of a selma'o is possible (although it quickly fills the terminal window). In order to save on space, the contents of the "in notes" section of a search is not shown (or even parsed). It is also possible to search by English gloss word (gloss phrases are not yet supported).

Prospective plans

Perhaps a GUI version will spin off of cmavlasisku. If so, I'm already thinking about making it as a quiet service that'll wait for a hotkey combination before spawning a small form with a textbox in it for searching.

Quick start guide

First, copy the contents of the archive to any folder located within the %PATH% variable (C:\Windows is perfect, but if you feel unsafe in doing so, you can look up how to modify %PATH%).

Next, just open up cmd.exe (the lazy method is just pressing Win+R, typing cmd, and hitting enter).

Then, type cmavlasisku sidju. This will list all the available commands that cmavlasisku handles.

To define a lojban word, use the "valsi" command.

To list the cmavo of a selma'o, use the "selma'o" command followed by the selma'o (use standard selma'o notation, otherwise this will fail).

To search by English gloss word, use the "glico" command.

To search by rafsi, just use the "rafsi" command.

All of these commands can take any number of arguments. For instance, typing "cmavlasisku selma'o ZAhO LE NU BY" will effectively list the contents of each selma'o (pipe the output to more, unless you enjoy scrolling in consoles).


The instructions are in Lojban and so is most of the text used in the program.

It is possible to run cmavlasisku from the run box directly, but the debugmode option must be on. To turn on debugmode, call cmavlasisku.exe with the "debug on" parameters ("debug off" will hence turn off debugmode). Currently, debugmode simply causes a keypress to be required as the program terminates. If debugmode is off and cmavlasisku is called from the run window, a console with the response to the query will just open and close very quickly.

The program may be found here.