GATE Version 4.0 release (July 2007)
1. Major new features
ANNotations In Context: a full-featured annotation indexing and retrieval system designed to support corpus querying and JAPE rule authoring. It is provided as part of an extention of the Serial Datastores, called Searchable Serial Datastore (SSD) (details).
1.2. New machine learning API
A brand new machine learning layer specifically targetted at NLP tasks including text classification, chunk learning (e.g. for named entity recognition) and relation learning (details).
1.3. Ontology API
Ontology-based Corpus Annotation Tool to help annotators to manually annotate documents using ontologies (details).
1.5. Alignment Tools
A new set of components (e.g. CompoundDocument, AlignmentEditor etc.) that help in building alignment tools and in carrying out cross-document processing (details).
1.6. New HTML Parser
1.7. Java 5.0 support
GATE now requires Java 5.0 or later to compile and run. This brings a number of benefits:
- Java 5.0 syntax is now available on the right hand side of JAPE rules with the default Eclipse compiler (details).
- enum types are now supported for resource parameters. see here for details on defining the parameters of a resource.
- AnnotationSet and the CreoleRegister take advantage of generic types. The AnnotationSet interface is now an extension of Set<Annotation> rather than just Set, which should make for cleaner and more type-safe code when programming to the API, and the CreoleRegister now uses parameterized types, which are backwards-compatible but provide better type-safety for new code.
2. Other new features and improvements
- Hiding the view for a particular resource (by right clicking on its tab and selecting "Hide this view") will now completely close the associated viewers and dispose them. Re-selecting the same resource at a later time will lead to re-creating the necessary viewers and displaying them. This has two advantages: firstly it offers a mechanism for disposing views that are not needed any more without actually closing the resource and secondly it provides a way to refresh the view of a resource in the situations where it becomes corrupted.
- The DataStore viewer now allows multiple selections. This lets users load or delete an arbitrarily large number of resources in one operation.
- The Corpus editor has been completely overhauled. It now allows re-ordering of documents as well as sorting the document list by either index or document name.
- Support has been added for resource parameters of type gate.FeatureMap, and it is also possible to specify a default value for parameters whose type is Collection, List or Set (details).
- (Feature Request 1446642) After several requests, a mechanism has been added to allow overriding of GATE's document format detection routine. A new creation-time parameter mimeType has been added to the standard document implementation, which forces a document to be interpreted as a specific MIME type and prevents the usual detection based on file name extension and other information (details).
- A capability has been added to specify arbitrary sets of additional features on individual gazetteer entries. These features are passed forward into the Lookup annotations generated by the gazetteer (details).
- As an alternative to the Google plugin, a new plugin called yahoo has been added to GATE to allow users to submit their query to the Yahoo search engine and to load the found pages as GATE documents (details).
- It is now easier to run a corpus pipeline over a single document in the GATE GUI -- documents now provide a right-click menu item to create a singleton corpus containing just this document (details).
- A new interface has been added that lets PRs receive notification at the start and end of execution of their containing controller. This is useful for PRs that need to do cleanup or other processing after a whole corpus has been processed (details).
- The GATE GUI does not call System.exit() any more when it is closed. Instead an effort is made to stop all active GATE threads and to release all GUI resources, which leads to the JVM exiting gracefully. This is particularly useful when GATE is embedded in other systems as closing the main GATE window will not kill the JVM process any more.
- The set of AnnotationSchemas that used to be included in the core gate.jar and laoded as builtins have now been moved to the ANNIE plugin. When the plugin is loaded, the default annotation schemas are instantiated automatically and are available when doing manual annotation.
- There is now support in creole.xml files for automatically creating instances of a resource that are hidden (i.e. do not show in the GUI). One example of this can be seen in the creole.xml file of the ANNIE plugin where the default annotation schemas are defined.
- A couple of helper classes have been added to assist in using GATE within a Spring application (details).
- Improvements have been made to the thread-safety of some internal GATE components, which mean that it is now safe to create resources in multiple threads (though it is not safe to use the same resource instance in more than one thread). This is a big advantage when using GATE in a multithreaded environment, such as a web application (details).
- Plugins can now provide custom icons for their PRs and LRs in the plugin JAR file (details).
- It is now possible to override the default location for the saved session file using a system property (details).
- The TreeTagger plugin supports a system property to specify the location of the shell interpreter used for the tagger shell script. In combination with Cygwin this makes it much easier to use the tagger on Windows (details).
- The Buchart plugin has been removed; it is superseded by SUPPLE. The probability finder plugin has also been removed, as it is no longer maintained.
- The bootstrap wizard now creates a basic plugin that builds with Ant. Since a Unix-style make command is no longer required this means that the generated plugin will build on Windows without needing Cygwin or MinGW.
- The GATE source code has moved from CVS into Subversion. See here for details of how to check out the code from the new repository.
- An optional parameter, keepOriginalMarkupsAS, has been added to the DocumentReset PR which allows users to decide whether to keep the Original Markups AS or not while reseting the document (details).
3. Bug fixes and optimizations
- The Morphological Analyser has been optimized. A new FSM based, although with minor alteration to the basic FSM algorithm, has been implemented to optimize the GATE Morphological Analyser. The previous profiling figures show that the morpher when integrated with ANNIE application used to take upto 60% of the overall processing time. The optimized version only takes 7.6% of the total processing time. (details).
- The ANNIE Sentence Splitter was optimised. The new version is about twice as fast as the previous one. The actual speed increase varies widely depending on the nature of the document.
- The implementation of the OrthoMatcher component has been improved. This resources takes significantly less time on large documents.
- The implementation of AnnotationSets has been improved. GATE now requires up to 40% less memory to run and is also 20% faster on average. The get methods of AnnotationSet return instances of ImmutableAnnotationSet. Any attempt at modifying the content of these objects will trigger an Exception. An empty ImmutableAnnotationSet is returned instead of null.
- The Chemistry tagger has been updated with a number of bugfixes and improvements (details).
- The Document user interface has been optimised to deal better with large
bursts of events which tend to occur when the document that is currently
displayed gets modified. The main advantages brought by this new
- The document UI refreshes faster than before.
- The presence of the GUI for a document induces a smaller performance penalty than it used to. Due to a better threading implementation, machines benefiting from multiple CPUs (e.g. dual CPU, dual core or hyperthreading machines) should only see a negligible increase in processing time when a document is displayed compared to the situations where the document view is not shown. In the previous version, displaying a document while it was processed used to increase execution time by an order of magnitude.
- The GUI is more responsive now when a large number of annotations are displayed, hidden or deleted.
- The strange exceptions that used to occur occasionally while working with the document GUI should not happen any more.
And as always there are many smaller bugfixes too numerous to list here...