|P is for Practical|
Thanks for the links. Especially coy. delightful.
I agree completely with your quixotic implication: my efforts in this direction so far have proceeded on two fronts: recursive sentence-building routines based on Chomskyan deep structure rules, all of which have failed terribly, and really simple special case routines like the one above, which makes a perfectly readable sentence in a very dull way.
My background is philosophy of language rather than straight linguistics, but i've got enough of a grasp to see the scale of the problem. I don't think it's completely hopeless, as long as it's properly constrained. The content-management systems that i'm trying to make more articulate are a good place to start: they have a very limited world, their utterances fall into a few well-defined categories, they're almost always declarative, and the goal is transparency, not lyricism.
to start with, i'd like to identify a small set of phrases that people use all the time. that's why i used the results example above, which everyone must need at some point. Other examples might include pagination links, error messages and confirmation questions, but i'm hoping people will make suggestions. Then i'd like to implement that limited set in as general a way as possible, and take it from there.
So it's a fairly limited ambition, really. The fact that i'm using it as a spur both to learn OOP properly and finally read the algorithm book should give you some idea of how long it's likely to take :(
updated: silly typo