Number recognition tutorial


Not sure if this is the right place to record this but here goes for a noobie!
Not a developer but thought I’d try this tutorial. Yes I did read the rest of the site but not sure I really understand it! So looked at replicating this tutorial.
I had a few challenges along the way and suggest the following:

  • the curl commands didn’t work for me on Ubuntu 18.04. Specifically needed -O rather than -o and pulling down the number files was fraught! The command just didn’t work. Looked at the curl manual and ended up using: sudo curl -O[0-8].png where xxx was zero through eight, i.e. 8 lines. I tried appending the 8 URL’s on a single line but curl ‘forgot’ the -O flag and just moaned about binary output and produced no files. Interestingly if I used the format -
    sudo curl -O{zero,one,two,three,four,five,six,seven,eight,nine}-x.png where ‘x’ is 0-8 then curl copied the first 8 files and then errored in the same way. There is probably a better format for the command but you should update the tutorial as what is given just doesn’t work.

  • I was a little worried about substituting text and the syntax for URL’s. In particular I have stored the numbers files in a sub-directory and referenced then like this - Trusted_Cnvrstn//@/dld/numbers.txt - in the AK. Is that correct?

  • Whilst there are only a few lines in the conversation file I am trying to work out what they do. My first guess is as follows;

@Do-ID:xxx xxx can be any name I want, Do-ID is set as my name with the ‘@’ being a general substitution command and not just for FQDN?

    $* [email protected]{mjb-ak.txt}             Is $* the same as $_? It appears that the value inside {} is set as the root within [email protected]

trusted_Cnvrstn//@/dld/numbers.txt      OK but not sure what syntax may be used for URL here

[email protected]       does this just apply to In my case the files are at

?bnd -- @_all                             this seems to define @ in 2 steps. Why not 1?
	@ = =    
?DRP -- [email protected]+Cnvrstn$   it looks to set the value of DRP but I don't follow the use of the $'s

Apologies for the long post but trying to get into machine learning and I can at least understand some of this! I’ll wait for my AK to be approved and see if I can run the tutorial.



Hey MJB!

You seem very technical for a non developer! A good place to start is the Library explanation here; Understanding - Basic_Number_2018 (Library)

Before going over the principals here;

This should help you understand what’s going on, but essentially the Conversation is comparing the substituted value of X (the input) with Y (the files from your Library). Your Author key on the otherhand is a key to identify you, your files and where to look for things.


@Jacko - thanks but still struggling, About to give up when you commented.

I hadn’t seen the Principles stuff - there is no link to it that I can see.

I can’t work out the URL format to see if any output has been generated. The specification in Principles differs form that in the AK walkthrough.
I have tried:
(I use a sub-directory)

(as suggested in the AK walkthrough but possibly only for keys!)

as well as with a trailing /

Does this mean that there is no output or have I the URL wrong? Aside from output being generated I do not know if the conversation is working or whether there are errors - or am I missing something?


Hi @mjb

deadCL uses difference techniques for outputting different types of information, if you’re looking for your Conversation output(s) these instructions will help:

You’ll never see symbols in Conversation output address(es).



OK still lost and the use of sybols (+) in the example is unhelpful - at least to me.

So using the link you provided is it;

The second example in the link I can’t comprehend

is it in error?




Not quite sure I understand what you’re asking; but the output URL in this case would be:

Hopefully this helps.


Thanks for clarifying. So if I look at the relevant URLs for keys and post I just get an error (404). So the key I submitted a while ago has either been overlooked or is in error.

How do I know which is the case? Is there anything wrong with this key file?


$* [email protected]{}


[email protected]

?bnd: – @_all
@ = = my.domain

?DRP – @Do-ID+Cnvrstn$




Hi Mike

The address you were referring to earlier was an output URL.

Your key will never be trusted on a post server - hence the error (Author Keys only appear at “”)

For example;

If your domain is


your AK discoverable at;


Your ‘@-COM’ address should be set as;


therefore the address you’d need is;


This information is available within our Author Key Walkthrough and various docs.


Found my key but nothing is output - so I must have a mistake somewhere!
I was trying something simple - just match a text string to that in a pre-defined set. I can then experiment once working. I’ve probably over-thought this but here is my library file:

*lib - ID-FRUIT
// copyright MJBarnard //



{//POST ‘FRUIT-OB’ output}

Apple {apple},
Kiwi {kiwi},
Blackberry {blackberry}

/recall – Oxford University Press


and the conversation:





COMPARE, input;


Any thoughts on this?
The input simply contains the word ‘apple’




Could you change the file input from .lis to something else (like .html or .txt)



Done but still no output.
Is there a restriction on file extensions?


Hi @mjb

Generally these two commands should be on separate lines (however that’s more a formality than a requisite when self publishing). You could try separating them as shown in our AK walk through.

Remember $* acts in place of a publisher key when self publishing.