Manage disparate dictionaries for spell-checking

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ChrisGreaves
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Manage disparate dictionaries for spell-checking

Post by ChrisGreaves »

[Forum? Posted in "Windows" because that is my platform, and in this thread although I mention an Email client, a browser, and an Office application, I did not want to restrict myself to just those applications]

If, like me, you use MSWord (printable documents), Thunderbird (mail) and Firefox (browser), you will be familiar with spell-checking, and possibly the option to right-click and choose "Add To Dictionary". You may have noticed that after a re-installation you have to drag variously named files across from your backup drive. You will have noticed that when you Add Word to Thunderbird, you need to add that word in a separate action to Firefox, and lament the fact that you added the word to Custom.DIC just a few days ago.

I consider this to be a problem, and think that a general-purpose utility to manage disparate dictionaries would be a Good Thing.

I am not suggesting that such an tool could manage all dictionaries, but it might go a long way to reducing boring and repetitive work, which is what computers are built to do.

I have had experience on scouting trips into two territories:-
(1) Designing and building a data interface that would translate various data formats (Act!, dBaseIII, Lotus, Excel, MSAccess), overview attached
(2) Designing and building a pre-emptive spell-checker which provides different rules for different sub-folder trees, overview attached)

These two projects show that much can be accomplished with a common-interface with data.

Question1: Are you aware of any such an approach for spell-checking
Question 2: Can you dream up a rational reason why such a project must fail (as distinct from it being hard work, costly etc)

Thanks
Chris
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Jay Freedman
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Re: Manage disparate dictionaries for spell-checking

Post by Jay Freedman »

Answer 1: No, I'm not aware of any pan-application solution for spell-checking. Each app that uses spell-checking seems to have started its design by assuming that it's the only one on the whole computer that does so.

Answer 2: This largely depends on where and how each app stores its data, and whether you can find (or discover experimentally) what that method is. If they all use Unicode plain-text like Word's custom.dic file, it should be simple to update three or more files from a single interface. If any of them use a complicated binary storage like Word's built-in dictionaries, that could be a significant struggle (but that's why custom.dic exists).

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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Manage disparate dictionaries for spell-checking

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Jay Freedman wrote:
20 Jul 2021, 20:27
Answer 1: No, I'm not aware of any pan-application solution for spell-checking...
Answer 2: This largely depends on where and how each app stores its data,...
Thanks Jay for these two answers.

Right now I am of the mind that a pan-application would be a useful basic structure to which others could contribute, a bit like the International Space Station back in 1998, with interface modules being added as extra spell-checker interfaces arrived.

MS’s built-in dictionaries could be seen as hurdles or obstacles, or just be considered outside the bailiwick if I concern myself only with reducing user-effort. User-effort goes into managing Custom.dic, but not into managing the built-in dictionary.

[later]
Untitled.png
Thunderbird has a lot of explaining to do. Mr deKurloi was my geography teacher back in high school ...

Cheers
Chris
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Jay Freedman
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Re: Manage disparate dictionaries for spell-checking

Post by Jay Freedman »

Mr Tenderloin? :laugh: