Re: new dictionary in gnome-utils

Hey Emmanuele,
thanks a lot for doing all this. As you explained, the old
gnome-dictionary code had become quite a mess and pretty impossible to
expand upon. The work you did (that I personally never had the courage
to tackle :-P) finally provides an clean infrastructure that is gonna
be extremely useful for improving the dictionary functionality and
integrating it with the rest of the Desktop (e.g. it would be fun to
provide a "definition" service for every text field like Mac OS X
does...). You rock.

On 12/16/05, Emmanuele Bassi <ebassi gmail com> wrote:
> [Cc:ing gnome-doc and gnome-i18n since the new package will require new
> translations and documentation]
> Hi all.
> After two months of fast and steady development inside the
> "new-dictionary" branch of gnome-utils, the new GNOME Dictionary code
> has finally landed into gnome-utils HEAD branch.  It's still under
> development, but the code is already pretty much stable for daily use[*]
> and it's unlikely for it to have major changes at this point.
> * What's new?
> The old Dictionary code had become a collection of hacks and rotting
> code; this is a complete rewrite of that code, with a twist for
> enhancements and better maintainability.  The new Dictionary is based on
> a object oriented library, called libgdict, which supports multiple
> dictionary sources, using multiple transport methods (albeit, at the
> moment, only a RFC2229 client is provided; I plan to add more in the
> next GNOME release cycle).
> * New features
> The new features of this release are the new print format and the new
> applet, using an aligned window (like Seth's gnome-blog applet) for the
> definitions.  You can now search the text using a bottom pane,
> a-la-Evince, instead of a find dialog.  You can add multiple dictionary
> sources: if you have a preferred dictionary server (or your preferred
> database) you can create a new source and switch between the other
> sources you have.  You can save a definition into a text file.  The new
> Dictionary code supports gnome-doc-utils, making localization and
> documentation easier.
> I know everyone like shiny screenshots, so:
> * Known regressions
> There a few known regressions, some of which are going to be addressed
> before the UI/code freeze, some are going to be fixed in the next
> release cycles and some are going to be removed for good:
>   + Speller widget [still under consideration]
>   + The entry doesn't do word completion [fixable before 2.14]
>   + Web search [removed(**)]
>   + Syntax highlighting [fixable before 2.14 (***)]
> The important issue that this release addresses is the re-factoring of
> the code, which was something short of unmaintainable; while these
> regressions might seem important, I'd like to point out that two months
> ago this code didn't even exist.
> I'd like to thank gnome-util's maintainer Vincent Noel, for the great
> support and trust he gave me while writing this code.
> +++
> [*] During the composition of this email, for instance. ;-)
> [**] I've removed the web search because it was basically useless:
> firing up a web browser for searching words isn't really ideal,
> especially when all major browsers under Linux offer a link to
>, and when we have other applications doing it - like the
> deskbar applet;  it was handy for users behind a proxy, though: for
> them, I'm going to add a HTTP based transport in the next release cycle,
> using web APIs.
> [***] Even though it's not for certain, as the syntax is not standard,
> and dictionary entries might break it without notice.  Also, when using
> non-English dictionary sources it might lead to messy output (and I
> don't want parse rules for every written language to be included inside
> the code base).  I'm still thinking about this.
> Ciao,
>  Emmanuele.
> --
> Emmanuele Bassi - <ebassi gmail com>
> Log:
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> gnome-utils-list gnome org

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