[kevina@gnu.org: Followup To: Language Info Needed for Aspell]

Francesco Potorti` pot@softwarelibero.it
Gio 25 Mar 2004 14:22:39 CET

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Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 11:52:28 -0500 (EST)
From: Kevin Atkinson <kevina@gnu.org>
Subject: Followup To: Language Info Needed for Aspell
To: info-gnu@gnu.org
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First a few corrections:

On Tue, 23 Mar 2004, Kevin Atkinson wrote:

> [Please distribute this document as widely as possible.]
> GNU Aspell 0.60 should be able to support most of the Word Languages.
                                                        ^^^^ World

> This includes languages languages written in Arabic and other scripts
> not well supported by an existing 8-bit character set.  Eventually
> Aspell should be able to support any current language not based on the
> Chinese writing system.
> GNU Aspell is a spell checker designed to eventually replace Ispell.
> Its main feature is that it does a much better job of coming up with
> possible suggestions than just about any other spell checker out there
> for the English language, including Ispell and Microsoft Word.
> However, starting with Aspell 0.60 is should also be the only Free (as
> in Freedom)  that can support most languages not written in the Latin or
             ^^ spell checker
> Cyrillic scripts.

Concerning Aspell and UTF-8:

Starting with version 0.60, Aspell fully supports spell checking documents
in UTF-8 or any other encoding that Aspell supports.  The fact that Aspell
is still 8-bit internally can be made completely transparent to the end
user.  This means that Aspell can now support any language that has no
more than 220 distinct characters, including different capitalizations and
accents, _even if_ there is not an existing 8-bit encoding that supports
the language.  All one has to do is creating a new character data file
which is a fairly simple task.  The internal encoding never has to be seen
by the end-user, including the word list author, since not even the word
list has to be in the same encoding that Aspell uses.

GNU Aspell 0.50 supported Unicode to some extent; however, word
list still had to be in an 8-bit character set.  Furthermore, spell
checking documents in an encoding that is different from the internal
encoding was pragmatic.

Full UTF-8 support was added with 0.51-20040219, the next snapshot,
0.51-20040227 fixed a few bugs, while the latest 0.60-20040317 uses a new,
simpler, format for the character data files.

Aspell snapshots can be downloaded from ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/aspell/.

If you distribute this document please also include this important 
followup.  I neglected to mention Aspell UTF-8 support since I already 
mentioned it several times to the Aspell mailing lists.

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