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Re: [bug-miscfiles] Re: 'box' missing from web2?

From: Charles Swiger
Subject: Re: [bug-miscfiles] Re: 'box' missing from web2?
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2011 12:54:42 -0800

Hi, folks--

On Jan 12, 2011, at 10:15 AM, Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
> On Jan 10, 2011, at 1:53 PM, address@hidden wrote:
>   Most surprising for me was that MacOS is using a word list from GNU
>   (and/or BSD). They should have a better one they can drop in after
>   all these years.

They do.  /usr/share/dict/{web2,web2a} on a Mac is derived from BSD 4.4Lite 
sources dating back at least 15 years ago-- probably more, since NEXTSTEP from 
the early 90's had it-- or under /usr/dict, perhaps-- as well as a ~1990-ish 
dictionary & thesaurus from Merriam-Webster.

People using spell-checking on a Mac use modern dictionaries, not an 
English-only word list from the 1934 Webster's dictionary.  The latter is still 
around for Unix command line folks who like to use grep, as Pacman (aka Alan 
Curry) suggested: 

>   They're the ones who've been selling machines to professional
>   writers to do "word processing". We're the guys who couldn't spell
>   "creat". We just have a word list so we can cheat at crossword
>   puzzles with grep. We don't know what word processing is, but we're
>   sure it's a subset of what vi and emacs do.
> [ ... ]

As for Alfred's remarks, people are welcome to their own opinions, but you 
don't get your own set of facts.

> Trusting the word list is fine since it is easy to examine it, but the
> real problem is that OS X is a non-free software operating system
> where you as a computer user have no control over what it does.  What
> Apple should do is make OS X free software instead of dropping the
> word list, or make life miserable for users by storing it in a
> propietery format.

In point of fact, MacOS X works fine with the .aff/.dic files from 

The OpenOffice spelling dictionaries from 
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Dictionaries are a good resource, 
although MacOS X already comes with about 15 or so, covering most of the 
Latin-1 and Polish/Russian languages.


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