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bug#19229: ispell on Windows

From: Alan Third
Subject: bug#19229: ispell on Windows
Date: Fri, 22 May 2015 19:57:17 +0100

On 22 May 2015 at 07:53, Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote:
>> Date: Thu, 21 May 2015 21:19:19 +0100
>> From: Alan Third <address@hidden>
>> Cc: address@hidden
>> On 21 May 2015 at 17:23, Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> wrote:
>> >> Date: Thu, 21 May 2015 09:16:00 +0100
>> >> From: Alan Third <address@hidden>
>> >> Cc: address@hidden
>> >>
>> >> This works in windows! Once this is done I can then use
>> >> ispell-change-dictionary to change the dictionary to anything I want.
>> >> Presumably, then, the problem I'm seeing is that ispell+hunspell falls
>> >> over if the dictionary initially set by emacs doesn't exist.
>> OK, I was completely wrong here.
> In what way?

Well, it seems the above is right on Windows but wrong on OS X. On
Windows it tries to set the dictionary to "ENG", because that's what
emacs puts in LANG, but on OS X it never gets as far as setting a
dictionary because there's nothing at all in LANG and emacs doesn't
automatically set it.

What confuses this on OS X is that when you run hunspell from the
command line LANG *IS* set and so it works, but from within emacs (run
from the GUI) LANG *ISN'T* set so it fails.

>> > First, you can customize the variable ispell-dictionary to name the
>> > dictionary (without the .aff or .dic extensions, just the stem of the
>> > basename, as in "en_GB").  You can set this in your ~/.emacs.  This
>> > will cause ispell.el to invoke Hunspell with the appropriate -d
>> > command-line option.
>> This doesn't work. I've done some digging in ispell.el and I think I
>> know what's going on.
>> The function ispell-find-hunspell-dictionaries parses the output of
>> `hunspell -D` looking for *hunspell's* default dictionary. If you
>> don't have any of the variables you mentioned set then hunspell
>> doesn't give a default.
> What does your Hunspell say when you invoke it with -D?  Mine says
> this:
> Note that the default dictionary it loaded, as announced near the end.

On Windows from within emacs:

files\OpenOffice.org 2.4\share\dict\ooo\;C:\Program
files\OpenOffice.org 2.3\share\dict\ooo\;C:\Program
files\OpenOffice.org 2.2\share\dict\ooo\;C:\Program
files\OpenOffice.org 2.1\share\dict\ooo\;C:\Program
files\OpenOffice.org 2.0\share\dict\ooo\
AVAILABLE DICTIONARIES (path is not mandatory for -d option):
Can't open affix or dictionary files for dictionary named "ENG".

Creating an "ENG" dictionary fixes this.

On OS X from within emacs:

AVAILABLE DICTIONARIES (path is not mandatory for -d option):
Can't open affix or dictionary files for dictionary named "default".

Creating an ENG dictionary doesn't help here because:

(getenv "LANG")

returns nil.

> Once again, I ask where you got your Hunspell binary.  In the binary
> distribution here:
> http://sourceforge.net/projects/ezwinports/files/hunspell-1.3.2-3-w32-bin.zip/download

That's the one I'm using on Windows.

On OS X I'm using the one from "homebrew", which seems to be up to

And I've just worked out where I need to put a default dictionary to
get it to work: /usr/share/myspell.

>> Specifically, it looks for a line that ends ".aff" then uses that line
>> in an argument for ispell-parse-hunspell-affix-file, which fails if
>> it's nil, which in my case it is. Because that function errors,
>> ispell-find-hunspell-dictionaries stops processing and therefore never
>> builds ispell-hunspell-dictionary-alist, which seems to be a pretty
>> vital variable.
>> While that doesn't seem like very good behaviour to me, I don't know
>> if you'd classify it as a bug.
> I see no bug here.  It works for me.  I think your Hunspell
> installation is misconfigured, that's all.

That's why I wasn't sure if you'd think it was a bug. :)

I tried wrapping the call to ispell-parse-hunspell-affix-file in an if
that checks whether hunspell-default-dict is set and the error
messages went away. Then I could use ispell-dictionary or
ispell-change-dictionary to set the one I wanted, just like with

I assume that ispell-parse-hunspell-affix-file is called whenever you
change dictionary, so this shouldn't break anything.

Whatever, I'll try writing up what I've learnt on emacswiki.org since
all the information on the internet seems to be somewhat out of date
and unhelpful.

Alan Third

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