[Dict-common-dev] (Not) available aspell dictionaries

Brian Nelson nelson@bignachos.com
Sun, 23 Jan 2005 22:14:45 -0800

On Mon, Jan 24, 2005 at 02:44:07AM +0100, Christoph Berg wrote:
> I had a look at the list of available aspell dictionaries at [1] and
> compared it with the Debian packages that are available. The
> comparision is a OO.o table (attached as .sxc and .pdf, .html version
> available at [2]).
> 28 dictionaries are packaged [3]
> 39 dictionaries are not packaged
> I'm interested in getting these 39 aspell dictionaries into Debian.
> The problem is that I don't speak any of them [4], but I should be
> able to ask some friends for linguistic support for at least the
> slavian and romanian languages missing.

There are a few things keeping all of those languages from being

* Aspell 0.60 in Debian.  0.60 adds support for a lot more languages
  than were supported by 0.50 and earlier versions.

* The arch-dependent nature of the dictionaries.  Many compiled
  dictionaries are huge (> 20 MB) and currently all dictionary packages
  are arch-dependent.  If the average dictionary package is 10MB, 10 MB
  * 12 arches * 39 dictionaries = 4680MB.  That's a very big hit on the
  mirrors for something that is avoidable.  We need to make dictionary
  packages Arch: all.

* Lack of packaging coordination.  I've been planning to improve the
  coordination of dictionary packaging.  Ideally, I'd like to be a
  co-maintainer of all dictionary packages (since often I'm concerned
  with packaging) but have at least one native speaker be a
  co-maintainer of each package as well (since I'm monolingual and can't
  easily test the packages or handle bug reports).

The first will be resolved soon, the second I hope to have resolved soon
(but post-sarge), and the third will follow after the first two

> What I'm asking now is
> * does it make sense to mass-ITP so many dictionaries?
>   (someone created the dictionaries, so there must be interest in them)
> * does it make sense to package languages I don't speak, but where I
>   know someone that does? (probably yes)
> * does it make sense to package languages I don't speak, and where I
>   don't know someone that does? (questionable)
> * does it make sense to package languages where I don't even know the
>   charset/script? (even more questionable)
> One thing I thought of was filing RFAs (and additionally ask for
> Co-Maintainers) on the packages right from the start, so that someone
> interested in the dictionary could take it over easily. That way the
> dictionaries would always be in the best hands they could be.

I would hold off on all of these until the above issues are resolved.

Society is never going to make any progress until we all learn to
pretend to like each other.