UTF-8 and ispell

Rafael Laboissiere rafael at debian.org
Fri Sep 21 22:16:34 UTC 2007

* Paul Boekholt <p.boekholt at gmail.com> [2007-09-21 21:42]:

> That's interesting, I didn't realise that ispell had any utf-8 support.
> I've only used aspell for utf-8 spellchecking. I just tried to use
> ispell.sl with ispell with the ngerman package, but it didn't work
> quite right. See also line 215 of ispell.sl:
>    % Aspell 0.60 counts multibyte characters
>    % as one character in utf-8 mode, we can use go_right() which does not
>    % expand tabs, but is utf-8 aware.
> Ispell seems to count bytes here. So it looks like ispell.sl doesn't
> work with ispell in utf-8 mode ATM.

It works fine here, provided that an appropriate entry is included in
jed-ispell-dicts.sl, for example:

    ispell_add_dictionary (
      "-C -d ngerman");

(Note that the accented characters must be in UTF-8 encodning.)

> Does anybody still use ispell? Why, when aspell is better?

I still use ispell because I frequently call ispell_change_dictionary.  If
there is a reasonable way of switching dictionaries in jed when using
aspell, then I would use use aspell instead of ispell.  Could ispell.sl be
changed in order to achieve that?  Maybe we shoudl add calls like:

    aspell_add_dictionary (

and then, when Ispell_Program_Name is set to "aspell", call aspell like
this: "aspell -a -l german-new8-utf8".  I could do the necessary changes to
the dictionaries-common package in order to make this work in Debian.


More information about the Pkg-jed-devel mailing list