August 26th, 2003

  • evan

spelling is in the air

I spent a bunch of time reading docs to better understand the issues with loading modules a while back. I wanted to write a library—I was calling it “uspell”, the u for “unified”—that provided no spell-checking of its own and just had modules to support other spell-checking backends. Loadable modules solve the binary dependency problem: uspell depends on nothing, but uspell-module-aspell depends on aspell. There are spell checkers that attempt to unify languages (aspell supports quite a few) but ultimately the better spell checkers have language-specific logic for analyzing inflection/morphology.

The plan was to finish uspell, then use that as the backend for a new, better-thought-out GtkSpell.
Today I got mail from the Enchant developer, who has created a near-identical system to the uspell I had planned, and just tonight I got a patch to GtkSpell to use it. So I guess I don’t need to do anything, yet.

The plan, as before: finish LogJam release, first. Mustn’t start other projects.
  • evan

debian is rad

Linux distributions are a silly thing to spend too much time thinking about, ‘cause they all are doing basically the same thing, but people always ask me why I am so fond of Debian.

Here’s an example from today: I read in the (excellent) Debian Weekly News (which also comes in a sensible text form in my email) about a new game that has just hit the “unstable” distribution. I run the brain-dead “apt-get update; apt-get install game” command, and try to run it, and it’s missing some library.

And here is where Debian shines: I check their bug tracker for the package, and not only has the problem already been reported in a clear manner, but the reporter included the workaround, and a fixed version of the package has already been uploaded by the maintainer, all within the past few hours.

Debian is geeky and exclusive enough to filter out the noise, while still being large enough so that I don’t have to think about stuff I don’t care about (and the geekiness ensures the decisions made fore me are usually correct). I love Debian.