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Re: Package descriptions and making them better

On Tue, Oct 02, 2001 at 01:28:25AM -0400, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> Spell-checking the whole lot of them would be a good start as well.

I did that once, around the bo -> hamm release.  It was a lot of work
but somewhat rewarding.

I used ispell + some scripts which would exctract the Description from
control files.  After the spelling check I used a text editor to further
correct the ones that had spelling mistakes (on the theory that errors
travel in groups).  Then I used templates to turn the diffs into bugreports.
See bug#18878 (archived) for a simple example, and #18914 for a more complex
one.  I've had no negative reactions about them, and all of those bugs
have been closed by now.

> for one approach.  There would be some work involved to create a
> dictionary of technical terms and acronyms to use as an auxiliary
> database.

I just created the dictionary as I went along.  I'm quite used to doing
that when checking my own technical texts.  I didn't have to worry much
about what went into the dictionary, because my goal was improvement, not
perfection.  Your idea of initializing it with the package names is good, I
didn't think of that at the time.

> Lintian warnings might be a good outlet for such a check.

Lintian already checks for common spelling errors, and its original
database was seeded from that round of spelling checking :-)  I think
that for performance reasons I included only misspellings that occurred
in more than one description.  Many of the ones you list would also be
suitable for inclusion, I think.

Richard Braakman
Will write free software for money.
See http://www.xs4all.nl/~dark/resume.html

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