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New dictionaries-common Policy proposal

Hi all,

We are pleased to announce a proposal for the "Debian Spelling
Dictionaries and Tools Policy", as well as the new dictionaries-common
package that will provide the infrastructure to implement it.  This is
an announcement for all interested users and developers. This system
deals with ispell dictionaries and wordlist packages. We appreciate
hints about possible support for other spelling programs.

What is new with this system?

1) Full debconf support.

   No more stopping to ask for questions when each new ispell dictionary
   is installed; now a single debconf question will substitute all that,
   showing up like this:

/----------------------| Ispell dictionary|---------------------------\
| Because more than one ispell dictionary will be available in your   |
| system, please  select the one you'd like applications to use by    |
| default.                                                            |
|                                                                     |
| You can change the default ispell dictionary at any time by running |
| "select-default-ispell".                                            |
|                                                                     |
| Which ispell dictionary should be the system's default?             |
|                                                                     |
|                  português brasileiro (Brazilian Portuguese)        |
|                  english (American English)                         |
|                  català8 (Catalan 8 bits)                           |
|                  català TeX (Catalan Tex)                           |
|                  esperanto (Esperanto)                              |
|                  esperanto-tex (Esperanto TeX)                      |
|                  francais Hydro-Quebec (French Hydro-Quebec)        |
|                  deutsch (New German -tex mode-)                    |
|                  deutsch (New German 8 bit)                         |
|                  português (European Portuguese)                    |
|                  russian (Russian koi8-r)                           |
|                  castellano (Spanish Tex mode)                      |
|                  castellano8 (Spanish 8 bit)                        |
|                                                                     |
|                                                                     |
|                             <Ok>                                    |

   Similar support is added for wordlists.

2) [X]Emacs pop-up menus now work correctly and are rebuilt after
   installation of the ispell dictionaries packages, showing only
   entries for installed dictionaries. This should work in all emacs

3) Jed support, in a similar manner as the emacsen support.

4) Mutt support has also been added, which relies on a ispell-wrapper
   script, which can also be used standalone (it sets automatically
   the -w and -d options of ispell according to the language chosen
   by the user).

Where do I get more info about the system?

We have set a web site at:


with the latest version of the policy document. Since this system is
incompatible with the current Debian system, we have set a staging area at SourceForge. That area currently holds a number of new-policy experimental dictionary packages, and is apt-getable at:

  deb http://dict-common.sourceforge.net/testing ./
  deb-src http://dict-common.sourceforge.net/testing ./

Please remember that although we have tried to properly test everything, the stuff there is experimental and not compatible with both the current Debian system and the old implementations of the dictionaries-common system. So, take care with packages there, although we are really using some of them in production.

How can I contribute?

Before making this system official we need to carry out a testing as
extensive as possible. So, please test and test, and notify any problem
found.  Not all dictionaries and wordlists packages currently in Debian
appear in the the staging area, but a good number of packages have been
ported. We hope some more will be added soon.

You can also read the policy document and send your comments. We strongly appreciate all feedback.

We sincerely hope you enjoy the system,

  Your dictionaries-common team:

  Rafael Laboissière,
  David Coe,
  Agustin Martin Domingo

Agustin Martin Domingo, Dpto. de Fisica, ETS Arquitectura Madrid,
(U. Politecnica de Madrid)  tel: +34 91-336-6536, Fax: +34 91-336-6554,
email:agmartin@debian.org, http://corbu.aq.upm.es/~agmartin/welcome.html

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