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Re: Debian Dictionary

Jutta Wrage wrote:

First, thx for the nice overview.

On the Debian pages, there is a dictionary [1] which is rather empty. While searching, the only translations I found obviously are russian. Everything found in [2] is more than three years old.

There are other dicts and glossaries as well - e.g. http://www.debian.org/devel/join/newmaint#Glossary

There currently are three sorts of dicts:

- The acronym dict
- Translations from and to English languages
- Monolingual Dictionaries with explanations of words or phrases.
- the dicts are bound together with links from meanings of the acronyms to translations and from translations to glossary entries.

In a more general view a specific document lives in a hierarchy of contexts. E.g. the Debian Installer Manual uses words which are part of

- common language, e.g. Webster's for English (or Duden for German)
- computer language, e.g.  The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing
- Unix/Linux language, e.g.
- Debian language
- Debian Maintainer language

During a wording review of a document I check against a hierarchy of dicts. This means that every word not found in an upper context needs a definition to be understandable.

Please feel free to comment, ask or suggest.

Here my ideas for long term goals:

1) Agree on uniform format, administration and infrastructure for dicts
   or glossaries within the Debian Project
   E.g. docbook-xml supports AFAIK glossaries.

2) Develop or collect utilities for conversion in different formats
   like dictd, HTML, TeX, plain text etc.

3) Have dicts or glossaries of debian documents in a separate file.
   This makes it possible to include such a dictionary in the specific
   document, or include it to other dictionaries as well.

1) to 3) are not technically difficult. It's more a problem of coordination, standardization, discipline, and at least hard work for the doc-writers and doc-reviewers.

Helmut Wollmersdorfer

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