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Unsupported languages extensibility


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#1 HappyUser

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 11:45 PM

Hi, Evan.

Great product, and it's obvious from the forums that you really try to provide quick and useful support for your customers. Way to go! I'm just a new user, having bought SC X yesterday.

In the wide scheme of things, it seems that the number of languages supported by Spell Catcher X is not very large (though from your perspective each one requires more of your resources, esp. for licensing). Is there a programming or other objective reason why it is not possible for a user to add another language and create his own resources? The simple fact that Spell Catcher X works across all running applications would make it worthwhile for some of us to do this. Also, anyone with a relatively large file with reliable spellings (in the targeted language) could easily harvest hundreds or thousands of words for a beginning spelling dictionary.

It seems to me that this extensibility would greatly enhance the marketability of Spell Catcher, too. There are those of us who use languages that just don't have that many people speaking them. The odds of the developer adding that language are not high. So we're stuck without the tools we need forever, or so it seems.

Regards!

#2 Evan Gross

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 12:11 AM

Hi, Evan.

Great product, and it's obvious from the forums that you really try to provide quick and useful support for your customers. Way to go! I'm just a new user, having bought SC X yesterday.

In the wide scheme of things, it seems that the number of languages supported by Spell Catcher X is not very large (though from your perspective each one requires more of your resources, esp. for licensing). Is there a programming or other objective reason why it is not possible for a user to add another language and create his own resources? The simple fact that Spell Catcher X works across all running applications would make it worthwhile for some of us to do this. Also, anyone with a relatively large file with reliable spellings (in the targeted language) could easily harvest hundreds or thousands of words for a beginning spelling dictionary.

It seems to me that this extensibility would greatly enhance the marketability of Spell Catcher, too. There are those of us who use languages that just don't have that many people speaking them. The odds of the developer adding that language are not high. So we're stuck without the tools we need forever, or so it seems.

Regards!


Well, if you can create the necessary (binary, proprietary, compressed) databases that Spell Catcher needs, then you're all set.

We license our linguistics from Proximity Technology, Inc. (software and databases), and yes - each language we license costs a substantial up-front number of $$$$. While we're limited to the language products they offer (many more than we license), the basic reason we don't have them all is cost.

There's no good way to simply transform an arbitrary list of words in an arbitrary language into a Proximity format database. At least not without Proximity's tools. While they can be licensed (serious $$$$), we don't and leave the linguistics up to them (the experts).

#3 HappyUser

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 01:47 AM

Well, if you can create the necessary (binary, proprietary, compressed) databases that Spell Catcher needs, then you're all set.

We license our linguistics from Proximity Technology, Inc. (software and databases), and yes - each language we license costs a substantial up-front number of $$$$. While we're limited to the language products they offer (many more than we license), the basic reason we don't have them all is cost.

There's no good way to simply transform an arbitrary list of words in an arbitrary language into a Proximity format database. At least not without Proximity's tools. While they can be licensed (serious $$$$), we don't and leave the linguistics up to them (the experts).


Thanks for your kind response and explanation. I just looked at their (Proximity's) website, and I see that spelling and hyphenation dictionaries are available for the language I'm interested in – Lithuanian. It's sad that it may never be profitable to offer it in Spell Catcher since the market (demand) is so small. It would be nice if their licensing allowed you to offer a given language without the big $$$ up front and based on actual usage.

Would it indeed be okay to "create the necessary (binary, proprietary, compressed) databases that Spell Catcher needs"? If it is not a violation of copyright to do so, what would I need to do to create "my own" language resources? Seems all one would need is one word in the spell checking dictionary for the "new" language and one could add words on the fly. And the shorthand words are the same. Just setting up an empty language with the ability to add would be all I'd need.

Thanks again!

#4 Evan Gross

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 02:42 AM

Thanks for your kind response and explanation. I just looked at their (Proximity's) website, and I see that spelling and hyphenation dictionaries are available for the language I'm interested in Lithuanian. It's sad that it may never be profitable to offer it in Spell Catcher since the market (demand) is so small. It would be nice if their licensing allowed you to offer a given language without the big $$$ up front and based on actual usage.

Would it indeed be okay to "create the necessary (binary, proprietary, compressed) databases that Spell Catcher needs"? If it is not a violation of copyright to do so, what would I need to do to create "my own" language resources? Seems all one would need is one word in the spell checking dictionary for the "new" language and one could add words on the fly. And the shorthand words are the same. Just setting up an empty language with the ability to add would be all I'd need.

Thanks again!


I'm quite certain it would be a violation of Proximity's copyrights if you did it without their tools. And it would be pretty much impossible to figure out how to do it yourself. You're vastly underestimating would be necessary.

I was just joking when I said it would be possible. That's because I know what's involved, and that there's no way to do it without detailed knowledge of - well - everything that Proximity does.

Please don't violate any laws trying.

#5 HappyUser

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 03:12 AM

I'm quite certain it would be a violation of Proximity's copyrights if you did it without their tools. And it would be pretty much impossible to figure out how to do it yourself. You're vastly underestimating would be necessary.

I was just joking when I said it would be possible. That's because I know what's involved, and that there's no way to do it without detailed knowledge of - well - everything that Proximity does.

Please don't violate any laws trying.


Well, I thought that was humor; I only hoped it wasn't. I wouldn't have a clue where to start anyway. But certainly the developer of the program is not violating anything if he provides an empty language set with no proprietary data in it, right? Ah, maybe you're just plugging in to their data, and you don't even control that section of your program. Thus you can't provide an un-powered "electrical socket" since they provide not only the "electricity" (data), but also the socket itself. I guess that makes you really dependent on them. Oh, well.

Regards! You've got one great application. Hopefully someday it will be accessible for users of virtually all languages. Until then, I'll enjoy it in English.

#6 Evan Gross

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 03:28 AM

Well, I thought that was humor; I only hoped it wasn't. I wouldn't have a clue where to start anyway. But certainly the developer of the program is not violating anything if he provides an empty language set with no proprietary data in it, right? Ah, maybe you're just plugging in to their data, and you don't even control that section of your program. Thus you can't provide an un-powered "electrical socket" since they provide not only the "electricity" (data), but also the socket itself. I guess that makes you really dependent on them. Oh, well.


Exactly correct. There is no way to create an "empty" language - there are certain Proximity-supplied files that are absolutely required. These define characteristics of the language for the other Proximity pieces to use. Without these required files (specific to and different for every language) you're dead in the water.

#7 HappyUser

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 03:32 AM

Exactly correct. There is no way to create an "empty" language - there are certain Proximity-supplied files that are absolutely required. These define characteristics of the language for the other Proximity pieces to use. Without these required files (specific to and different for every language) you're dead in the water.


Okay. Please just let me know when you do start offering Lithuanian! :lol:

#8 Evan Gross

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 04:10 AM

Okay. Please just let me know when you do start offering Lithuanian! :lol:


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