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GNU Aspell 0.60 Released

From: Kevin Atkinson
Subject: GNU Aspell 0.60 Released
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 02:25:48 -0400 (EDT)

[This document is also available at]

GNU Aspell 0.60 is now available at:

GNU Aspell is a Free spell checker designed to eventually replace
Ispell.  It can either be used as a library or as an independent spell
checker.  Its main feature is that it does a much better job of
suggesting possible replacements for a misspelled word than just about
any other spell checker out there for the English language.  Unlike
Ispell, Aspell can also easily check documents in UTF-8 without having
to use a special dictionary.  Aspell will also do its best to respect
the current locale setting.  Other advantages over Ispell include
support for using multiple dictionaries at once and intelligently
handling personal dictionaries when more than one Aspell process is
open at once.

Additional information on GNU Aspell can be found at

The two major changes in this release, as compared to 0.50.5, are
support for affix compression and better Unicode support.

Complete list of changes from 0.50.5:

   * Added support for Affix Compression.  Affix compression stores the
     root word and then a list of prefixes and suffixes that the word
     can take, and thus saves a lot of space.  The codebase comes from
     MySpell found in OpenOffice.  It uses the same affix file that
     OpenOffice (and Mozilla) use.  Affix compression will even work
     with soundslike lookup to a limited extent.

   * Added support for accepting all input and printing all output in
     UTF-8 or some other encoding different from the one Aspell uses.
     This includes support for Unicode normalization.  Asp can now
     support any language with no more than 210 distinct characters,
     including different capitalizations and accents, _even if_ there
     is not an existing 8-bit encoding that supports the language.

   * Added support for loadable filters and customizable filter modes
     thanks to Christoph Hinterm├╝ller.

   * Enhanced SGML filter to also support skipping sgml tags such as
     "script" blocks thanks to Tom Snyder.

   * Added gettext support thanks to Sergey Poznyakoff

   * Reworked the compiled dictionary format.  Compiled dictionaries
     now take up less space (less than 80% for the English language) and
     creating them is significantly faster (over 4 times for the
     English language).

   * Reworked suggestion code.  It is significantly faster when dealing
     with short words (up to 10 times).  Also added support for MySpell
     Replacement Tables and n-gram lookup.  In addition, added basic
     support for compound words.

   * Manual has has been converted to texinfo format thanks to the work
     of Chris Martin.

   * Reworked the build system so that a single Makefile is used for
     most of the code.

   * All data, by default, is now included in `LIBDIR/aspell-0.60'.
     Also added a built time option to increment the major version
     number of the shared library.  This should allow both Aspell
     version 0.50 and 0.60 to coexist.  The major version number is
     _not_ incremented by default as Aspell 0.60 is binary compatible
     with Aspell 0.50.

   * The code to handle dictionaries has been rewritten.  Because of
     this support for the dictionary option `strip-accents' has been
     removed.  In addition the `ignore-accents' option is currently

   * Lots of other minor changes due to massive overhaul of the source

With support for affix compression finally being implement Aspell
should be able to replace Ispell for most tasks.  The only major
feature that Ispell has which Aspell does not is a nroff filter, which
can easilly be corrected if someone who knows nroff well is willing to
work with me to add it.

With the release of GNU Aspell 0.60 it is my sincere hope that GNU
Aspell can replace Ispell as the de facto spell checker for all free
operating systems and possible all Unix like systems.  All known
Ispell dictionaries have been converted to Aspell format, except for
Albanian (sq) as I was unable to find the source word list.

GNU Aspell can support any of the following languages, many of which
already have dictionaries available:

   Code Language Name           Dictionary     Gettext
                                Available      Translation

   aa   Afar                    -              -
   af   Afrikaans               0.50           -
   ak   Akan                    -              -
   am   Amharic                 Planned        -
   ar   Arabic                  Planned        -
   as   Assamese                -              -
   ast  Asturian / Bable        Maybe          -
   av   Avar                    -              -
   ay   Aymara                  -              -
   az   Azerbaijani             0.60           -

   ba   Bashkir                 -              -
   ban  Balinese                Maybe          -
   be   Belarusian              0.50           Incomplete
   bem  Bemba                   Maybe          -
   bg   Bulgarian               0.50           -
   bh   Bihari                  -              -
   bi   Bislama                 Maybe          -
   bm   Bambara                 -              -
   bn   Bengali                 0.60           -
   bo   Tibetan                 -              -
   br   Breton                  0.50           -
   bs   Bosnian                 Maybe          -

   ca   Catalan / Valencian     0.50           -
   ce   Chechen                 -              -
   ceb  Cebuano                 Maybe          -
   ch   Chamorro                Maybe          -
   co   Corsican                Maybe          -
   cs   Czech                   0.50           Yes
   cv   Chuvash                 -              -
   cy   Welsh                   0.50           -

   da   Danish                  0.50           Incomplete
   de   German                  0.50           Yes

   ee   Ewe                     -              -
   el   Greek                   0.50           -
   en   English                 0.50           Yes
   eo   Esperanto               0.50           -
   es   Spanish                 0.50           Incomplete
   et   Estonian                0.60           -
   eu   Basque                  Maybe          -

   fa   Persian                 Maybe          -
   ff   Fulah                   -              -
   fi   Finnish                 0.60           -
   fj   Fijian                  Maybe          -
   fo   Faroese                 0.50           -
   fr   French                  0.50           Yes
   fur  Friulian                Maybe          -
   fy   Frisian                 Maybe          -

   ga   Irish                   0.50           Yes
   gd   Scottish Gaelic         0.50           -
   gl   Gallegan                0.50           -
   gn   Guarani                 Maybe          -
   gu   Gujarati                Maybe          -
   gv   Manx Gaelic             0.50           -

   ha   Hausa                   Maybe          -
   haw  Hawaiian                Maybe          -
   he   Hebrew                  0.60           -
   hi   Hindi                   Maybe          -
   hil  Hiligaynon              Maybe          -
   ho   Hiri Motu               -              -
   hr   Croatian                0.50           -
   hsb  Upper Sorbian           0.60           -
   ht   Haitian Creole          Maybe          -
   hu   Hungarian               0.60           -
   hy   Armenian                -              -
   hz   Herero                  -              -

   ia   Interlingua (IALA)      0.50           -
   iba  Iban                    Maybe          -
   id   Indonesian              0.50           -
   ig   Igbo                    Maybe          -
   ii   Sichuan Yi              -              -
   ilo  Iloko                   Maybe          -
   io   Ido                     -              -
   is   Icelandic               0.50           -
   it   Italian                 0.50           -

   jv   Javanese                -              -

   ka   Georgian                -              -
   kac  Kachin                  Maybe          -
   kg   Kongo                   Maybe          -
   ki   Kikuyu / Gikuyu         -              -
   kj   Kwanyama                -              -
   kk   Kazakh                  -              -
   kl   Kalaallisut /           Maybe          -
   kn   Kannada                 -              -
   kok  Konkani                 Maybe          -
   kr   Kanuri                  -              -
   ks   Kashmiri                -              -
   ku   Kurdish                 Maybe          -

   kv   Komi                    -              -
   kw   Cornish                 Maybe          -
   ky   Kirghiz                 -              -

   la   Latin                   0.60           -
   lb   Luxembourgish           Maybe          -
   lg   Ganda                   Maybe          -
   li   Limburgian              Maybe          -
   ln   Lingala                 Maybe          -
   lt   Lithuanian              0.60           -
   lu   Luba-Katanga            -              -
   luo  Luo (Kenya and          Maybe          -
   lv   Latvian                 0.60           -

   mg   Malagasy                Maybe          -
   mh   Marshallese             Maybe          -
   mi   Maori                   0.50           -
   min  Minangkabau             Maybe          -
   mk   Macedonian              0.50           -
   ml   Malayalam               Maybe          -
   mn   Mongolian               0.60           Yes
   mo   Moldavian               -              -
   mr   Marathi                 Maybe          -
   ms   Malay                   0.50           -
   mt   Maltese                 0.50           -
   my   Burmese                 -              -

   nb   Norwegian Bokmal        0.50           -
   nd   North Ndebele           Maybe          -
   nds  Low Saxon               Maybe          -
   ne   Nepali                  Maybe          -
   ng   Ndonga                  Maybe          -
   nl   Dutch                   0.50           Yes
   nn   Norwegian Nynorsk       0.50           -
   nr   South Ndebele           -              -
   nso  Northern Sotho          Maybe          -
   nv   Navajo                  -              -
   ny   Nyanja                  0.50           -

   oc   Occitan / Provencal     Maybe          -
   om   Oromo                   -              -
   or   Oriya                   -              -
   os   Ossetic                 -              -

   pa   Punjabi                 -              -
   pam  Pampanga                Maybe          -
   pap  Papiamento              Maybe          -
   pl   Polish                  0.50           -
   ps   Pushto                  -              -
   pt   Portuguese              0.50           Incomplete

   qu   Quechua                 0.60           -

   rn   Rundi                   Maybe          -
   ro   Romanian                0.50           Incomplete
   ru   Russian                 0.50           Yes
   rw   Kinyarwanda             0.50           -

   sc   Sardinian               0.50           -
   sd   Sindhi                  -              -
   se   Northern Sami           Maybe          -
   sg   Sango                   -              -
   si   Sinhalese               -              -
   sk   Slovak                  0.50           -
   sl   Slovenian               0.50           -
   sm   Samoan                  Maybe          -
   sn   Shona                   Maybe          -
   so   Somali                  Maybe          -
   sq   Albanian                Maybe          -
   sr   Serbian                 Maybe          Incomplete
   ss   Swati                   Maybe          -
   st   Southern Sotho          Maybe          -
   su   Sundanese               Maybe          -
   sv   Swedish                 0.50           -
   sw   Swahili                 0.50           -

   ta   Tamil                   0.60           -
   te   Telugu                  Maybe          -
   tet  Tetum                   0.50           -
   tg   Tajik                   Maybe          Incomplete
   ti   Tigrinya                Maybe          -
   tk   Turkmen                 Planned        -
   tl   Tagalog                 0.50           -
   tn   Tswana                  0.50           -
   to   Tonga                   Maybe          -
   tpi  Tok Pisin               Maybe          -
   tr   Turkish                 0.50           -
   ts   Tsonga                  Maybe          -
   tt   Tatar                   -              -
   tw   Twi                     -              -
   ty   Tahitian                Maybe          -

   ug   Uighur                  -              -
   uk   Ukrainian               0.50           Yes
   ur   Urdu                    Maybe          -
   uz   Uzbek                   0.60           -

   ve   Venda                   Maybe          -
   vi   Vietnamese              0.60           -

   wa   Walloon                 0.50           Incomplete
   wo   Wolof                   -              -

   xh   Xhosa                   Maybe          -

   yi   Yiddish                 0.60           -
   yo   Yoruba                  -              -

   za   Zhuang                  -              -
   zu   Zulu                    0.50           -

Dictionaries marked as "0.50" are available for Aspell 0.50.  Ones
marked as "0.60" are available for Aspell 0.60 only.  Ones marked as
"Planned" should eventually be available.  Ones marked as "Maybe"
might be available in the future.  See 
for more info.

Dictionaries can be downloaded at

Finally, if you wish to support the continuing development of Aspell
please consider donating.  Your donation will encouraging me, Kevin
Atkinson, to continue to spend my time developing Aspell. Without your
support Aspell may go into another period of non-development as was
the case for most of 2003.

If you wish to contribute a modest amount of money you can do so now
by using the SourceForge donation system:

If you wish to talk to me (as in over the phone) before contributing
money, or wish to only contribute money towards development of a certain
area of Aspell, this can be arranged.


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