Evan Martin (evan) wrote in logjam,
Evan Martin

gtkspell and other languages

Also sent to the Pan mailing lists:

Hello all,
I am the author GtkSpell. GtkSpell 2 isn't very popular (I just wrote it recently!) so I figure the Pan users are the people I should ask about features. :)

I'm working on GtkSpell 2.0.1 which should drop-in in place of GtkSpell 2.0.0. (I plan to eventually make a GtkSpell 2.1 which will break backward compatibility but work a bit more cleanly, but that will happen sometime in the future.)

I've had a few requests for supporting alternate languages (such as this one: http://mail.freesoftware.fsf.org/pipermail/pan-users/2002-July/001284.html ) and I was wondering how foreign-language users actually specify their language.

Do you normally set an environment variable? Which one (LANG, LC_ALL)?
If that variable is set to a language other than English, would it make sense for GtkSpell to default to a language other than English, or do we need the applications (Pan, LogJam) to allow you to specify the language you're writing in?
(I can imagine wanting to write different messages in different languages... but for now, what should GtkSpell default to: English? Your locale-provided language?)

As for some other concerns I've seen here: Yes, I know the word-breaking doesn't work quite right, especially in a word like "I've". I've been relying on Pango (the internationalization module of Gtk) to tell me where the word breaks are, but apparently it's lying. :)
In any case, I'm aware of this issue, and I've mailed the Pango developer about this (though it was a while ago and he never responded; time to bug him again?).
Worst case, I can write my own word-breaking code. (The linguists around here might shudder at the thought, but it appears pspell [the backend of GtkSpell] doesn't support languages like Japanese [where determining word boundaries is Very Hard] so I think I can do it.)

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