Aspell and

Kevin Atkinson kevin at
Mon Oct 21 23:26:09 CEST 2002

[CC to Aspell-devel for a public record of our conversation, please 
continue to do so unless you have a good reason not to.]

I was browsing though Usenet groups on the search term "Aspell" as I do 
from time to time to see what out people are saying about Aspell and I 
came across your thread "Spell-check engine?" to comp.lang.python.

Although the LGPL gives you the right to reuse my code I would 
of appreciate a note to that effort.  You could of saved yourself a 
decent deal of effort by contacting me first.

A few points I want to address:

The Aspell library should compile on Win32 using the MinGW version of Gcc 
which means that the CygWin library does not need to be pulled in.  It can 
now also compile using VC++ but with a user contributed patch but that is 
completely unsupported by me.

Do not even think about using the *.rws files as it is a compiled
dictionary format internal to Aspell and can change at any time.  For
example the next Aspell release 0.51 will change the format of the
compiled words lists in a non trivial way.  However using the *.cwl is
rather easy.  All the *.cwl are just compressed word lists with the
word-list-compress utility distributed with Aspell.  The process is
extremely simple and can easy be written in any language.

When edit distance are computed each "edit" has a weight associated with 
it.  When typo analysis is used the weights are significantly different 
from the normal edit distance algorithm.  The basic algorithm is the same 

If you have any other questions I will be happy to address them.


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