Spell checking for GTK+ 3?

Finally I got myself a new home and some sort of internet connection for it. I was just reading Friedel’s post about spell checking on Google Chrome, where he states that a “system wide spell service that all programs can use” would be on his “wish list for GNOME 3”. Well, GtkSpell uses Enchant already, and LibSexy was included in GTK+ 2.16… What about including GtkSpell in GTK+?

I know Owen Taylor told spell checking didn’t belong in GTK+, but that was years ago. Reading Project Ridley’s wiki page, Enchant can be used anywhere, so it would make a lot of sense for GTK+ to use it.

I don’t pretend to know better than GTK+ developers, or better than GTK+-based application developers. I’d like some feedback on the idea, and then I might actually request it.

Update: Javier commented that there’s already a bug report about this. To be honest, the bug report has been open for a few years now. I hope the feature gets implemented someday.

21 respostas em “Spell checking for GTK+ 3?

  1. I would love to have system-wide spellchecking. I’m sick of having to cope with lots of different spellchecking techniniques/technologies used by different softwares on my system. As GTK+ seems to be the de-facto standard these days, having spellchecking implemented at its level would be awesome.

    Application developers would get a convenient way to add the functionality to their programs and users worldwide would rejoice, dancing around the fire and singing old-fashioned and cool songs 🙂

  2. Yes, this is a good idea if done properly (as in Vim, and not as in Firefox).

    Typical problem: the dictionary is taken from the locale settings. This means that, for Russians, Russian texts get spell-checked, while English text (such as this message) often don’t, although they should be checked, too.

  3. I’d be happy to see this in GTK3, there shouldn’t be so many different methods of doing this it should be in the platform to make it easier to implement and rely on it being there.

  4. @Alexander E. Patrakov:

    tough to be russian.. for a swede like me, Firefox offers Swedish plus four kinds of English to choose from. Just right click in the text field.

  5. Please also think about other people that don’t use GNOME .. like KDE for example.
    Shouldn’t then this spell checking be an area of interested for freedesktop spec if anything ?

  6. Alexander, rest assured multi-language spell checking will be possible. Gedit lets you choose the language for the spell checker, and Evolution even lets you accept more than one language at the same time. Sonnet, in KDE4, would detect the language automatically for each paragraph and use the corresponding dictionary, but AFAIK the project is stalled and no code was added since 2007.

    val-gaav, Enchant does that. It can be used by any free software, and abstracts the spell checker. So, if your language don’t have a good dictionary for a spell checker (e.g. ispell) you can use another (e.g. hunspell) by setting up Enchant — no need to change anything in Enchant’s or the application’s source code. KDE 3 didn’t use Enchant, it used KSpell2 instead, which did the same thing. I’m not sure about how KDE 4 handles it.

  7. And what about select-a-word-and-search-on-the-internet, or a feature that turns urls into clickable links, or a feature that gives a character map menu item on all text inputs, or autocompletion based on previous words (ala openoffice)? This doesn’t all belong in GTK but still may be useful in _all_ text fields (instead of input elements in a Firefox page).

    Maybe we need some kind of pluggable system to add features to widgets. Or maybe part is present already as the themeing engine (I don’t really know)? This would let system integrators (distributions) and users allow to select the desired features/addons/plugins/… and keep GTK unbloated.

    On the other side, these features may need to know to much of GTK’s inside details to be feasible as an external plugin, so in that case it would be sensible to keep them in GTK’s source tree. But please think outside the box first, then decide on the right way to go.

    Just my 2c 🙂

  8. Pingback: Leonardo Ferreira Fontenelle: Spell checking for GTK+ 3? | Full-Linux.com

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