halting problem :: The Hazards of Love

:: ~2 min read

while I’m rebuilding my jhbuild setup in order to roll out gnome-utils 2.27.1 ((hopefully before the cut-off time for the 2.27.1 release)) I started pondering on a couple of questions:

  1. why are we still shipping the dictionary applet?
  2. and, more importantly: why are we still shipping a DICT protocol client?
okay, I wrote them both — and I was just trying to save them from the horrid death-by-code-rotting fate they were condemned to — but at the time I did not stop and consider why ((the software engineering and programming challenge were, foolishly, all I was interested in; I was young and eager to prove myself)).

who in their right mind would still use a DICT client — when it’s not perfectly clear ((go on, look at the two dictionary providers we install with gnome-dictionary, and consider that those two have been the same since 2.12, that is seven development cycles ago)) that only a few DICT servers are alive enough to be useful, and mostly for the english-speaking only world?

so, I ask the interwebs: what kind of electronic dictionary do you commonly use when you need one? do you use Wiktionary and Wikipedia? do you use another web service ((with a public API, hopefully))? or do you use something local, with files you update semi-regularly? what do you use when you need to translate something?

I’d like to address this issue during the 2.27 cycle because I don’t want to let gnome-dictionary end up like gfloppy — a survivor of a different era that only recently we were able to just remove for something far more powerful and useful.

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