History and Details

In 1997-1998, Alastair McKinstry created an open source spell checker ispell-ga that was based on a rather small word list. Although I ended up not using the words from that list in GaelSpell, I'm nevertheless grateful to Alastair for a couple of useful ideas that I was able to borrow from his affix file.

I developed the first version of GaelSpell in February of 2000 as part of the Software Engineering course I teach at Saint Louis University, as a way of illustrating some the difficulties involved with software internationalization to my students.

My basic strategy was to produce a list of headwords along with complete grammatical information for each one, and to collect that information in a single, centralized database. Then I wrote a small program that automatically produces all inflected forms of each noun, verb, and adjective, and used this program to create the basic word list that I use in the spell checker. In this file you'll find:

This last set of words must be included because of the strict rules regarding capitalization imposed by the most common spell checkers; this idea came from Alastair McKinstry's work. Then the so-called “affix file” generates complete conjugations of all regular verbs, including lenited and eclipsed forms when necessary.

The result is a dictionary that is highly accurate (I have verified every headword against print dictionaries at least once) and complete (it accepts every inflected form of each headword).


Releases


ChangeLog

20 September 2000 — Version 0.2

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22 February 2001 — Version 1.0

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28 December 2001 — Version 1.1

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26 June 2002 — Version 1.2

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31 July 2002 — Version 2.0

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17 December 2002 — Version 3.0

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5 March 2003 — Version 3.1

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18 April 2003 — Version 3.2

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10 July 2003 — Version 3.3

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1 April 2004 — Version 3.4

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18 July 2004 — Version 3.5

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7 January 2005 — Version 3.6

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18 July 2005 — Version 4.0

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31 July 2006 — Version 4.1

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6 May 2007 — Version 4.2

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29 October 2007 — Version 4.3

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4 August 2008 — Version 4.4

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26 July 2010 — Version 4.5

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27 July 2011 — Version 4.6

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9 January 2014 — Version 4.7

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13 February 2016 — Version 4.8

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3 December 2017 — Version 5.0

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