[Lexicog] Issues regarding a free dictionary

Sabine Cretella sabine_cretella at YAHOO.IT
Thu Dec 8 14:22:16 UTC 2005

Hi Arun,

I took some days to answer since there are some developments going on 
right now - so sometimes take a day more makes sense. Sorry for letting 
you wait.

So I will write inbetween your lines.

>Once my software goes public, people have the freedom
>to make dictionaries and distribute it. 
This can be done with Ultimate Wiktionary. It will, at a certain stage, 
allow for download in different formats - .dict and .tbx for example. 
For TBX format we are in contact with Lisa (http://www.lisa.org).

>Once you allow
>that how do you stop people from making "corrupt"
>dictionaries? I am not saying that people will
>intentionally corrupt dictionaries. They can do it by
>mistake. People have their own way of defining
>meanings for words. Sometimes their definitions can
>convey another (totally different) sense. How can you
>stop this? How do you stop people from multiplicating
Really this is a problem all acutal wiktionaries have and we cope quite 
well with it. Of course, no dictionary is perfect, but working in groups 
and checking new entries before adding own things (that are then checked 
by others) helps to avoid the mayor part of problems. Within Ultimate 
Wiktionary we will have a validation feature - this means that a term 
will have three levels of "validity". When you enter a new term it gets 
validity one - then there are two checkboxes and these are used to 
attribute validity two and three to a term - this means that besides the 
person who inserted the lemma other two will need to agree to what was 
inserted - of course even this can be reviewed if someone comes and says 
that all three people were wrong (it could happen) - so that is then the 
case to discuss the problem.

>Currently, one solution I thought of was, there should
>be one world wide agency that maintains its own
>database. In case people receive corrrupted
>dictionaries from other people, or they corrupt their
>own dictionary, they can always get reliable
>dictionaries from that place. So in order to be
>effective they should provide a service like hosting
>message boards or discussion groups open to the
>public. Someone like me can post a question out there
>asking if a particular version of defining is okay! I
>hope you got the point.
Ultimate Wiktionary, like Wikipedia or better all Wikimedia projects 
will have its discussion list, the discussion pages for every single 
term, a bar (on the Wiki) where to talk about things. So: problems will 
be solved (well really problems are there to be solved :-).

Like said above: downloads will be possible. Besides the possibility for 
downloads we are also planning a reference implementation for 
CAT-Software (Computer Assisted Translation) that will be, for example, 
part of OmegaT (http://www.omegat.org/omegat/omegat.html) and other free 
software. I could also imagine to adapt it to other software like 
OpenOffice.org etc.

What this reference implementation does basically is giving a direct 
access to Ultimate Wiktionary. Translators using the CAT-Software will 
be able to retrieve data from UW and also add new terminology during 
their translation process. Of course it should also be possible to work 

>Moreover, talking about the software; I plan to
>publish how things are coded into the database. So if
>you want you can use that database for another
>program, say for e.g. a spell checker for your own
>word precessor. Also the code and ideas behind this
>software will be accessible to all. So once that is
>out, why don't you develop this software for a linux
>system?! The idea is out, right?
Well: this sofware is already under development - it is Open Source and 
it would be wonderful to have more and more people working on it - in 
terms of ideas and in terms of programming. It seems as if you have 
really great ideas :-)

So why not try to get things together?

Btw.: we are also foreseeing the possibility to create spellcheckers :-)

>Just wait for my second blog (part 2) where i'll make
>things more clear.
>This is a small idea compared to the wiki project. I
>would not like boasting out that much. :-)
No, that is not a small idea - I suppose your ideas could well integrate 
what we already have/what others already do and working together would 
make much sense.

You can find articles on Ultimate Wiktionary, the database design etc. here:

See, everything started "small" and then became big. One and half a year 
ago the Italian wiktionary had 158 words - now it has over 35.000 - 
nobody can do something like this alone - it is group work that enables 
us to achieve really huge goals. Ultimate Wiktionary started with a 
similar idea like yours - then we talked to people - many people - and 
bit by bit our requirements grew, we wanted to make sure that it becomes 
useable for almost anyone. Today we are in contact with universities. 
Many might think that "single people" don't count too much - to my 
opinion that's not true - single people, if really committed to an idea 
and and ideal can achieve a lot.

You are doing and this means you want to achieve. Well: let's achieve 
things together :-)

On the end of November a gave a presentation about "From Wikipedia to 
Ultimate Wiktionary" and "OpenOffice.org and OmegaT" - it was created 
for translators, but maybe it can be useful for a fast overview. Here 
are the links where you can download it in pdf format:
Ultimate Wiktionary: 

Please don't hesitate to ask any question you have in mind - things 
often seem so normal to me, since I am working on it daily.

Thank you!!!

Best wishes,


Sabine Cretella
s.cretella at wordsandmore.it
skype: sabinecretella


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