Friday, November 23, 2007

Custom Dictionaries in Leopard (MacOSX 10.5)

MacOSX has had built-in dictionaries for selected languages since the early days, but no official way to build alternate dictionaries and install them.

I had a discussion with a college from the same team where I work and he told me that with Leopard (10.5) he could now create custom Japanese dictionaries and install them. The XCode 3.0 development tool has a template example how to create such dictionaries.

This means that anyone interested could create Tibetan dictionaries and install them on their Mac. The benefits is that you could do spell checking (provided the dictionary is big enough to catch most common words and phrases), as well as doing direct lookup of words similar to using a thesaurus.

Note that the Tibetan words and terms need to be in Unicode, so anyone who has a set of Wylie based dictionary material needs to first convert the Tibetan to Unicode, and then create the needed data files for such dictionaries. Otherwise, it should be easy to build these.

I've done some more testing with Unicode and Tibetan on my MacBookPro running Leopard, and it's so much fun to finally have everything in one single, uniformed, document, using Unicode.

1 comment:

Wangdu said...

I love what you are doing with your blog. I also find the unicode Tibetan in Leopard has made a major difference in ease of use. I am fascinated by the dictionary idea.