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Spell checker #235557 26/12/11 11:25 PM
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samten Offline OP
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Topic kinda says it all...can we get a misspell check like firefox / MS Word that puts a squiggly red line under a misspelled word and when you right-click on that word it offers you some recommendations on the correct spelling? Of course, this would have to be done in the text box before you post it to the channel / query window otherwise it would be useless. This would rock.

Just an idea smile

- samten

Re: Spell checker [Re: samten] #235558 27/12/11 12:45 AM
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FroggieDaFrog Offline
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Scripted spell check by your's truely. (Must be on windows, w/ MS word 2003 or later installed): My SpellCheck

Last edited by FroggieDaFrog; 27/12/11 12:57 AM.

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Re: Spell checker [Re: FroggieDaFrog] #235559 27/12/11 12:56 AM
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samten Offline OP
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ah bummer. I don't have Word on this computer smirk

Re: Spell checker [Re: samten] #235560 27/12/11 12:58 AM
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FroggieDaFrog Offline
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Oh, Thought you did after mentioning MS Word in your post. I also meant 2003 or later...


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Re: Spell checker [Re: FroggieDaFrog] #235562 27/12/11 01:18 AM
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samten Offline OP
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It's cool. I'll just dig up my copy of it. I have it around here somewhere, I just have yet to put in on my new computer here. Can't wait to use your spell checker laugh

Re: Spell checker [Re: samten] #235572 27/12/11 08:18 AM
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I use this script as I don't have any MS Word products installed, rather nice script runs perfectly, no performance impacts.

Edit,
Works in 6.34 - 7.22 (version at time of this post)

Last edited by KindOne; 27/12/11 08:19 AM.

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Re: Spell checker [Re: KindOne] #235716 06/01/12 09:45 PM
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Funny, I actually helped SwitchDragon write that addon smile I used to be a part of ProjectX, with SwitchDragon, Urmac, FolkLore, Mentor, UnConeD and all the others lol. Just brought me down memory lane, thanks wink


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Re: Spell checker [Re: samten] #236230 13/02/12 06:26 PM
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I've been looking for a spell checker for a long time now, still yet to have found a decent one.
All the current scripts are obtrusive or simply don't work any more (sometimes both).
A hunspell/iSpell integration for mIRC would be greatly beneficial for everyone (similar to Chrome's spell check - simply marks the misspelled words with a red underline and gives you the correct spelling when clicked).

Re: Spell checker [Re: moran679] #236236 14/02/12 02:58 AM
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The main problem with that... there isn't any underlining available on the edit line. That would have to change. Besides, IRC is just for chatting. There isn't any more need for good spelling on IRC as there is on IM, where most people use shorthand "IM-speak" instead of typing out words anyhow. On a browser, spell checking makes sense because you might be filling out a resume or doing something else important. That just isn't the case with IRC. Besides, auto spell checkers dumb people down. You don't learn to spell if everything is done for you. You learn to spell by actually having to do so.


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Re: Spell checker [Re: Riamus2] #236241 14/02/12 09:48 AM
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IMO the argument that we are making society stupider by introducing spell check is nothing more than anecdotal evidence and conjecture. I don't think it's mIRC's job to make opinionated calls on how people should or shouldn't use their computers. Telling people they get dumber by using spell check is not really helpful.

The real issue, in my opinion, is that to implement spellchecking in mIRC, Khaled would likely have to put in a disproportionate amount of effort for the return. The amount of false positives you get from a spell checker over a medium like IRC is likely ridiculously high. False positives are a big problem because they make users ignore feedback-- ie., your red underline would be meaningless if it popped up on every 2nd word. That's likely what would happen over IRC. How do you spell check a sentence like "u r gr8"? Those aren't "misspellings". How do you deal with the fact that many of the spelling errors would just be channel or nicknames, or shorthand notation for the various things people talk about over IRC?

I should also point out that I've used free spelling libraries like hunspell (an aspell-like library) in the past, and they are not very impressive. They tend to lack concepts of pluralization and verb tenses, so if mIRC were to add standard IRC jargon like "lol", "brb", etc., it would not handle all of the other possible permutations of these words: lols, loling, lol'd, etc... it's also important to realize that many spelling errors do not produce incorrect words, but rather, another valid word (known as a typo). Misspelling pig as pic, for instance, would not generate an error line, so this would be a false negative. With the possibility for so much misjudgment on the part of the spell checker, I'm pretty skeptical about adding this functionality.

As a final point, I think this image is useful to share, given the subject matter. The following is what my browser, Chrome, thinks of my spelling abilities. Chrome uses aspell, I think, which is what has been suggested for mIRC. Although I made no actual spelling errors in my post, Chrome seems to think there are plenty. FYI it doesn't even recognize "spellcheck" as a valid word:



That's that we'd be expecting to see, if mIRC implemented the same functionality. Except it would be worse-- I'm not nearly as formal about my spelling/grammar on IRC. I suspect other people have similar habits.


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Re: Spell checker [Re: argv0] #236242 14/02/12 11:10 AM
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We already know that spell checkers are not perfect. You don't need to explain the downsides of using a spell checker. It doesn't change the fact that it is a popularly requested feature for mIRC and one that many people including myself would find useful in spite of those downsides. Spell checkers may not be compatible with the way you personally use IRC, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be useful for others.

On a side note, as your own image shows, Chrome doesn't underline any part of "u r gr8", which sort of ruins the point you were trying to make there. In any case, if you are the type of person who uses terms like "gr8" or "ur", then you probably aren't the type of person who would enable the spell checker anyway.

Re: Spell checker [Re: drum] #236249 14/02/12 09:15 PM
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argv0 Offline
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Originally Posted By: drum
We already know that spell checkers are not perfect.


Are you really speaking on behalf of every single reader, here? Most people aren't aware of the actual downsides of using a spellchecker in shorthand text mediums-- you know, ones where full sentences are not the norm (aka. IRC). I'm bringing this to light.

Originally Posted By: drum
On a side note, as your own image shows, Chrome doesn't underline any part of u r gr8, which sort of ruins the point you were trying to make there.


It doesn't really ruin it, no. You're forgetting an important point about mIRC. It's not Chrome. The dictionary mIRC uses may or may not catch those words. It's possible that Chrome specifically curates its dictionary to ignore words with numbers in them (something mIRC would have to mimick, unless the library does this automatically), as well as "words" that are 1 letter long. Note that I asked a question, I didn't provide an answer. The question was: "how will mIRC react to these sentences?" -- the answer is, it's hard to predict whether it will do the right thing, given an arbitrary example. Congratulations, Chrome (not mIRC) did the right thing for one of them. In English (would it work in Arabic? Russian?). That's a very specific and small victory.

Also, "if you are the type of person who uses terms like 'ur' ... you will disable it" isn't really the point. Again, "ur" is just one example of a false positive. You are assuming that all false positives come from someone who doesn't "care" about spelling to begin with. I gave many examples of when that would not be true. For instance, I care about spelling. I'm very conscientious about my spelling. And yet, in this reply alone, Chrome has made me question whether I spelled "mimick" correctly (I did, Chrome doesn't have the variant spelling in its dictionary), thereby wasting my time. This is fine and dandy on a forum where my answer will stick around, but on IRC my answer will disappear into the backbuffer in a few minutes time, so I would not waste my time googling to make sure mIRC is making the right call every time something pops up red.

Again, this is just me-- but the question is, how many people are like me? And how many people would actually benefit from a very imperfect spell checker? This seems more like a cost benefit issue to me. Yes, in a perfect world, we could add every single feature you wanted. This is reality, where it really doesn't make sense to spend a large amount of effort (the editbox would need to be completely redesigned, a spellcheck would need to be integrated, dictionaries curated in multiple languages) so that a handful of people catch 30% more spelling errors. If you can prove that the feature would be more effective/useful, that would be more convincing. Implementing something that is known to not be very effective seems... ineffective.


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Re: Spell checker [Re: argv0] #236253 15/02/12 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted By: argv0
Most people aren't aware of the actual downsides of using a spellchecker in shorthand text mediums-- you know, ones where full sentences are not the norm (aka. IRC). I'm bringing this to light.


I disagree. Spell checkers are very prevalent in IM clients, so many people are already familiar with how they would work in such a situation.

Quote:
And yet, in this reply alone, Chrome has made me question whether I spelled "mimick" correctly (I did, Chrome doesn't have the variant spelling in its dictionary), thereby wasting my time.


Chrome's spell checker was correct. "Mimick" is an archaic spelling, so it is no longer accepted as a correct spelling in modern English. Similarly, from your last post, "spellcheck" as a compound word is not a widely accepted spelling either. But even ignoring these facts, nothing is stopping you from loading in a custom dictionary or manually adding those words to the internal dictionary so that they will be treated as correct.

Quote:
This seems more like a cost benefit issue to me.


That is something for Khaled to decide, IMO.

Re: Spell checker [Re: drum] #236255 15/02/12 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted By: drum
That is something for Khaled to decide, IMO.


Everything is for Khaled to decide. That doesn't mean no one should comment on anything. I'm certain Khaled takes into account not just the suggestions, but the general opinions of those who post as well as any good or bad points that are stated regarding a specific feature. There really isn't anything wrong with agreeing or disagreeing with a suggestion and giving reasons why.

Regardless, this suggestion has been suggested so often that I think every pro and con has already been stated many times already.

The "short" answer for the OP - the suggestion is known and has been known to Khaled for a LONG time. It would require redoing how the edit line works to allow for underlining and hotlinking. Khaled would also need to either select a set of dictionaries that he thinks will never go away or else he will have to manage his own set. It doesn't help to use third party items in a program only to have the people who manage them disappear. Most programmers generally avoid that kind of situation whenever possible. Exceptions are of course for major companies (such as using .NET because you know M$ isn't going away). Maybe Khaled can find a dictionary set for most languages that he feels will be reliable and long lasting so he doesn't have to worry about it. That or he has to cater to the ability to let users pick their own dictionaries and that can be a pain as well. And considering scripting works (it may not be perfect, but it does work), I have a feeling the feature is far down on his list of things to do. That being said, I do believe he has it on his list of things to do. Of course, that's just a guess.


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Re: Spell checker [Re: drum] #236256 15/02/12 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted By: drum
Chrome's spell checker was correct. "Mimick" is an archaic spelling, so it is no longer accepted as a correct spelling in modern English.


I'm glad you learned how to google and click the first result. Unfortunately, you're repeating an uncorroborated statement that has little bearing on reality. I can't find anything that backs up your claim that mimick is "no longer accepted as a correct spelling". When was that decision made? Was there a meeting? Mimick is still used in prose today, and the alternate form "mimic" is actually just as "archaic"; it dates back to the 1500's according to Google books search results, which, by the way, is actually prior to the spelling of "mimick" as these results show. So, contrary to your implication, "mimic" is not a newer version of the word mimick-- it's actually the other way around.

Originally Posted By: drum
nothing is stopping you from loading in a custom dictionary or manually adding those words to the internal dictionary so that they will be treated as correct.


You're right about this, but this is where the complications I mentioned above come into play. Feel free to actually read what I wrote in my first post, but just in case, I'll reiterate: these libraries tend to be really bad at pluralization or verb tense/conjugation; they basically have no concept of it. You could add "foo", but "foos" "foo'd" "fooing" and other versions would still be considered incorrect. You'd have to add every permutation of every word outside your dictionary. You make it sound trivial-- it's not. I know because I've recently done this using hunspell (hence my mentioning of it above) for technical documentation I recently wrote. Technical documentation, with lots of technical jargon, fell outside the scope of the dictionary many times. Unfortunately, adding most of the technical words was not enough, as they were conjugated and used in many forms. We actually discovered that our custom word list ranged into the hundreds of words, and it took quite a while to sift through all the text to pick out those words (even though we had tools to help).

This is not a problem if the dictionary is good-- the problem is most dictionaries aren't... and they can't be, because of situations like technical terminology and even simple things like "mimic" vs "mimick" (neither is wrong, one is just no longer popular in the US, which, I should point out, is only one country of the other English speaking countries out there). But realize the point I'm making-- it's not about adding words. Because, rather than bothering to add these words, most people will be trained to ignore the red lines. This follows the same UI principles surrounding the overuse of confirmation dialogs; if you show a user too many of them, they begin to just click Yes without reading. False positives and inaccurate spell checking causes the same problem. The question is; how many false positives do you get over IRC; and how many spelling errors are being missed that would have been caught?

This goes back to the cost benefit question. Yes, it's something for Khaled to decide (I basically already said that), but I'm merely pointing out the problem. I'm not sure how you confused this with me providing the final say on the issue. I'm raising the issues to be considered, which is why I started my original post with "The real issue, in my opinion, is ..."


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Re: Spell checker [Re: argv0] #236257 15/02/12 07:52 AM
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TL;DR.

If mIRC included the Aspell library (what Firefox and Pidgin IM use), then people who use Pidgin to IRC instead of mIRC couldn't use the excuse that "Pidgin is the only client with a spell checker."

Integration of Aspell takes about 5 to 7 minutes. It works with mIRC's existing RichEdit control (the place you type). Squiggly lines become automatic.


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Re: Spell checker [Re: argv0] #236258 15/02/12 08:14 AM
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In an attempt to not let this thread totally spiral out of control, I thought I'd just make some general, on-topic points:

I don't really understand why you are so adamantly against the inclusion of a spell checker given that if you didn't want to use it yourself, you could simply disable it. Although I don't agree with every point you've made, the majority of them are true and not really being contested, so I'm not entirely sure why you keep listing off the flaws of spell checking. No one is claiming that spell checkers are perfect, but I would still find them useful even in their flawed state.

The point about it being time consuming and/or complicated to implement is certainly valid, and is the real crux of the discussion. I never really had any opinion on this point.

Re: Spell checker [Re: Raccoon] #236259 15/02/12 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted By: Raccoon
If mIRC included the Aspell library (what Firefox and Pidgin IM use), then people who use Pidgin to IRC instead of mIRC couldn't use the excuse that "Pidgin is the only client with a spell checker."


Firefox and Pidgin are both open source software. Can Aspell be used in a closed source application like mIRC without violating the license?

Re: Spell checker [Re: drum] #236261 15/02/12 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted By: drum
Firefox and Pidgin are both open source software. Can Aspell be used in a closed source application like mIRC without violating the license?

/help Acknowledgements


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Re: Spell checker [Re: drum] #236262 15/02/12 09:04 AM
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Firefox uses hunspell, not aspell, (as does Chrome, btw) and hunspell is used in proprietary software (according to the site), so it should be fine. It's GPLv2, which allows distributing a DLL as a separate binary entity so long as it wasn't modified, and the license of the library does not have to be applied to the entire program (mIRC).


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