From: Eirikur Hallgrimsson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Nov 12 2000 - 22:38:54 PST
> http://www.dictionary.com/ is down!
That's, um, not the best dictionary, not to mention tawdry. If you
really want to know something, there's dict.org, which is usually up,
and has no ads.
There are free dict clients (there's an RFC on the protocol) for any
platform you can imagine. The "Apple Data Detectors" in-context
version is quite cool.
Wow, finally a question that I can answer in my formal capacity as a
dictionary critic. I've got both the full American Heritage (for the
proto-Indoeuropean roots) and the Random House online versions, but I
have seen the light and it is dict. kdict or gdict on Linux, in my
case. Both can grab the selection and run with it.
Janie probably has an opinion on this. Janie?
The DICT Protocol
The DICT Protocol, described in RFC 2229 is a TCP
transaction based query/response protocol that allows a
client to access dictionary definitions from a set of
natural language dictionary databases. While RFC 2229
is a finished document, we plan to clarify and enhance
the protocol definition as we gain more experience with
large dictionary database servers. By default, the DICT
protocol uses TCP port 2628.
Client/Server Software for DICT
We write freely available software that implements the
DICT protocol in a number of client and server
configurations. For more information on software
availability, please see the resources page or our
February 1998 announcement.
DICF: The Dictionary InterChange Format
We are developing an interchange format that will
facilitate writing, sharing, and serving of dictionary
database information. For more information, please see
the dict-beta mailing list on the resources page. DICF
is the next major project after the initial public
release of the client/server software. DICF and tools
for manipulating DICF files should be available 4Q1998.
Update: We didn't make that deadline, but we're still
working on DICF design and associated tools. Perhaps
they'll be out by 1Q1999 or 2Q1999. Discussion and beta
versions will appear on the dict-beta list first, so if
you're interested join that mailing list.
FILE: The Free Internet Lexicon and Encyclopedia
While we are currently using several freely available
dictionary databases, with over 300,000 total
headwords, we find that users still search for a
considerable number of undefined words. We are slowly
compiling lists of these words and writing definitions
for them, and we encourage your assistance. The
collected definitions will be used for a new database
called FILE: The Free Internet Lexicon and
Encyclopedia. The definitions will be freely available
for other database maintainers to use (we do not
exercise any editorial control over pre-existing
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