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HoshiDict: StarDict dictionary reader
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Old 02/02/2011, 08:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Update (08/24/11):
Version 0.4.3 has been released. This release provides full-screen TouchPad support. The application should still be compatible with 1.4x and 2.x versions of webOS.

Description
HoshiDict is an application for webOS that allows you to access dictionaries in the StarDict dictionary file format. The StarDict dictionary file format is rather popular, and dictionaries in the format can be readily found online. HoshiDict does not require a network connection, so HoshiDict may be particularly useful while travelling and no data connection is available (or one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg). Before accessing the dictionaries on your webOS device, they will need to be loaded onto the device.

How to get HoshiDict
HoshiDict is available in the PreCentral app repository, so you can install using webOS Quick Install or Preware.

How to load dictionaries

Many StarDict dictionaries found on the internet are distributed as .tar.bz2 archive files. HoshiDict is currently unable to extract the archive file directly, so you'll need to manually extract the files. To add dictionaries to your device:
  1. Connect to your device via USB
  2. If you're using webOS 1.4.5, you'll need to create a folder named "HoshiDict" manually on the device's USB drive (this is fixed in later versions of webOS; the folder is automatically created the first time HoshiDict is launched).
  3. Extract the .tar.bz2 file
  4. Extract the .tar file (if your extraction software doesn't automatically extract the .tar file)
  5. Open the extracted directory
  6. If there is a file with the extension, ".dict.dz", then extract that file as well (it will then have an extension of ".dict")
  7. Move the extracted folder into the HoshiDict folder on the device (or move just the .ifo, .idx, and .dict file to the HoshiDict folder; HoshiDict searches the HoshiDict directory and any sub-directories for dictionaries)
  8. Repeat for as many dictionaries as desired
If you have HoshiDict open when you load dictionaries on the device, you may need to restart HoshiDict for it to see the new dictionaries.

This is very much a work in progress; I made this app because I plan on travelling overseas in a few months and didn't want to pay a lot to use an online foreign language dictionary. The current set of features satisfy my basic requirements to make it usable for this scenario (it's usable, but very few bells and whistles). Any suggestions, comments, or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Changelog

08/24/11 version 0.4.3
* Added full-screen TouchPad support

03/28/11 version 0.4.2
* Minor bug fix where an incorrect number of results is displayed
* Dictionary plugin binary is now compiled at the -O3 optimization level (used to be default)

03/23/11 version 0.4.1
* Pressing the Enter key on the entry lookup scene will now automatically open the first entry in the list. (thanks kiukiukiu for the suggestion)
* Pressing the delete key while viewing an entry returns to the entry lookup scene.

03/21/11 version 0.4.0
* Added support for Just Type (launch + search).
* Removed limit on the number of results that are displayed.

03/14/11 version 0.3.1
* A very minor bug with displaying entries with newlines has been fixed (they were not being displayed before in many cases).

03/13/11 version 0.3.0
* A default dictionary can now be set to automatically open that dictionary when the app is launched.

03/02/11 version 0.2.3
* A bug with entry lookup not returning all possible results has been resolved (thanks to lespedeza for reporting and helping with resolving the issue)

02/26/11 version 0.2.2
* Minor bug with searching has been fixed (it would only be triggered if all search characters were not letters. In that case, no search results would be found)
* Some visual improvements

02/21/11 version 0.2.1
* Improved search functionality by skipping non-letters in entries (to allow searching for entries that begin with a non-letter)

02/20/11 version 0.2.0
* Cleaned up the user interface
* Entry lookup scene now displays a preview of each entry for faster searching

02/03/11 version 0.1.0
* Initial Release

Last edited by theomodsim; 08/24/2011 at 08:19 PM. Reason: Information about the 0.4.3 release
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Old 02/05/2011, 11:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Great! How can one try this app of yours? I can't find it in any of the repositories...

I'm not very familiar with StarDict format - I see StarDict is in Debian repository but there aren't any actual dictionaries like there are for FreeDict dictionaries (in repository) that I constantly use. However, if I'm not mistaken, these FreeDict dictionaries could be converted in StarDict format - I've just got to find out how... any plans for HoshiDict to actually using both?

BTW, I love the name! Didn't realize at first but then it came to me... After, all it's only fitting for a StarDict.
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Old 02/07/2011, 08:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The app should now be available in the Precentral repository... I created this forum thread the same time I submitted the app for approval, and it took a few days for it to be approved. Sorry for any confusion.

I haven't used FreeDict dictionaries before, but I believe the dictconv utility can convert FreeDict dictionaries to the StarDict format (I used dictconv to convert a few Babylon dictionaries to the StarDict format in order to test them with my app). I haven't looked into supporting FreeDict... I'd have to see how performance-friendly the format is before implementing anything (the StarDict format was designed for speed, so I thought it'd be a good format to support in a mobile app).

If you try out my app, please let me know what you think. Hopefully it proves to be useful for you.
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Old 02/09/2011, 10:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Super! Thank you very much!

I was really looking for StarDict app for my Palm Pre2 =)

I've just installed this with preware and it works like a charm!

Take care,
wais
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Old 02/18/2011, 01:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks it works GREAT! A plug-in for just type would be awesome (until HP/Palm pull it out).....
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Old 02/18/2011, 06:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiukiukiu View Post
Thanks it works GREAT! A plug-in for just type would be awesome (until HP/Palm pull it out).....
Glad to hear it works well. Once I get access to some hardware running webOS 2.0, I'll definitely look into supporting Just Type.
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Old 02/27/2011, 08:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you can support EPWing format....that will be perfect ....
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Old 02/27/2011, 01:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It is great! But I get error sometimes saying that
"IPC failure. Lib out of date?"

In fact, I didn't get this error before adding lots of dictionary including dict. with pictures. I'll try Hoshidict after removing dict. with pictures, since Hoshidict doesn't support it.

Anyway thanks a lot!!! I like it a lot!
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Old 02/27/2011, 01:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sunclear View Post
It is great! But I get error sometimes saying that
"IPC failure. Lib out of date?"

In fact, I didn't get this error before adding lots of dictionary including dict. with pictures. I'll try Hoshidict after removing dict. with pictures, since Hoshidict doesn't support it.

Anyway thanks a lot!!! I like it a lot!
After removing some dictionaries with pictures, I don't get error message any more.
I love it!!!
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Old 02/27/2011, 06:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sunclear View Post
After removing some dictionaries with pictures, I don't get error message any more.
I love it!!!
I also saw that error message when I loaded dictionaries with image files. I couldn't reproduce the problem consistently (I'd see the IPC error once every few times I opened the app); it seemed like a timing issue. Which version of webOS are you running? I heard that support for hybrid apps is much better in webOS 2.1, so I'm hoping that those updates clear up problems like this.

If you're already running webOS 2.1, I'll have to look at what I'm doing wrong that's causing that behavior.

Glad to hear the app works for you!
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Old 02/28/2011, 11:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I am running webOS 1.4.5. Again thanks for the great app!
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Old 03/01/2011, 09:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hey theomodsim, this app is a great idea. I was looking for something like this a few months back when I was traveling, but nothing was available, so I'm glad that you took the initiative. So far, it looks great, but I'm running into a little problem. I downloaded some babylon dictionaries, converted them using dictconv and loaded them on my Pre. Everything seemed to work fine, but when I open them up in HoshiDict I'm only getting what it appears to be like the first page of the dictionary. Am I missing something obvious? Any other clues? Thanks.
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Old 03/01/2011, 09:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lespedeza View Post
Hey theomodsim, this app is a great idea. I was looking for something like this a few months back when I was traveling, but nothing was available, so I'm glad that you took the initiative. So far, it looks great, but I'm running into a little problem. I downloaded some babylon dictionaries, converted them using dictconv and loaded them on my Pre. Everything seemed to work fine, but when I open them up in HoshiDict I'm only getting what it appears to be like the first page of the dictionary. Am I missing something obvious? Any other clues? Thanks.
When you mean "the first page" of results, do mean only about 50 entries or so show up? The app only returns about 50 results or so to a search query. When a dictionary is first opened it essentially searches for "" in the dictionary, so the first results are displayed.

If you type in some text after opening a dictionary, are any results displayed or do you always get "No results found"?
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Old 03/01/2011, 09:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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When you mean "the first page" of results, do mean only about 50 entries or so show up? The app only returns about 50 results or so to a search query. When a dictionary is first opened it essentially searches for "" in the dictionary, so the first results are displayed.

If you type in some text after opening a dictionary, are any results displayed or do you always get "No results found"?
That makes sense and that's the conclusion I came to as well after playing around with it a little bit, but what's weird is that when I search for a word that I know is in there I'm not getting any results. If I type one letter, I'll get the first 50 or so results, then when I type the second letter, I'm only getting one result, if I type a third letter, I get 'No entries found'. It's not always like that, but that's one example. Sometimes I get 'no entries' after typing two letters.


I've loaded the same dictionaries in StarDict on linux and I'm able to search for words, so I'm not sure what the problem is.

Any ideas?

edit - I think what is happening is that it is only returning results that begin with capital letter even though I'm using all lowercase in my search.

Last edited by lespedeza; 03/01/2011 at 09:39 PM. Reason: add'l info
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Old 03/01/2011, 10:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lespedeza View Post
That makes sense and that's the conclusion I came to as well after playing around with it a little bit, but what's weird is that when I search for a word that I know is in there I'm not getting any results. If I type one letter, I'll get the first 50 or so results, then when I type the second letter, I'm only getting one result, if I type a third letter, I get 'No entries found'. It's not always like that, but that's one example. Sometimes I get 'no entries' after typing two letters.


I've loaded the same dictionaries in StarDict on linux and I'm able to search for words, so I'm not sure what the problem is.

Any ideas?

edit - I think what is happening is that it is only returning results that begin with capital letter even though I'm using all lowercase in my search.

HoshiDict internally does a case-insensitive search, so that's strange that you're only seeing results that begin with a capital letter. Could you put one or two of the dictionaries you generated into a .zip file and attach it to this thread, or shoot me an e-mail with the dictionary attached (my e-mail address is available in the app if you choose the "Support" App Menu option)? That should hopefully help me figure out what's going on.
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Old 03/02/2011, 04:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Is it possible to set a dictionary as default so every time I launch the app, it goes straight into that dictionary?
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Old 03/02/2011, 07:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lespedeza View Post
That makes sense and that's the conclusion I came to as well after playing around with it a little bit, but what's weird is that when I search for a word that I know is in there I'm not getting any results. If I type one letter, I'll get the first 50 or so results, then when I type the second letter, I'm only getting one result, if I type a third letter, I get 'No entries found'. It's not always like that, but that's one example. Sometimes I get 'no entries' after typing two letters.


I've loaded the same dictionaries in StarDict on linux and I'm able to search for words, so I'm not sure what the problem is.

Any ideas?

edit - I think what is happening is that it is only returning results that begin with capital letter even though I'm using all lowercase in my search.
I identified the problem and released version 0.2.3 that resolves the issue. Thanks for reporting the problem and sending me the dictionaries that demonstrated the bug!
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Old 03/02/2011, 07:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kiukiukiu View Post
Is it possible to set a dictionary as default so every time I launch the app, it goes straight into that dictionary?
I plan on doing that soon when I receive my Pre2 development device and add support for Just Type. I'm thinking that I'll add a default dictionary option that will automatically open that dictionary when the app is opened as well as provide results to Just Type.
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Old 03/02/2011, 08:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I plan on doing that soon when I receive my Pre2 development device and add support for Just Type. I'm thinking that I'll add a default dictionary option that will automatically open that dictionary when the app is opened as well as provide results to Just Type.
Thanks! No offense but i would suggest changing the App icon..........
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Old 03/02/2011, 10:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kiukiukiu View Post
Thanks! No offense but i would suggest changing the App icon..........
Yeah, the app icon definitely can be improved (it's the result of me strugging with Paint .NET for about 20 minutes or so). Graphical design is not one of my strong suits; I'll probably ask one of my more graphically-inclined friends to make a better icon soon.
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