Getting Dictionary Definitions in ActionScript

There’s a little known protocol out there called the "dict" protocol which enables clients to connect to a dictionary server and query it for definitions. Servers can (and usually do) host multiple dictionaries, many of which are specialized. For instance, a single server might host the "freedict" standard dictionary, some translation dictionaries, a thesaurus, and maybe a dictionary specific to computer jargon (FOLDOC: The Free Online Dictionary of Computing).

I wrote an Apollo application called "Lookup" which is a versatile dictionary client. It lets you choose a server, choose a dictionary on a particular server, and interactively query it. I’ll release Lookup as soon as there is a public Apollo release, but in the meantime, I went ahead and checked the dict protocol library into the Adobe Labs source code repository. If you think you might have a need to look up words from ActionScript, check it out. It’s not well documented, but if you start with the Dict class, it’s pretty easy to figure out.

4 Responses to Getting Dictionary Definitions in ActionScript

  1. RAKOTO Christian says:

    Hi Christian,Can Apollo render natively mathml 2 ?Or developer needs to implements own protocol to deal mathematica server, example (openMath) and Mathml render engine.thx,

  2. toys says:

    I have tried to set up to that dict protocol on my site, but I have been having problems with it of late. It has not been working correctly for me. I try to get it to connect to the online server and I get an error message saying that the site was down. But when I go into it and check it for myself, I find that it is up and working properly. So I have not understood why it is not working properly. Could anyone help me figure out what is wrong with this? Could I have something wrong with the basic protocol? Could my computer itself have something wrong with it that could be causing me to have these problems? Any and all help that anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated. I really do not know what to do know with it.

  3. Has anybody got the ‘dict’ protocol working on Windows using latest CVS-version of curl? This has been a major delay in my work. I hope you can help me on this.

  4. Hi Christian,I cant get into the Adobe Labs SVN.Can you tell me where to download the Dict classes or SVN it? Maybee from another location?I’d love to use them, could you otherwise mail em to me?Kind regards,Sidney de Koning