I guess it didn’t come across that my other post was sarcastic – I was saying that everyone should get one of the dozens of bilingual dictionaries out there and type the whole thing in while DEVONetc constructions the functionality. I wasn’t referring to people actually using sheets and expecting that to work
Anyway: this is, unless I’m missing something, a colossal task with a large cost in time, labor, reliability, bandwidth, patience, etc.
(of debatable use) dict.org/links.html – DICT is a client run on a Linux (or OS X, presumably) machine that contacts an external server, downloads definitions, and displays them. It might be nice. The standard’s obviously open, so integrating it into DEVONagent (or as a GPL plugin for DEVONagent) might be possible.
freedict.org/ – Somewhat limited, but GPL’ed bilingual dictionaries in XML format. I suppose distributing the databases with DEVONthink might be kind of hefty
download.wikimedia.org/enwiktionary/20061016/ – Downloading the Wiktionary database is another alternative. I think they use fairly standard table layouts and such. It’s in XML. Might be able to parse it with some reg exp or something in order to set which words are synonyms of each other and in which language, and so on. I don’t really know. It’s licensed under the GFDL, which means (unless I don’t understand) that you’d have to make the source for the dictionaries freely available.
Which might not be that big a deal – just a bigass XML file somewhere on your site. What would be a pain in the neck is that the db itself, for English-language, is 34.7 megabytes, and so the size would rack up really quickly if you made DEVONthreepio, fluent in however many forms of communication, and told everyone to download it.
And I’m not sure if you want the bandwidth costs of a DEVONagent plugin or something attacking your site often (whenever a page is saved?) to look up the translations of every word in the article.
In short, it’d be a colossal download and a metric butt-ton of bandwidth for any multi-lingual dictionary. Not to mention the hassles of updating the database, getting people to download it, and so forth. And logistical problems like words spelled the same with multiple meanings, commonly-misspelled words, words that require accents on certain letters that may or may not be typed by whoever input the text, words that are in multiple languages, verb recognition and conjugation, and so forth. And it seems like it would be rather slow, since it would either dump a huge synonym bank into the database for each document you write, everytime you save it, or have to search through an even larger database bank whenever it attempts to classify or “see also” an article.
That being said… I have to say that I like the idea of being able to use each record of a particular sheet as a term followed by synonyms or translations. Users might be able to upload and share their translation sheets. It might also be nice if you could make Aliases for the automatic wikilinks available in the same or a similar way, or disable whether or not a certain article is automatically linked to – all from a central sheet (or group of sheets). It could even be used to add a sort of relational database functionality.
Of course, I know nothing about programming, so this might be completely ridiculous, but it seems to me that making sheets more functional could only be a good thing.
</stops before he mentions that he wants to embed queries in sheets>