Wedge

Public area => The Pub => Topic started by: Arantor on October 8th, 2011, 03:49 PM

Title: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 8th, 2011, 03:49 PM
Quick poll.

Who uses it? Any of your users use it?

What language(s) do you use it with? Does it work that well for you?


Just that I'm thinking about removing it given how most of the time it's built into browsers anyway now...
Posted: October 8th, 2011, 03:45 PM

Also, I suppose there's no real reason why it couldn't be supported through a plugin instead of being a core feature...
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: spoogs on October 8th, 2011, 04:07 PM
I don't use it nor do my users AFAIK.

Plugin territory sounds about right (if there are requests for it). As stated before most if not all browsers have a spell checker anyway which I would think most people use over the forum's checker.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 8th, 2011, 04:52 PM
My only user who needs it actually uses Word to type his posts and leverage spellchecking. I guess to each their own.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 8th, 2011, 04:54 PM
Quote from Nao on October 8th, 2011, 04:52 PM
My only user who needs it actually uses Word to type his posts and leverage spellchecking. I guess to each their own.
If he's doing that, he doesn't need Wedge's spellchecking anyway because he's using Word's, right?

That's not so weird, actually. I know someone who always uses OpenOffice to write big emails out before copy/pasting them into their web-based email. It's just easier for them, apparently, though I have no idea *why* that's the case given that they're also a LiveJournal user and have no problem blogging directly into LJ.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Dr. Deejay on October 8th, 2011, 04:55 PM
I don't use it either. It's nice, but useless. I'd say ditch it. Discovered it somewhere in February 2011. Before: never missed it
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 8th, 2011, 04:57 PM
He said its easier for him is all. I don't know of anyone who uses it-- even though it's pretty cool. But not very practical. Should be unlined really. Inlined.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Dragooon on October 8th, 2011, 05:00 PM
I use my browser's spell checking if I use one.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 8th, 2011, 05:04 PM
Well, it's theoretically cool but it has issues. Firstly, it's not that well supported - and in future it's going to have to be reworked as PHP is dropping pspell support in favour of something else that I can't remember right now.

There is one thing it does do, though, that's cute: if it's enabled it'll spell check when searching and offer possible suggestions, but that can be integrated through the plugin (and should be, since it's still a pspell dependence, and mostly people don't even notice when it doesn't do it)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 8th, 2011, 07:29 PM
Hmm yeah, looks like direct support for pspell was dropped in 5.3 in favor of enchant... Which wasn't core before 5.3. Uh, so that pretty much rules out the possibility of using it in Wedge without hacks and such. Sucks... Unless we simply disable the spellcheck feature for PHP < 5.3.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 8th, 2011, 07:33 PM
Well, either we provide support for both in the core and do some magic to test it, or we move it all out of the core and let a plugin deal with it.

The greatest benefit about using plugins is that for stuff like this is that you get to isolate the functions and enhance them on their own without having to worry about everything else, which sounds ideal for this.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 8th, 2011, 10:30 PM
Yup, agreed...

Well, now is the moment where everyone says, "if AeMe doesn't handle avatars and attachments then it's better off as a plugin", I know I know :P (Except it'll do it... One day. Uh. Let's pray.)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 8th, 2011, 10:38 PM
Well, yes and no. There are quite a few limitations in the current attachment system, that can't be remedied without a significant amount of work - the quantity of which is probably not that far off what's needed to be able to use Aeva for attachments and avatars.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 8th, 2011, 11:14 PM
Which limitations? Apart from the one where you can't post attachments in PMs and they're 'stuck' to a post...
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 8th, 2011, 11:19 PM
* No reasonable way to extend the system in any useful manner (e.g. the hurdles SD/WD have to do)
* Attachment folders are limited by size not number of files, and there's no automatic failover to a separate folder to prevent any given folder getting too big (in any case, the folder handling should not be based on linear progression, would be much better doing similar to what MediaWiki does, which encourages spreading files more equally by folder than simple progression does)
* Avatars are not in their own folder by default (frankly, I'm thinking about forcing them all to be in their own folder, and then ripping out the code that serves avatars through the system, there's really not a lot of reason to do so if avatars are tested against bad stuff up front)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: TE on October 9th, 2011, 10:10 AM
spellchecker is enabled (not because it's needed, just because I was possible to activate the checker  :eheh:) for all of my forums but IMO it's not used widely.. I'm fine with it beeing a plugin.

IMHO the more "core functions" are made a plugin the better.. There are several other features which could be made a plugin instead of a build-in core feature, e.g. the calendar, the wysiwyg editor, personal messages, polls...
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 9th, 2011, 12:41 PM
Interesting approach, I hadn't actually considered going quite so far in doing things, especially as way back in the mists of time, my first forum was a PunBB one, and I moved to SMF 5 years ago precisely because PunBB didn't have polls built in and back then I wasn't too enthusiastic about adding features as plugins/extensions.

I have come a long way! :lol:

Calendar I'm cool with. Polls... not so much for the above reason but I can certainly see the logic. PMs I'm actually inclined to consider a core feature but there isn't much reason why it couldn't be moved into being a plugin in practical terms.

I guess it depends how we consider Wedge to be: more modular and extensible or more fully featured up front?
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: TE on October 9th, 2011, 12:54 PM
Quote from Arantor on October 9th, 2011, 12:41 PM
I guess it depends how we consider Wedge to be: more modular and extensible or more fully featured up front?
yep, exactly. I believe with the new plugin system we should move in a more "modular" direction.. other candidates: the memberlist ( only the public part -> action=mlist), the forum statistics (action=stats).

I know, I know both are widely used but we could release these bundled with the wedge core and disable (or even enable) by default..
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 9th, 2011, 02:18 PM
The idea is certainly that the modularisation of the plugin system should make it possible to do that; there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn't be achievable.

However, I do see a practical constraint: usability. Bundling plugins is doable, auto-activating them slightly less so, but it is possible - right up until the user wants to configure them or whatever - it means that they have to go to places they wouldn't normally associate with these things in order to alter them.

Also note that the statistics page could be unbundled, but I'm not sure the statistics gathering could be, unless it became a stock bundled plugin, enabled by default.

Ironically, though, our biggest plugin candidate is probably the one plugin I can't see us removing: AeMe, as the intention is to have it handle attachments and avatars to replace the existing core for that.

I'm sort of on the fence as far as moving things like mlist and PMs into plugins. I'd appreciate more feedback on it from what people want.

For example, how often is the member list disabled for non-admins? (who can use the admin panel version anyway)
Posted: October 9th, 2011, 02:12 PM

Mind you, taking a look at PunBB's extension list, they have so much not in the core it's unreal. Having a CAPTCHA on registration, attachments and more are not core features :/
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 9th, 2011, 02:42 PM
I'd tend to keep all of it in the core, myself. Just my opinion.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 9th, 2011, 03:02 PM
That's my gut instinct, as much as I can see the benefits to pushing some of those into plugins, the calendar especially.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 9th, 2011, 03:09 PM
Calendar is okay because there aren't much feelings (hard or good) for it I guess :P
Overall, yes we could bundle a few plugins in the main file, but mainly as examples of how they're used, more than ways to separate core from plugin.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 9th, 2011, 03:17 PM
*nods* I still look back at my own experience with PunBB on this one; polls to me are a pretty core feature.

What it comes down to really is inertia, how much people would be willing to put up with before considering different software.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 9th, 2011, 03:30 PM
One solution to problems would be to present plugins in a way that makes them as much a part of the admin area as the rest, i.e. allow to enable/disable them directly within the *homepage* of the area...
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 9th, 2011, 03:37 PM
I thought about that, and that was in part why I moved the plugins entry to the end of the list so that any plugins could create their own items in there for that reason (and not end up pushing stuff way way down the list)

The mechanics of the plugin manager certainly don't prevent it, but I think having many items in the menu might be a bit fragile. Even with the rewrite of the menu code, I'm still wary of putting more than 10 items in any given menu area.[1]

In fact, that's why I haven't put in a specific interface for plugins to hook into to declare new items automatically, because I'm not convinced plugins should have to restrict themselves to a single top level item somewhere. Some plugins need an entire menu (like WedgeDesk), some will want configuration items embedded into the existing architecture (like reCAPTCHA), and I don't want to break that.

Plus, one of the perks of the list of plugins as it stands is that it tries to determine is a plugin is enable-able or not. I wouldn't want to apply that logic to be run on the front page every time.
 1. There's no reason for it on a technical level. In SMF, there was a good reason not to: the menu bg didn't go beyond 10 items. But in Wedge, the only reason I'm wary of it is usability. More than 10 items in a list is mentally harder to process unless they're grouped in some fashion.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: spoogs on October 9th, 2011, 03:46 PM
I feel that if a plugin is going to be bundled it may as well be a core feature since it's shipped with the software anyway (this was my stance against SD's Frontpage being bundled). I think PM's are too widely used to be offered as a plugin, just seems to me that most would expect that to be a core feature. Memlist I can be convinced either way, I doubt too many bother to disable it or remove permission to view it. JMO
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 9th, 2011, 04:02 PM
Quote
I feel that if a plugin is going to be bundled it may as well be a core feature since it's shipped with the software anyway (this was my stance against SD's Frontpage being bundled).
On the one hand, making it a plugin forces all its code and functionality to be in a small box, so to speak, and it does mean we can update a given feature independently of the core (assuming the core is flexible enough to support it, in SD's case that wasn't always true, especially of the front page plugin)

On the other, it does add the usability issue - and therein lies what you're getting at. If it is bundled, it's effectively saying 'I should be core'. But it does also allow for disabling and removing something you're not going to use and to re-add it back later.

Yes, I doubt most sites change the default settings, but I can fully imagine sites that would want those things gone, and I know I've been asked about both in the past (and incidentally, both PM and memberlist are the two areas removed by SimpleDesk's standalone mode, funny)

But it's that distinction that prompts me to keep them in, even if they could be split off without too much headache. Just because I can doesn't necessarily mean that I should.
Posted: October 9th, 2011, 03:50 PM

Interesting to note how my own interpretation of things changes over time.

Specifically: http://wedge.org/pub/feats/6469/how-about-pms-being-listed-in-core-features/

That's probably the clearest case of an 'I want to be a plugin' example in this case. But certainly being disable-able centrally.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: spoogs on October 9th, 2011, 04:13 PM
Funny you should link to that as I was just rereading that topic before making my next point which happens to be: If these are going to be kept as core feature a better method of disabling them should be available opposed to just permissions since these will still be visible to admin.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 9th, 2011, 04:18 PM
*nods* However it ends up being done, it should be done thoroughly for things like that.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: TE on October 9th, 2011, 06:32 PM
Quote
Mind you, taking a look at PunBB's extension list, they have so much not in the core it's unreal. Having a CAPTCHA on registration, attachments and more are not core features :/
I have no issue with them beeing a "plugin" in general as long as they are bundled with core..  Similar to the old SMF "Core Features", one mouse tick and the related feature is active/inactive.

IMO the biggest benefit of a plugin based architecture: you can simply enable / disable a feature, or update the plugin to a newer version or even better completely remove it and  replace it with something different, and all that without breaking the "core" itself.

Another big benefit: you could split the developement into various groups, someone can work on the PM plugin, another one can work in a completely different area.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 9th, 2011, 06:42 PM
Therein lies the issue. If you bundle a plugin in the core, why is it not actually core? Most users won't care that the two things are separate.

On the other hand, if you have these things as plugins, it's not so obvious about enabling/disabling them, which is the one reason I'm so set on removing Core Features. Go through the SMF 2 support board and see how many people ask about post moderation. I appreciate there's a reason it's disabled by default[1] but the simple fact that it's completely non-obvious that you have to go there erodes most of the value of splitting things off.

In our case, yes, we could put the calendar and memberlist and so on into the Plugins/ folder in the trunk and have them developed there (and thus auto bundled) but you'd have to go to the Plugins page to enable them, which is as counter-intuitive as going to the Core Features page, in fact possibly more so.

Which means I'd have to extend the plugin system to provide some way of directly adding items to the admin menu so they can be activated (much as the calendar currently can be)... doesn't seem that encouraging to me.

I'm not against the idea in principle, because I'm all too aware of the benefits of segregating the code up into bundles that are self contained, but I'm concerned at the usability for end users.
 1. Though I still think that's possible to overcome.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: TE on October 9th, 2011, 07:17 PM
Quote from Arantor on October 9th, 2011, 06:42 PM
Therein lies the issue. If you bundle a plugin in the core, why is it not actually core? Most users won't care that the two things are separate.
yep, your're right in relation to the normal users but I'm absolutely sure a potential DEV / Modder would highly appreciate such a move. Just take a short look at my website which is based on SMF but used as a simple blog. I've disabled many, many things for the normal visitor (polls, stats, memberlist and much moonre).

Regarding support questions: There needs to be a central place inside the admin area where (Core or plugin based) features can be enabled / disabled. Maybe a small wizard during installation (or a redirect to that area) would also help.

As a sidenote: I'm not going to enforce you in a "modular" direction. I just believe it could be a waste to not use this very powerful potential  :)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 9th, 2011, 07:29 PM
On the other hand, I suspect they might not. It means less reliability over what features will be available, however with the plugin system able to recognise hooks available in other plugins, that's not insurmountable.

There is a central place where plugins are enabled/disabled - it's Admin > Plugins. But bundled plugins would appear there in the same way as any other plugins, which is where my usability problem occurs - though redirection on install might not be a bad idea.

OOoooh, I got an idea. I could put a notification in the main menu under the Admin menu (where the plugins menu option is) to hint there's something interesting there...

And yeah, I understand your enthusiasm for making things modular, and to a degree I share it, I'm just very strongly wary of making things harder for users to fathom where to go to do things.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: godboko71 on October 10th, 2011, 04:07 AM
I love the idea of things being plug-ins. I remove PM's from most sites I admin (abuse issues) so being able to disable it is key (permissions work.)

That said, if more "things" become plug-ins but are there by default you basically have Core plug-ins and plug-ins. Most systems that go so modular end up calling them modules.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nightwish on October 10th, 2011, 08:07 AM
Well, I've killed the spell checker entirely after I realized that it doesn't really work well enough with any language other than English.

Can't really see how it can be missed when the majority of users have a spell checker in the browser anyway.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 10th, 2011, 08:20 AM
Works well with French I reckon.
Still surprised you're so active when you're alone on that project. How do you do that. No moral support!
You should be working on Wedge at some point. If you can adapt to the smf coding guidelines it'd be a perfect fit. More exposure for your code. Especially given how you've been progressively dropping smf compatibility (don't tell me your new hooks are interoperable with smf. ;))
I saw you removed the backup system too this weekend, just as Pete did ;) really, isnt it annoying for you to reinvent the wheel, knowing that in addition you'll have to support your fork by yourself?
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 10th, 2011, 09:18 AM
Quote
That said, if more "things" become plug-ins but are there by default you basically have Core plug-ins and plug-ins. Most systems that go so modular end up calling them modules.
That's one of the problems I have with it, I guess.
Quote
Well, I've killed the spell checker entirely after I realized that it doesn't really work well enough with any language other than English.
It's mostly down to how good the pspell implementation is. For the absolutely common/widely used languages (English, French, Spanish) it's not too bad. For anything else, it's problematic.


While I've been thinking about it being a plugin, there is firmly a part of me that is debating just ripping it out and dropping it entirely, especially as pspell is not so commonly installed any more (and is pushed down in favour of enchant), or maybe I should just investigate writing a new one with enchant as a plugin to make sure support is there for it.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: PantsManUK on October 10th, 2011, 10:42 AM
Re: plugins and the admin area, WP handles this question quite well (IMO). Your plugins appear in the plugins page (where you add new ones, disable/delete old ones, etc), then to modify settings they add their own submenu to the admin menu structure, or they add a single link inside an existing common submenu item (in WP-Admin>Tools, usually), or at a minimum they have a settings link in the plugins page.

Something akin would be good; either the plugin makes a "submenu" in the admin page (big plugins would benefit from this, WD for instance) or they add a single settings link to a common submenu.

Re: spelling, don't think we have it enabled. TBH I'd rather spelling was offloaded to a plugin; more opportunity for better solutions that way.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: billy2 on October 10th, 2011, 10:46 AM
As you can tell from my 'thought' none of my lot use spell check either.

As Arantor pointed out - its not even English!

 :lol:
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 10th, 2011, 10:52 AM
Quote
Re: plugins and the admin area, WP handles this question quite well (IMO). Your plugins appear in the plugins page (where you add new ones, disable/delete old ones, etc), then to modify settings they add their own submenu to the admin menu structure, or they add a single link inside an existing common submenu item (in WP-Admin>Tools, usually), or at a minimum they have a settings link in the plugins page.

Something akin would be good; either the plugin makes a "submenu" in the admin page (big plugins would benefit from this, WD for instance) or they add a single settings link to a common submenu.
Um, yes... I already accounted for all of this.

There's no enforcement of plugins having their settings anywhere. Some plugins don't have settings pages if they don't need them, which is cool.

Some plugins need only a single option or a few options as part of a page, some need massive areas. By not putting any rules in place (and thus no programming interface for it), plugins are free to create what they need and nothing more or less than that.

Plugins can, optionally, declare what URL should be used for settings, so that there is a settings link in the main plugin listing. (The very earliest screenshots of the plugin manager, even when it was called the add-on manager, actually showed this!)

Assuming authors do their job properly - and they should, because it makes their life easier - it's consistent and approachable.

The problem is bundled plugins, and WP has this exact problem. It has two plugins bundled with it but unless you knew they were there from past experience, or actually went into the plugins area, you'd never know they were even bundled with it.

Which means if we added big ticket features as part of the base package, you'd still never know they were there unless either we redirected you there after installation, or made it more prominent by auto pushing items to the main admin page even when the plugins weren't installed... either way that means writing special rules and special logic just for those cases.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 10th, 2011, 02:44 PM
(Added a poll about the spellchecker. Better than a long conversation I'd say...)

:edit: given the nature of the question, I don't think we should consider removing the spell-checker even if the 'no' has a minority, say 20%. Although 5% is a given :P
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: billy2 on October 10th, 2011, 02:53 PM
Quote from Nao on October 10th, 2011, 02:44 PM
(Added a poll about the spellchecker. Better than a long conversation I'd say...)

:edit: given the nature of the question, I don't think we should consider removing the spell-checker even if the 'no' has a minority, say 20%. Although 5% is a given :P
wooooaaaahhh.... stop the train.....Thats against the 'poll rules'!!
You cannot say 'even if you vote against it - you're going to get it anyway.
Oh.... yes you can I suppose.  :lol:
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 10th, 2011, 02:59 PM
Quote from billy2 on October 10th, 2011, 02:53 PM
wooooaaaahhh.... stop the train.....Thats against the 'poll rules'!!
You cannot say 'even if you vote against it - you're going to get it anyway.
Oh.... yes you can I suppose.  :lol:
Our house, our rules, as it were.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 10th, 2011, 03:01 PM
It's just that if a feature is vital to a minority, and it doesn't bother anyone else because it's disabled by default, it shouldn't be removed for the sake of removing it.
However, given that all participants to this topic said they weren't using it, I suspect we'll have a large majority in favor of removing it.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 10th, 2011, 03:05 PM
So do I, but if there are people very enthusiastic about it being present, I'm sure we can do something to accommodate them. It might be making it a plugin, it might be something else, but we'll sort something out, I'm sure.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Drunken Clam on October 10th, 2011, 04:04 PM
Arrrgghhh!

Please 'unvote' me! (finger trouble)

I can't be arsed either way about a spell checker. As has been mentioned, decent browsers do it anyway.  :whistle:
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 10th, 2011, 04:13 PM
You can change your vote now.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: MultiformeIngegno on October 10th, 2011, 08:24 PM
I voted for deletion... I use the one built in my browser (if any)!
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 10th, 2011, 11:51 PM
There is a random side benefit that I suspect no-one but me would pick up on.

If the spell checker is removed from core, it means that it becomes easier to write xx-locale language packs, e.g. Pirate :D
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: godboko71 on October 11th, 2011, 12:13 AM
I am not voting, unless YES remove it and make it a plug-in. If its a plugin and there is demand it will be maintained, if its in core it has to be maintained, but you have one problem which extension do you use, the "new" preferred one or the old one?

At the end of the day I say move it to plug-ins, people that need spell check will download it, no more work really then having to enable it to begin with.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 11th, 2011, 12:20 AM
Quote
the "new" preferred one or the old one?
It's not exactly a choice. pspell won't be available properly in 5.3 and enchant isn't available conveniently in 5.2 (though it *can* be available). It's not that hard to support both though if you know what you're doing. I say this with the full knowledge of having read up on enchant's API...


That said, I suspect no-one here but me actually knows how tightly bound the spellchecker is into SMF. It's not just in the post page.[1]
 1. It's available in the post/quick reply pages, the profile page for spell checking your signature and it's used in the search pages to identify potentially mis-spelled words. This is distinctly non trivial to cleanly integrate.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 11th, 2011, 12:36 AM
Hey, I knew about these too :P
Actually, the only reason I enabled the spellchecker on my server back in 2008 was to have that cool "maybe you meant..." at the top of the page.

Only problem -- 90% of the time, it suggests a totally stupid alternative to my perfectly working search term ;)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 11th, 2011, 01:18 AM
Quote
Hey, I knew about these too :P
I stand corrected, then! :) But what I was getting at is that it's a very exclusive club. And the more time that goes on the more exclusive that's going to be, especially for a feature that really doesn't work all that well, and is being outclassed on the browser end (except by IE users who I think are still left without a spellchecker)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: CJ Jackson on October 11th, 2011, 01:39 AM
 :lol:  Very simple for me really, considering many browsers have spell checkers, I would say yes! ;)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Cassiel on October 11th, 2011, 03:07 AM
Quote from Arantor on October 10th, 2011, 11:51 PM
If the spell checker is removed from core, it means that it becomes easier to write xx-locale language packs, e.g. Pirate :D
I've been impartial about this because I use the spellchecker via my browser, but if a Pirate language pack is being talk about here[1] then I'm tempted to cast my vote into "Yes"!
 1. Even if it is just in the realm of "sure, it's possible"...
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 11th, 2011, 08:50 AM
Quote
I've been impartial about this because I use the spellchecker via my browser
That isn't really impartial; it's the main reason to cast out the spell-check function...
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: DirtRider on October 11th, 2011, 11:42 AM
Most browsers now have the ability to install a spell checker but even with this I have members that still want a spell checker. Now vBulletin does not have it and when I converted from SMF to it this was the single most complaint from my members
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 11th, 2011, 11:45 AM
Quote
Now vBulletin does not have it and when I converted from SMF to it this was the single most complaint from my members
Yes, but do they actually *use* it?

Hands up who remembers Sony's infamous removal of OtherOS from PS3? There was a fairly huge outcry - even though 95%+ of users who complained don't use it.

That's something that I've been aware of for a while but never fully understood the dynamics of: people get very upset when you remove a choice from them, even if it's a choice they would probably never actually take. The mere fact of taking away that choice riles them up.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Roz on October 11th, 2011, 12:08 PM
Voted yes. Doesn't make much sense when you have browser spell-checking.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on October 11th, 2011, 12:28 PM
Had a quick look at the overall code for spellchecking...

- It represents a sizeable amount of code. Most entries don't take extra CPU cycles when spellchecking is disabled, but it does for instance add 1.5KB of data to the JS editor, even if disabled/not available.

- There is nothing that prevents us from using pspell in the search feature to show potential typos *EVEN* with spellchecking disabled or removed entirely. Actually, I don't even know why the setting is linked to whether you enable the spellchecker or not... Search is expensive in general, might as well make use of pspell if available.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 11th, 2011, 12:31 PM
Quote
- It represents a sizeable amount of code. Most entries don't take extra CPU cycles when spellchecking is disabled, but it does for instance add 1.5KB of data to the JS editor, even if disabled/not available.
That would be beneficial to remove, I think.
Quote
- There is nothing that prevents us from using pspell in the search feature to show potential typos *EVEN* with spellchecking disabled or removed entirely.
If it were going to be removed entirely, I'd also have removed the entries in each index.language.php file to cover for the variations in dictionary to be used. But yeah, there's no reason we can't do that.


Also, I mentioned it in the area for signatures. Is that actually necessary? (Mind you, I've thought about integrating the full editor into the signature area anyway so it would be component of that)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Johnny54 on October 11th, 2011, 12:35 PM
Quote from Arantor on October 11th, 2011, 01:18 AM
(except by IE users who I think are still left without a spellchecker)
For IE I use there's speckie(http://www.speckie.com/home/). Works quit well.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: DirtRider on October 11th, 2011, 02:51 PM
Quote from Arantor on October 11th, 2011, 11:45 AM
Quote
Now vBulletin does not have it and when I converted from SMF to it this was the single most complaint from my members
Yes, but do they actually *use* it?
Well I never used it as I always uses the one in FF but a lot of the members did use it but we have managed to get most converted to a browser spell check now. Still some that don't have a spell check and really need it  :whistle:  :eheh:
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 11th, 2011, 02:52 PM
Quote
Still some that don't have a spell check and really need it
Would these be the same people who wouldn't use it even if they had it? :whistle:
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: DirtRider on October 11th, 2011, 02:58 PM
Quote from Arantor on October 11th, 2011, 02:52 PM
Quote
Still some that don't have a spell check and really need it
Would these be the same people who wouldn't use it even if they had it? :whistle:
Funny enough no, we never had an issue when using the SMF one with them but only when we converted.  There will always be those that will just not worry at all lol
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Dismal Shadow on October 11th, 2011, 04:04 PM
Remove them entirely.

They are build in, if not all browsers.



Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: DirtRider on October 12th, 2011, 02:33 PM
What browser has them built in as I have always only seen them as a add-on
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 12th, 2011, 02:38 PM
Quote from DirtRider on October 12th, 2011, 02:33 PM
What browser has them built in as I have always only seen them as a add-on
Firefox, Chrome at least. I suspect the add-on you're referring to is the choice of dictionary since multiple dictionaries can be used...
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: MultiformeIngegno on October 12th, 2011, 02:49 PM
IE 10 will have spellchecking too.
http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Browser/SpellChecking/
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on October 12th, 2011, 02:51 PM
Then we just have to get people using it - and given the amount of XP users out there, that could take a while.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: MultiformeIngegno on October 12th, 2011, 02:54 PM
Quote from Arantor on October 12th, 2011, 02:51 PM
Then we just have to get people using it - and given the amount of XP users out there, that could take a while.
People who use IE should pay their browser choice... they won't have spellchecking as punishment!! :P
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on March 4th, 2013, 06:56 PM
Note to self, and to anyone... Wedge is still broken when clicking Spellchecking in quick edit mode.
It's an easy fix (I'll commit it at some point), just a wrong ID name, but it reminded me that we should really discuss whether to change this all to use php_enchant, or support both php_enchant and php_pspell, or get rid of everything, and consider that this was all a 'novelty' thing back in the early SMF days, and no one really has any use for this any more...

Would be nice to know if those who voted in the poll to keep the spellchecker (or at least consider keeping it), have changed their mind since 2011..?
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 4th, 2013, 07:03 PM
Well, switching to enchant is hard because I cannot seem to get WampServer to behave and use enchant dictionaries.

Back in the early SMF days it was pretty much needed because there weren't browser-backed dictionaries at all back then. Now it's largely unnecessary because browsers do have it (though in IE's case it needs to be done with a plugin)

Other systems are dropping it, I'd personally rather we did the same. Given how many wanted it gone back then, I can't imagine there would be a great increase the other way.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on March 4th, 2013, 07:05 PM
Hmm yeah, probably... ;)
I guess it's not even worth asking people again.

I won't work on it anytime soon though (i.e. before next weekend), if you want to remove it yourself, have fun.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 4th, 2013, 07:08 PM
I'm in the midst of some other stuff but maybe I'll get to it.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on March 4th, 2013, 07:14 PM
Let's just bump this okay next weekend then, okay? :)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: MultiformeIngegno on March 5th, 2013, 01:20 AM
It needs to be removed IMO. Every OS/browser natively supports spell checking, so it's not needed and adds extra space  :)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 5th, 2013, 01:24 AM
Quote from MultiformeIngegno on March 5th, 2013, 01:20 AM
It needs to be removed IMO. Every OS/browser natively supports spell checking, so it's not needed and adds extra space  :)
Except IE without a plugin.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: MultiformeIngegno on March 5th, 2013, 01:31 AM
IE 10 has it :D
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 5th, 2013, 01:32 AM
There's still a lot of XP users who can't get IE 9 let alone 10 ;)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: MultiformeIngegno on March 5th, 2013, 01:34 AM
I know... but what's the share of people using XP AND IE AND desperately needing spell checking? :P
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 5th, 2013, 01:38 AM
Haha, you got me, it is pretty slim. Slim enough that we could safely drop it :)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Allan on March 5th, 2013, 04:22 PM
I used to use spell check alot, but with it built in to most browsers the need on forums is not necessary anymore.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Dragooon on March 5th, 2013, 06:25 PM
I don't really use spell check...so screw it :P
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: nolsilang on March 5th, 2013, 07:04 PM
never used it too :D
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Dismal Shadow on March 6th, 2013, 01:20 AM
Quote from Dragooon on March 5th, 2013, 06:25 PM
I don't really use spell check...so screw it :P
Except if you type grammars correctly every now and then. :P
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 6th, 2013, 01:40 AM
The spell checker wouldn't tell you that anyway... ;) Neither pspell nor enchant can do that.

Mind you, there is one side use of the spell check that I do want to bring up, and that is the 'Did you mean...' feature. If you haven't noticed it, do a search but misspell one of the words. You'll get a 'You may have meant <alternative>' message.

Doing away with the spell checker can mean doing away with that too.

Just a thought.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on March 6th, 2013, 11:28 AM
I didn't forget about that feature :)
And I like it, although it has a very high failure rate at offering 'sensible' words to search for.

My view of it is that we could keep this specific feature, because it's only used in Search2.php anyway, and get rid of the rest. Maybe also implement support for enchant for that one, too..?
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 6th, 2013, 02:07 PM
It has a very high failure rate because it has no awareness of what's in the database, and I'm not inclined to keep it because of that high failure rate.

Now, there is one way we can fix that, at major DB space cost: by logging what words are actually in the database. It's a similar sort of idea to the search index but instead of storing hashes (which you can't look up against) you also store the actual words in use, and can do comparisons against that reasonably well.

The problem is, it's a major space killer and performance is going to be fairly poor. I personally would rather just ditch the whole thing entirely.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: MultiformeIngegno on March 6th, 2013, 04:43 PM
+1 for complete ditch
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 6th, 2013, 09:31 PM
So far I've removed the main guts of the spell checker, it's only the integration into the search system left. I guess I could commit what I have and not worry about that bit for now - we can always remove it later easily enough.
Posted: March 6th, 2013, 09:11 PM

Though, looking back, I'd prefer to strip it entirely, so that I could get rid of the dictionary info from inside the language files.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on March 7th, 2013, 10:23 AM
Well, or you could move the dictionary info to the Search language files... ;)

I really like the 'did you mean' bit, but it's true that it's not exactly realistic to fill a DB table with thousands of words just to build a dictionary that's suitable to the forum. However, I think it might be a reasonable plugin to build, in case the admin really, really wants to have their own custom suggestion code.

The reality, I'd say, is that the 'did you mean' system could be improved, and linked with a tag system of sorts.
Posted: March 7th, 2013, 10:22 AM

Also, I'd like to point that in the time since I reawakened this topic, we got two extra votes for the 'don't remove' side, namely from kimikelku and Maxx, but it's too late to remove the spellcheck button portion, anyway.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 7th, 2013, 02:48 PM
Certainly that's feasible, using some kind of tagging.
Quote
I really like the 'did you mean' bit, but it's true that it's not exactly realistic to fill a DB table with thousands of words just to build a dictionary that's suitable to the forum.
True, it's not. As a plugin it might be but it'll be one hefty ol' plugin. Scanning every post in the DB is not a lightweight task at any time, nor is keeping it up to date.
Quote
Also, I'd like to point that in the time since I reawakened this topic, we got two extra votes for the 'don't remove' side, namely from kimikelku and Maxx, but it's too late to remove the spellcheck button portion, anyway.
I would wonder if the question was misinterpreted a bit.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on March 17th, 2013, 05:09 PM
Quote from Arantor on March 7th, 2013, 02:48 PM
Certainly that's feasible, using some kind of tagging.
Remember how tagging used to be one of Wedge's first 'future' features, then I totally dropped them...? :^^;:
Well, I guess what I wanted to do, was a custom SMF that would fit Noisen like a glove, except the tag system in Noisen is awfully lacking optimization and I wouldn't want it in a public file, or maybe I just shouldn't bother with appearances and implement the same anyway...
Quote from Arantor on March 7th, 2013, 02:48 PM
True, it's not. As a plugin it might be but it'll be one hefty ol' plugin. Scanning every post in the DB is not a lightweight task at any time, nor is keeping it up to date.
Noted.
Quote from Arantor on March 7th, 2013, 02:48 PM
Quote
Also, I'd like to point that in the time since I reawakened this topic, we got two extra votes for the 'don't remove' side, namely from kimikelku and Maxx, but it's too late to remove the spellcheck button portion, anyway.
I would wonder if the question was misinterpreted a bit.
I don't think it's subject to misinterpretation; I do note, however, that we have yet to receive a complaint following your tasteful removal of that awfully awkward feature... ;)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Dismal Shadow on March 18th, 2013, 08:09 PM
Here's what spell checker wants to say to you guys:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT-9abkWqt8
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on March 19th, 2013, 04:29 PM
Today, I learned that while I insisted to write 'feasable', the actual English word for that was 'feasible'.
Thank you, embedded spellchecker :D
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 19th, 2013, 04:44 PM
Gotta love English able vs ible.
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on March 19th, 2013, 05:25 PM
Well, you have to remember I learned most of my English on the Interwebs, and there isn't a UK/US flag next to English text, so I caught some typically US expressions/spellings, and some typically UK ones. I don't mind if I show my weaknesses on this board or whatever -- I just need to ensure I don't mix them up in Wedge itself... Which would look unprofessional ;)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 19th, 2013, 05:28 PM
Your English is better than my French - and your English is better than the English of most people in this country. I really wouldn't worry about it :)
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Nao on March 19th, 2013, 06:33 PM
Quote from Arantor on March 19th, 2013, 05:28 PM
Your English is better than my French
Yeah, but did you learn French at school? For 8 years..? I'd say this doesn't compare :lol:
Quote from Arantor on March 19th, 2013, 05:28 PM
- and your English is better than the English of most people in this country. I really wouldn't worry about it :)
I never worry about it...[1] Only in professional situations!

Phew, I just spent an hour writing my latest changelog... 95% of which was on the lyrics thing, ah ah... Well, problem is I discovered Sugizo had made a new album so I had to get it, and it crashed my browser so it lost all my text, and I forgot about drafts (I just checked, I had one!), so I rewrote everything, plus the browser insisted on being updated when it restarted, so I did that, and now the tab bar is just narrow enough that I get the sidebar in wedge.org, how fun... :^^;:

Where was I, already..?
 1. I only worry about my accent. I can make a video of myself if you'd like -- just to see how horrible it is!! :lol:
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: Arantor on March 19th, 2013, 07:47 PM
Quote
Yeah, but did you learn French at school? For 8 years..? I'd say this doesn't compare
At school for 5 years. I even hold a qualification in it. Or I did, back in 2000 when I took the exam. I'd say it's next to useless now.
Quote
I only worry about my accent. I can make a video of myself if you'd like -- just to see how horrible it is!! :lol:
It's one of my fears about doing any kind of voice recording.
Quote
how fun... :^^;:
Being a developer is grand fun, eh, lad?
Title: Re: Spell checker
Post by: MultiformeIngegno on March 19th, 2013, 08:11 PM
I can't avoid imaging Nao speaking like De Singe from Tales of MI :P