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I am running a dictionary service

Jake Thoughts ā€” 01 Nov 2021 03:01:12 -0400* edited on Nov 02

I hope everyone had a good halloween! I, unfortunately, went to take a nap and when I woke up I missed halloween :(

Anyway, I am running a dictionary service which may interest some people. Basically, it uses the same dictionary that the wotd service uses but this time you can specify what word to look up. I should mention that because of the dictionary's age, some modern words like 'zoom', 'yeet', etc, will not be present.

It has an API!: $ curl -d "word=the word"

Because of that it is also very easy to impliment into a bash function:

function lookup() {
	curl -d "word=$1"

There are other dictionary programs that you can use, of course: Artha, Goldendict, ... there aren't actually that many. Hmm. I haven't used any of these programs so idk if they are good or not. Artha claims to be able to use offline copy which I would be interested in had I not already done this.

Jake you'll just be a creep and see what words I look up!

No - All I will see is someone accessing the url. If this is a major concern, you can download the source script yourself and run it locally.

The script. The dictionary I recommend (it is so old it falls OUT of copyright.)

You can directly visit but I am not applying any stylesheet to it (meaning black text on white background), so your eyeballs will melt if you got used to my current stylesheet. As for Gemini users... I haven't written this yet but I figure the easiest way to serve FCGI content would be with yet another CGI script that queries the FCGI script since Doppio (and I assume many other Gemini servers) don't do FCGI.


Ok, I have written the script for Gemini users but unfortunately it is not as anonymous as I would like, since it uses GET. But you can look up words on the Capsule now~!

Other thoughts

Jake on 2021-11-02,14:45:24 said:

';=GMI' .... hmm. my script needs some work.

Jake on 2021-11-02,21:37:36 said:

all better!

Jake on 2021-11-04,20:17:58 said:

I have improved the script. it now does the following: results are now better for human consumption, a rudimentary spellchecker. due to the way the spellchecker works I intentionally misspell somethings and see some new words and definitions that I have never seen before! it is a lot of fun.

a on 2021-11-07,18:59:18 said:


Jake on 2021-11-07,23:25:41 said:

v1.6 is planned to optimize the 'else' block if the word the user submits doesn't exist. However, I am not really sure how to go about this besides break up each word based on what their first character is, otherwise the script /really/ goes through all 100k words each time. Still fast as you can see, but I am assuming the user has at least gotten the first character correct so the dictionary should reflect that. I'll work on it later. if you want to see the individual versions: where x, at the moment, can range from 2 to 5. Obviously with each release the version number will be incimented by one. Lastest (linked in the post) is just a symlink to the lastest version... I am realizing that 'lastest' isn't a word lol

Jake on 2021-11-08,22:53:33 said:

v1.6: misspelling of words should not parse though 100k words anymore and instead parse based on the first character. v1.7: badly mangled words should return something as the string distance limit increases (up to 6) if spell checker doesn't return something.

Jake on 2021-11-08,22:55:40 said:

Besides 'prettifying' the code I do no see myself adding anything else to this. This should be basically completely done. I am totally content with how it works at the moment.

Jake on 2021-11-23,07:52:04 said:

I kinda wanna add a thesaurus...

Jake on 2021-12-07,14:49:45 said:

v1.8: whitespace as initial input causes warnings - fixed v1.9: Made it so that this script only accepts word|api as key inputs, and added checking for such (as to not have warnings clog up the logs)

Jake on 2022-02-25,08:43:16 said:

this script uses a bit of memory so it will often be 503. Oh well

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