In the CC field of this message you'll find just some of the people
who asked in the last couple of years for a free grammar checker on
Unix, preferably integrated with Emacs and Latex. I think that there's
a definite need for such a program. Here's are some resources and
- We have installed on our system a program called Writer's WorkBench
by Bell Labs (AT&T?). This is the successor of spell, diction, and
perhaps explain. Our version is 15 years old: wwb version 22.214.171.124,
5/25/83. I don't think that Bell/AT&T care anymore about this
program. I think there's a fairly good chance that they will release
the source if we can only find someone who can be responsible for
such a decision. Someone said that one Lorinda Cherry worked on this
program, but I was unable to locate her.
said she'll give them out if Bell/AT&T gives permission.
- Although mighty old and somewhat troff- and Bell-specific, WWB is
still very useful. On http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~vladimir/wwb/ you
can find some descriptions of its features and subprograms.
written free versions of two of the programs, style and diction.
don't subsume the analogous programs from WWB. His diction works
with English and German, but has only 100 "suggestions", while the
one in WWB has 600. His version of style seems weaker than the one
- A grammar checker would be a lot useful if it works with Emacs,
Latex, and Ispell (share dictionaries, run together). In particular,
it could use the great de-latex-ification built into Ispell. The
that he'd like to write a free grammar checker. Have you made any
- The FSF has listed such a program on its task list, so it would be
wise to coordinate any undertaking with them.
program, so perhaps he can do some coordination. In particular,
would anyone like to set up a mailing list for this matter?
- Are there any free programs for other OSes that could be used? There
are a lot of DOS/Windows grammar checkers, but I don't know of a
- What linguistic research and resources can be used? For example, it
would be great to interface with a thesaurus, or use WordNet for
some meanings, etc.
Of course, the free grammar checker should be better than anything
available commercially! :-)
PS: due to the wide audience this is being posted to, please be
considerate in your replies so as not to waste bandwidth and annoy
people. Until a mailing list is set, don't CC to all these people
(unless you have something very important to say). Keep the followups
to a few groups. I've chosen gnu.misc.discuss, but you may change this
to better reflect the specific content of your message.