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Road to Mac OS X Leopard: Dictionary 2.0

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
Apple has significantly updated Dictionary 2.0 for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, expanding it from a simple word lookup into a complete multilingual reference tool. Here's a look at what's new in Dictionary.

Mac OS X is based on NeXTSTEP, the operating system Steve Jobs left Apple to develop back in 1986, and brought back in 1997. Nearly twenty years ago, NeXTSTEP included a "Digital Librarian" application designed to browse and hyperlink together the information in digital books. Included with the system were the complete works of Shakespeare, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Thesaurus.

Over the last two decades, NeXTSTEP sparked the development of the World Wide Web at CERN, which brought similar hyperlinked information to more mainstream computers. The RoughlyDrafted article "Safari on Windows? Apple and the Origins of the Web" described how Apple's HyperCard and Tim Berners-Lee's WWW for NeXT computers built the foundations of the open web on the Internet.

In Mac OS X Tiger, Apple reintroduced Dictionary as a system wide service. Right click on a word, and the "Look up in Dictionary" contextual menu will open the Dictionary application and present the word's listing. Control+Apple+D can also be used to look up an entry for a selected word.

NeXTSTEP included a "Digital Librarian".

The Dictionary application can also search for words directly, either by entering whole words into the search bar or by just typing the first few letters. This makes it easy to look up a word's spelling when the built-in spell checking service can't suggest an alternative to the badly typed word which was entered. Tiger also offers a Dictionary widget for Dashboard. Both the widget and the full blown application draw from the New Oxford American Dictionary and the Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus.

New Features in Leopard

Leopard's Dictionary 2.0 adds a Digital Librarian-like function for adding new reference works. Apple includes a new dictionary of its own marketing terms, including Rosetta, Quartz, and Exposé, although it doesn't offer to define many terms outside of product names. It also doesn't offer anything for terms such as Carbon, Darwin, or Core Graphics. Perhaps Apple should throw in a developer dictionary that might be more useful than its definitions of Cover Flow and MacBook. The Apple Dictionary also includes some oddly outdated terms such as Open Transport and A/UX.

Also included in the new Dictionary are a set of Japanese references, including the Shogakukan Daijisen Japanese dictionary, the Japanese thesaurus Shogakukan Ruigo Reikai Jiten, and the Shogakukan Progressive English-Japanese Japanese-English Dictionary. These are off by default, but can be enabled in preferences.



Preferences also allows users to set the English dictionary pronunciation guides to use common diacritical (?d???kritik?l) or the more formal IPA style (??da????kr?d?k?l), and to set the right click "Look up in Dictionary" function to launch the Dictionary app or to pop up a small contextual panel window (below). This feature is unchanged from Tiger.



Big in Japan

Once enabled, the new Japanese references appear in the Dictionary window bar. Results for a word can be isolated to a specific reference, or looked up in all enabled dictionaries at once. The Japanese dictionary gives a simple definition, while the Japanese-English dictionary provides translations for a variety of idiomatic expressions.





Wiki Wikipedia

Japanese isn't the only expansion of the Dictionary application. It also now offers to do an instantaneous online lookup of words and phrases using Wikipedia. Since Wikipedia can return results on articles in a variety of languages, the new Dictionary allows you to select which language results to view.



Linking the dictionary with Wikipedia is smart, because many technical terms and cultural references have extensive community-created articles that would never appear in a formal dictionary. Dictionary 2.0 displays the full text, graphics, and diagrams of Wikipedia articles, although it uses a serif font for all references. That means it doesn't look like the web version of Wikipedia, but rather like a more formal work.

The default 16 point text seems a little large for reading long articles in Wikipedia, but selecting a smaller font from the text size buttons of Dictionary's Toolbar nearly makes it too small. Since it uses a delicate font face (which appears to be Baskerville), it begins to look thin and washed out at smaller typefaces. The default font size can be set in preferences, but not the font face. That leaves Dictionary results looking distinctive and sophisticated, even if you'd personally rather camp up your Wikipedia with Comic Sans or Marker Felt.



Links Everywhere

While Wikipedia is rife with links already, Dictionary makes every word hyperlinked, as it does throughout the standard dictionary and thesaurus. That means any word that gets clicked upon pulls up its definition, synonyms, and a new Wikipedia article (if one exists). This makes Dictionary an excellent resource for quickly spelunking around the English language, or in Japanese, or wading through one of the many other languages in Wikipedia.

While individual dictionary files in Tiger were just a big blob of a file saved under Library/Dictionaries, Leopard organizes them into exposed folders of graphics, xml, and css that suggest it would be simple to develop and distribute new specialized glossaries and reference works in other languages for use in Dictionary.

Will Dictionary eventually incorporate product manuals and Unix man pages the way NeXT's Digital Librarian did? Will it open up the ability to tap into other online reference works in a manner similar to Wikipedia? There's certainly room for growth, but Leopard's Dictionary already delivers a lot of practical innovation in the rather sleepy corner of library reference works.

Parents might feel there's too much information available in Dictionary 2.0; the new Parental Controls feature in System Preferences allows you to block access to profanity, which includes "slang or colorful expletives." Dictionary's help pages note that "terms are identified as inappropriate by the publisher of a source."



Dictionary 2.0 gets in the last word for Mac OS X Leopard. So when will it make it to the iPhone?
post #2 of 58
This sounds pretty nice. Just wish they would install an English-Japanese dictionary that would help foreigners learning Japanese.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #3 of 58
As a complete spanner when it come to spelling Tiger and Dictionary 1.0 has been a great use to me.

I just hope it offers more realistic British English rather than the kind of British English Americans think we use.

i.e. utilize is spelt with an ...ize in UK English; but Tiger tries to correct to ...ise
post #4 of 58
Hey check out that Next dock. Looks better than the Leopard one.
post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post

As a complete spanner when it come to spelling Tiger and Dictionary 1.0 has been a great use to me.

I just hope it offers more realistic British English rather than the kind of British English Americans think we use.

i.e. utilize is spelt with an ...ize in UK English; but Tiger tries to correct to ...ise

But what about words like "spanner" which we don't use in the US, either to mean "novice" or "wrench" (the tool)? :-)
post #6 of 58
Profanity blocking was already in Tiger; is it not?

I think the new thing for Leopard is profanity blocking in MCX. So schools with client management can finally take advantage of it.
post #7 of 58
This looks great. I frequently find that it all these 'little' side apps and functions that never seem to get mentioned actually end up being more use than headline grabbing ones.

For example, Expose sure looks nice and does work well, but after years of application switching on Mac + PC, APPLE+TAB comes more natural.

The word auto-complete function ALT+ESC is great, and being able to send a whole webpage from Safari APPLE+I to Mail is brilliant.

Screenshots saved as a file rather than clipboard file (our poor windows cousins - have you ever seen the size of a windows screenshot BMP!!) seems so simple and means you can document work very quickly.

The list goes on and on. I would truly like to see more about these small but sometimes essential features that get left behind with all the eye candy (no matter how promising it looks)
post #8 of 58
My my. Wikipedia in Dictionary.app eh?

Between this and the new Movie Times widget in Leopard, it's no wonder that they ditched Sherlock.
post #9 of 58
Awesome.

Loving this in-depth app-by-app series from AI. Keep it up!
post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ng5forums View Post

For example, Expose sure looks nice and does work well, but after years of application switching on Mac + PC, APPLE+TAB comes more natural.

I wouldn't agree with that. I find Expose far more intuitive, although I will agree that command+tab is faster. Besides command+tab is purely for application management, whereas Expose is (mainly) for window management. Unless you're on a PC in which case the window *is* the application...

P.S. As of the most recent iMac keyboards there is no more Apple key
post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post

...i.e. utilize is spelt with an ...ize in UK English; but Tiger tries to correct to ...ise

That'll be because "-ise" is correct.

Pedantically, "-ize" is also a correct option, but is rarely used in UK English.

As an example, the Guardian style guide tells us to use "-ise". That variant is so much the standard that many people consider "-ize" to be wrong, even if it's technically allowable.
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by krispie View Post

That'll be because "-ise" is correct.

Pedantically, "-ize" is also a correct option, but is rarely used in UK English.

As an example, the Guardian style guide tells us to use "-ise". That variant is so much the standard that many people consider "-ize" to be wrong, even if it's technically allowable.


Yeah, I don't get it. Does he have it backwards? Utilize is -ize in US English (as that's my setting and the native spell-checker didn't warn me), but likely -ise in UK English, as is the case with most -ize/-ise spelling differences between the two dialects. I can't see why OSX would go out of its way to try to incorrectly correct the -ize spelling to -ise when -ise isn't in fact the correct spelling in UK English.
post #13 of 58
Still waiting for a talking dictionary.
post #14 of 58
Parental controls - a nice idea I guess, but what do people think will happen to their children if they find "bad" words in the dictionary? They'll giggle for a few minutes and it'll be over. They're not going to then go out and rob liquor stores.

I guess it's the same silliness as Janet Jackson's breast in the SuperBowl half-time show. People think it's a terrible thing, but can't really explain why.
post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ng5forums View Post

For example, Expose sure looks nice and does work well, but after years of application switching on Mac + PC, APPLE+TAB comes more natural.

Exposé is not meant to be just an application switcher per se. It's more of a visual window search tool. But the best part of Expose is the Desktop key in my opinion.

For example, I'm in Mail and want to email an attachment on my desktop - I can hit exposé (desktop) to clear the windows, start dragging the file, hit the exposé key again and drop it on the window. This works great for dragging and dropping anywhere.

The exposé application only key is handy too for "bring all app windows to front" functionality.
post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbes View Post

Awesome.

Loving this in-depth app-by-app series from AI. Keep it up!

Agreed, well done!
post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Exposé is not meant to be just an application switcher per se. It's more of a visual window search tool. But the best part of Expose is the Desktop key in my opinion.

For example, I'm in Mail and want to email an attachment on my desktop - I can hit exposé (desktop) to clear the windows, start dragging the file, hit the exposé key again and drop it on the window. This works great for dragging and dropping anywhere.

The exposé application only key is handy too for "bring all app windows to front" functionality.

Yes. There's nothing like having 25 images open in Photoshop, activating Exposé's "bring all app windows to front", and then picking the one you want to bring to the front of the pile. Can't do that with Command+Tab. And the real secret weapon to Exposé: drag and drop capability. Truly awesome.

For all the fanfare surrounding Exposé, I have to say it's the one of the few highly-touted features of OS X that actually changed my entire workflow. I simply couldn't live without it at this point. Can't say the same for Automator or Dashboard, which I use, but I don't NEED.

I hope Spaces will be another Exposé in that regard. But I'll have to try it out to see.

And I second the notion that these "app by app" detail articles are really cool. Keep them coming.
post #18 of 58
Thank b*ggery that it's got a proper English dictionary, and not the supposed English that Americans call English.
post #19 of 58
You already can click every word in Tiger's Dictionary.

-=|Mgkwho
post #20 of 58
Nice

I use Dictionary and Wikipedia all the time when I'm on my Mac. I user answers.com when I'm on a PC. I'd pay money if I could download snippets of words pronounced as well linked to dictionary terms.
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdasmith View Post

Thank b*ggery that it's got a proper English dictionary, and not the supposed English that Americans call English.

Thankfully not everyone sees UK English as having evolve in the right direction. Some see US English as more technically robust while much richer due to the melting pot annealing of the vocabulary.

Look at the UK use of the word ARE to see how far they have fallen off the cliff.

Dave
post #22 of 58
Currently the bundled dictionary is only available in English. This means if you are typing in French, and look up "Bonjour", then no entries are found. It would be nice to have dictionaries for other languages included. Also, it would appear that the look up of words does not base itself on selected spelling language so even if you are spell checking in French an English definition is looked up.

Alternatively does anyone know of any third-party dictionaries that can be made to integrate with "OS X", in the same way as the one supplied by Apple?

As for UK English vs US English, well UK English is used across the commonwealth and partly in Canada which mixes US and UK English.
post #23 of 58
Cool, this looks good.. But what would be of more importance is a strategy that stretches beyond the English and Japanese languages. Apple doesn't even support a local spelling dictionary in a lot of the countries where Macs are being sold. What's up with that in Leopard?
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Thankfully not everyone sees UK English as having evolve in the right direction. Some see US English as more technically robust while much richer due to the melting pot annealing of the vocabulary.

Look at the UK use of the word ARE to see how far they have fallen off the cliff.

Dave

How many uses are there for the word "are"? How do you Americans use it? The things that really get to me though is the pronunciation and limitless use of the letter "Z" in American, and missing "U" from a lot of words, such as behaviour, colour, etc.. Without the "U" the pronunciation changes, but people don't speak with the new pronunciation it causes. Looking back at how the American "forefathers" spelt, I wonder why it's different now. They spelt in the same way we do. If you want to change a language, don't give it the name of the original. Hinglish is a good example of the influence Hindi is having on the English language in certain areas of England. [/rant]
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdasmith View Post

Looking back at how the American "forefathers" spelt, I wonder why it's different now. They spelt in the same way we do. If you want to change a language, don't give it the name of the original.[/rant]

Well now, you should have thought of that before you started TAXING OUR TEA!

post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawhead View Post

Yeah, I don't get it. Does he have it backwards? Utilize is -ize in US English (as that's my setting and the native spell-checker didn't warn me), but likely -ise in UK English, as is the case with most -ize/-ise spelling differences between the two dialects. I can't see why OSX would go out of its way to try to incorrectly correct the -ize spelling to -ise when -ise isn't in fact the correct spelling in UK English.

We do use some -ise spelling but English (UK) is a fickle beast and you can't rely on straight one of the other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krispie View Post

That'll be because "-ise" is correct.

Pedantically, "-ize" is also a correct option, but is rarely used in UK English.

As an example, the Guardian style guide tells us to use "-ise". That variant is so much the standard that many people consider "-ize" to be wrong, even if it's technically allowable.

You have that backwards.

Check your OED, not the Guardian; the Guardian is famous for it's shoddy spelling.

http://www.spellingsociety.org/journ.../misprints.php
post #27 of 58
Was I just dreaming or wasn't Jobs forced out of Apple by John Sculley? In all these years (first Mac: 1985) I never saw it written that Steve "left Apple to develop" the NeXT OS. And he was developing the whole package, same as with Apple. The NeXT OS wasn't available without buying the cube or the pizza box for some time.
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbes View Post

Awesome.

Loving this in-depth app-by-app series from AI. Keep it up!

Exactly. Thanks AI!
post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Hey check out that Next dock. Looks better than the Leopard one.

post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

Was I just dreaming or wasn't Jobs forced out of Apple by John Sculley? In all these years (first Mac: 1985) I never saw it written that Steve "left Apple to develop" the NeXT OS. And he was developing the whole package, same as with Apple. The NeXT OS wasn't available without buying the cube or the pizza box for some time.

Steve attempted to send Sculley to China after he saw that his choice for CEO was counter to the vision he had for Apple.

Someone in the board let the cat out of the bag and a board vote had went against Steve.

He left, bought and founded PIXAR, founded and gathered investors for NeXT Computer Inc.

You don't even want to know the wars then ensued about the Workspace.app, the Shelf and more that Keith Ohlfs developed for NeXTSTEP which were supposed to evolve and be in Mac OS X.

Ten years later and we're getting those ideas and modern ones to merge into OS X.
post #31 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Steve attempted to send Sculley to China after he saw that his choice for CEO was counter to the vision he had for Apple.

Someone in the board let the cat out of the bag and a board vote had went against Steve.

He left, bought and founded PIXAR, founded and gathered investors for NeXT Computer Inc.

You don't even want to know the wars then ensued about the Workspace.app, the Shelf and more that Keith Ohlfs developed for NeXTSTEP which were supposed to evolve and be in Mac OS X.

Ten years later and we're getting those ideas and modern ones to merge into OS X.

I remember when NeXT reps brought a new color machine in and pitched to us at the company I worked for (now owned and mis-operated by GE). We couldn't make proper use of and/or support the technology to justify the cost, and the IT Group soon lurched towards Windows, but it was exciting, given that we still had SE 30s sitting on desks at the time.

That "founding Pixar" thingie worked out pretty well for him, didn't it? And while I'm tripping down memory lane, I still have the copy of MacUser with the front cover screaming about how BeOS was the next Mac operating system. Arrived about the same day as when Jobs came back and the NeXT big thing became OS X.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

I remember when NeXT reps brought a new color machine in and pitched to us at the company I worked for (now owned and mis-operated by GE). We couldn't make proper use of and/or support the technology to justify the cost, and the IT Group soon lurched towards Windows, but it was exciting, given that we still had SE 30s sitting on desks at the time.

That "founding Pixar" thingie worked out pretty well for him, didn't it? And while I'm tripping down memory lane, I still have the copy of MacUser with the front cover screaming about how BeOS was the next Mac operating system. Arrived about the same day as when Jobs came back and the NeXT big thing became OS X.

I'll never forget the white limos circulating at Redwood Shores and all of us still around at 6pm went to the second floor, building 1 and watched the private announcement of NeXT merging with Apple.
post #33 of 58
It would certainly be nice to be able to add different publically available dictionary databases, any chance in this happening with Dict 2 ?
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by krispie View Post

As an example, the Guardian style guide tells us to use "-ise". That variant is so much the standard that many people consider "-ize" to be wrong, even if it's technically allowable.

That's not a good example. I usually see The Guardian referred to in a negative sense, as being a lesser paper.
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by panamajack View Post

It would certainly be nice to be able to add different publically available dictionary databases, any chance in this happening with Dict 2 ?

Yeah! Lookups to Urban Dictionary, can you imagine?
post #36 of 58
Yes. I wish it could also Offer a British Version of OED in Dictionary.
Interesting it has Japaness Dic while no Chinese nor Korean.
I would think People love Apple more in Japan and they properly got some sweet deal for inclusion.
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

Yes. I wish it could also Offer a British Version of OED in Dictionary.
Interesting it has Japaness Dic while no Chinese nor Korean.
I would think People love Apple more in Japan and they properly got some sweet deal for inclusion.

I had a friend from Japan that said Macs were very popular early on because of their better (and earlier?) support for Japanese. Right now though, Apple's doing very poorly in Japan and has been doing very poorly for years. Japan is one of the few markets that Apple has been getting less and less sales every year. Reports from AI forum members like umijin and Bergermeister paint a bleak picture about the local branch and it's poor quality support.
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Right now though, Apple's doing very poorly in Japan and has been doing very poorly for years. Japan is one of the few markets that Apple has been getting less and less sales every year. Reports from AI forum members like umijin and Bergermeister paint a bleak picture about the local branch and it's poor quality support.

iPods are doing well, but Macs aren't - I'd guess it has more to with Apple's complete absence of small, thin & light notebooks than anything else.

Fortunately, that will soon be corrected.
post #39 of 58
Ahh, I see the conversation proceeds without me...

Yep, iPods have been selling well in Japan, until they came to a sudden halt this past month (at last at the shop that I visit regularly) due to the tilted screen fiasco and now delays in touches. One of the sales people at the shop told me today that Apple's credibility as a quality brand is dropping like a 100-ton anchor in helium: if they can't even get the screen straight then what can they do right? This only compounds the problems they already have here. Apple really needs to get its act together fast if it is to remain a player in the Japanese market. Releasing a fantastic sub-notebook would be a great start (one that stays at the same temp as the other sub notes unlike my MBP nuker versus its competition), but they really need to work on the finer things like quality control, customer relations and advertising. I will be visiting two of the Apple Stores next month to see first-hand what is going on.

As far as the dictionary goes, I'm sure its just one of the more popular ones simply ported to Mac; electronic dictionaries sit on practically every desk in the country (not that it helps them improve their English) so the basic data apps are a dime a dozen.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffhrsn View Post

Still waiting for a talking dictionary.

They have these in Japan... Casio and other manufacturers. The data is out there; all someone has to do is set it up.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
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