dict.org: Resources

Announce (1.4.x)

February 1998

The DICT Development Group (www.dict.org) announces the dictd-1.4.x distribution, containing client/server software implementing the Dictionary Server Protocol, as described in RFC 2229.

The Dictionary Server Protocol (DICT) is a TCP transaction based query/response protocol that allows a client to access dictionary definitions from a set of natural language dictionary databases.

dict(1) is a client which can access DICT servers from the command line.

dictd(8) is a server which supports the DICT protocol.

dictzip(1) is a compression program which creates compressed files in the gzip format (see RFC 1952). However, unlike gzip(1), dictzip(1) compresses the file in pieces and stores an index to the pieces in the gzip header. This allows random access to the file at the granularity of the compressed pieces (currently about 64kB) while maintaining good compression ratios (within 5% of the expected ratio for dictionary data). dictd(8) uses files stored in this format.

Available in separate .tar.gz files are the data, conversion programs, and formatted output for several freely-distributable dictionaries. For any single dictionary, the terms for commercial distribution may be different from the terms for non-commercial distribution -- be sure to read the copyright and licensing information at the top of each database file. Below are approximate sizes for the databases, showing the number of headwords in each, and the space required to store the database:

  Database      Headwords         Index          Data  Uncompressed
  web1913          185399       3438 kB         11 MB         30 MB
  wn               121967       2427 kB       7142 kB         21 MB
  gazetteer         52994       1087 kB       1754 kB       8351 kB
  jargon             2135         38 kB        536 kB       1248 kB
  foldoc            11508        220 kB       1759 kB       4275 kB
  elements            131          2 kB         12 kB         38 kB
  easton             3968         64 kB       1077 kB       2648 kB
  hitchcock          2619         34 kB         33 kB         85 kB

All of these compressed databases and indices can be stored in approximately 32MB of disk space.

The software has been developed under Linux 2.0.x and SunOS 4.1.x. Porting to other Unix-like operating systems should be straightforward (the client and/or server have been compiled using gcc under Linux, FreeBSD, BSD/OS, SunOS 4, Solaris (SunOS 5), HP/UX, and DG/UX).

Software and databases are available for anonymous ftp from: ftp://ftp.dict.org/pub/dict

For more information on the DICT project, please see: http://www.dict.org

Last modified: Fri Nov 8 03:27:12 2002 by webmaster@dict.org
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