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