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McEs, A Hacker Life
Monday, January 08, 2007
 Spell-checking gtk-docs

Motivated by Andrew Cowie's Spell-checking Java source code, I decided to give it a try on Pango. So I ended up spell-checking Pango's and cairo's documentation, fixing more than 100 typos in Pango's, and some 40 in cairo. Not bad for a three hour work.

Unlike Andrew, I didn't directly spell-check source code. What would have been too intrusive. Instead, I extracted gtk-doc blocks (and other block comments) out of source code:

$ grep '^[ /][*]' *.c > docs

Then spell-checked docs, and finally diffed docs.bak and docs and went over the changes, applying them to source code manually. For the sgml template files it was easier, just spell-checked the files directly.

The idea is to use "Add to list" as few times as possible. For example, Pango API has lots of parameter names "ink_rect" and "logical_rect". But instead of adding "rect" to the spell-check dictionary, I preferred "Ignor"ing everytime it nagged about the "rect" in "ink_rect", but it did help catch a couple places that "rect" was used in a sentence. And I replaced those with "rectangle".

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Comments:
Have you considered running gnu style and diction on the docs?
http://www.gnu.org/software/diction/diction.html

It is something I've been meaning to do for years now. Would be great if we could get all the documentation to a fully quantifyable reading level.
 
vim7 can check spelling of comments and strings on the fly.
 
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