Hosted by

Valid CSS!

Valid HTML 4.01!

Debian Spelling Dictionaries and Tools Policy

(This policy is already official in Debian, but it is still work in progress. Comments are welcome.)

You will find here the Policy for integrating spelling dictionaries and tools under the Debian system. This page is intended for Debian developers who maintain spelling related packages (ispell, dictionaries, wordlists, etc).

The current version of the Policy, authored by Rafael Laboissière, David Coe, Agustín Martín Domingo, and René Engelhard is available in the following formats:

There is also a new package called dictionaries-common, which contains the Policy and the basic utilities for integrating ispell dictionaries with debconf, emacsen, jed, and mutt. The latest experimental versions of this package, along with new ispell and wordlist dictionary packages compliant with the Policy, are available here. Debian sources are available from previous directory or, for old packages, from this other. The stable branch of this package is available at the Debian repositories.

Due to alioth reorganization, dict-common repository is temporarily unavailable. You can fetch sid versions with apt-pinning. Note that you may need to also use sid {my,hun}spell dictionaries.

You can also apt-get the latest experimental versions with the following sources.list lines:

deb ./
deb-src ./


deb ./
deb-src ./

Repository is signed with key dict-common-key.asc.

Much more info about the package in Debian is available from the Debian dictionaries-common PTS. A general purpose mailing list about this system is available at the dictionaries-common alioth project area. You can also look at the project git repo.

These are the latest news related to the project:

  • [2011/11/18] (1.12.0) No longer install update-openoffice-dicts script.
  • [2009/11/25] (1.4.0) Mozilla symlinks must no longer be set in hunspell destdir.
  • [2009/11/25] (1.3.0) New location for hunspell dicts and OpenOffice hyphenation and thesaurus files.
  • [2009/02/16] (1.0.0) Support for hunspell dicts registration.
  • [2008/11/10] (0.98.13) Add aspell support for the squirrelmail squirrelspell interface.
  • [2008/02/19] (0.96.0) Preliminary elanguages support.
  • [2007/05/10] (0.81.0) Added support for squirrelmail.
  • [2006/07/06] (0.70.0) Added support for CDBS.
  • [2005/08/17] (0.50.0) aspell-autobuildhash makes easier to have arch all aspell dict packages.
  • [2004/07/06] (0.22.30) ispell-autobuildhash makes easier to have arch all ispell dict packages.
  • [2003/11/20] (0.16.0) New installdeb-myspell script
  • [2003/06/09] The policy document now contains information about myspell dictionaries too
  • [2003/06/06] Finally all wordlists as well as aspell and ispell dictionaries passed to testing.
  • [2003/03/28] Closed the fake bug, now we are left to the usual sid/testing cycle.
  • [2002/10/30] All new style packages are already uploaded to Debian. The system will be hold by a fake bug report on dictionaries-common package until we are sure that all packages can pass to 'testing' at the same time. Currently the main problem is aspell building in hppa architecture, that is affecting packages building also an aspell dictionary.
  • [2002/10/01] We have dates for the transition, on Friday October 11th, bugs with severity wishlist will be filed against IDWP and the transition will start on Monday October 14th. (see the final ANNOUNCE text)
  • [2002/09/20] Announced the proximity of the deadline to developers (see the ANNOUNCE text) with details about the procedure to follow. We expect it for mid October.
  • [2002/06/19] Sent bulletin to ispell dictionaries and wordlists package maintainers with the latest news. See the News Bulletin. We now have at the sourceforge staging area ports to the new system of all ispell dictionaries and wordlists currently in Debian!
  • [2002/06/18] The project has been announced in Debian Weekly News, number 23.
  • [2002/06/11] Now the policy document (from 0.6.0) also includes support for pspell-ispell modules
  • [2002/05/28] The project as well as the policy proposal have been announced to all debian users through the debian-devel mailing list. See the ANNOUNCE
  • [2002/03/01] The project as well as the policy proposal have been announced to debian ispell dictionaries and wordlists packages maintainers. See the ANNOUNCE

Rafael Laboissière
Last modified: $Date: 2005-01-15 16:59:54 $