[TxMt] Writing Bundle [was: Lookup current word in Dictionary.app]

Jacob Rus jrus at hcs.harvard.edu
Tue Nov 7 09:40:50 UTC 2006

Oliver Taylor wrote:
>> Does this have any advantage over the system-provided combination of 
>> control-command-D (which works with or without a selection).
> One thing I don't like about the pop-up is that it appears for whatever 
> word your mouse is hovering over. This command can work with a selection 
> or caret placement. Which means for keyboard junkies, they can skip one 
> more trip to the mouse.
> The only other advantage is that you might prefer using the app to the 
> pop-up.

I'm actually planning to make some sort of "Writing" bundle, with 
various commands helpful when writing prose.  So far on the list of 
things I want to do:

1. A dictionary command that pops up a TM yellow tooltip of a definition 
when a shortcut is pressed.

2. A word completion command that allows a user to complete the current 
word with a menu of possible completions, hopefully including words 
added to the custom spelling dictionary, as well as any words in the 
current document.

3. A thesaurus command, that uses WordNet to show a menu with synonyms 
for the current word, in groups for each sense of the word, and possibly 
with some synonyms in submenus if there are too many senses, or too many 
synonyms within a sense.

4. A spell-check command, that either somehow uses the built-in 
spell-check, or pulls up suggestions from some other tool (aspell perhaps).

5. Some commands for getting better statistics than the current document 
statistics count.  It would be nice to have a word count which knows how 
to ignore stuff in html/latex/markdown tags, etc. etc. (or maybe bundles 
can provide overrides to this command, and all call out to a single 
script), but it would also be nice to be able to get some readability 
statistics, such as counts of average word length, average sentence 
length, and maybe metrics like Flesch-Kincaid, etc.

6. It might even be nice to add some tools for checking grammar 
(flagging things like wordy sentences, etc.).  There are some decent 
open-source programs for this, I believe.

7. We could have some commands for looking the current word/selection up 
in various online references.  Immediately obvious choices are websters, 
wikipedia, and a generic google search, but it would be nice to allow 
people to add their own (I have access to the Oxford English Dictionary 
through school, for example)

8. Eventually it would maybe even be nice to have some translation 
facilities, etc.

Anyway, many of these things require some external program in order to 
function, so I was thinking we probably want to make universal builds of 
a bunch of these, and then give users a single download to install them 
all in a package.

I think with not too much work we can take John Gruber's 
[challenge][df], and toss it back at him ;).  Can I get a hallelujah?


[df]: http://daringfireball.net/2006/10/hallelujah_autocompletion

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