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New member
Status: New idea

 Hello developers. At page listing dictionaries and language packages that are supported by Mozilla it can be noticed that the presence of dictionary and language package that are mutually complementary, are not mutually tied. Then one of them can be present without the other one. That is illustrated by the Finnish locale; a respective dictionary is absent while a respective language package is present. However Linux already ships dictionary packages via desktop environments; e.g. Gnome, KDE, XFCE. then those dictionaries are available for use to applications of those environments. Nevertheless at least Firefox for Linux does not rely on those dictionaries but on add-ons maintained by persons external to the Mozilla Foundation. Adding support for those dictionaries would avoid Mozilla to be put of position of dependence in regard to those fierce sources that release dictionary files as add-ons and would at last solve at once the observable lack of dictionaries for locales. Regard.

Making moves

My knowledge of this is that the package is a xpi package for the browser with a specific dictionary that often is bigger than the linux ones.

As example for the italian dictionary it is based on the LibreOffice italian package, also firefox use different spellchecker as I can remember.

New member

XPI format; and so it can be or any other. The format of an existing resource outside the Mozilla Foundation, if not supported by Firefox, would simply have to be converted into one of the formats Firefox supports. Nothing more is needed but the existence in Linux of such a resource, with the adequate licence. You noticed that a dictionary package supported by LibreOffice, which is thus supported by Apache OpenOffice,  is the one used by Firefox as its source of dictionary. I note myself the existence of such a dictionary package for the locale Finnish, which is brought by voikko. Surprisingly though, it is not used by Firefox. As i comprehend it, the spell-checker operating in Firefox has to rely on a dictionary whose underlying file is in an adequate format. Thus this spell-checker role too would be operational in Firefox once the required conversion has been accomplished.

Strollin' around

No conversion of resources should be needed, as that would mean copying the original resource that is readily available (eg.: the files in /usr/share/dict) and potentially or eventually falling out of sync with them. All that is needed is that Firefox invokes the already available APIs for the contextual elements (eg.: textareas) to use the available spellcheck engines (aspell, hunspell, etc).


Working at the API / function level also helps avoid needless copies of user dictionary expansions that can fall out-of-sync, eg.: LibreOffice's custom dictionaries in $CONFDIR/user/wordbook.