Now is time to talk about Vidrohi… an upcoming standalone dictionary program for the Palm. One that supports dictd files.

Well, not content with the state of dictionary support on the Palm (see E-book frustration), I’ve embarked on an ill-conceived plan to get some sort of support for dictd dictionaries. I have something right now that kind of crappily runs. Given the lack of proper Unicode support on PalmOS, I’m running into some difficulties that need further exploration on my part. (Sorting Unicode strings intelligently is a bit of a problem when locale support and Unicode support is not readily present.) I’m planning to bring it to the it-doesn’t-suck-too-much level before putting it up for grabs somewhere online under the GPL license. I’m planning for some sort of reasonable support of freedict’s German-English dictionary and Monier-William’s Sanskrit dictionary before it goes public.

Given that I was in a rebellious mind when I thought of this, the project is called Vidrohi, which means “rebellious” in Hindi. Why use French or English when you can use Hindi? All half-assed attempts at practicing Hindi are good, na?

I’d include screenshots but I must admit that I still don’t know how to take screenshots on my Palm… so there.

Astute readers will have noticed the self-deprecating tone of this post. My approach for this project is “bang on it until it fits my immediate needs”. I used to be a software engineer and I used care a lot about producing quality software but I’m trying to move away from writing software and that means I’m cutting corners a lot. The rebellious mind I have while writing this is not only against what I perceive to be unsatisfactory dictionary support on the Palm but also against having to write software to fix the situation. I keep thinking “why do I have to write software?” as I go along writing Vidrohi. And since I’m also learning how to program for the PlamOS in the process of writing this, I’m sure I’m doing things that seasoned PlamOS developers would think are quite stupid. In addition, Vidrohi currently makes a zillion assumptions about the files provided. For instance, it assumes they are in UTF8 without checking that they are in UTF8. My mindset is that I want my immediate needs to be fulfilled rather than produce some neat piece of software that will work under all desirable conditions. Everything will be released under the GPL so if someone cares a lot about bringing Vidrohi to the next level, they’ll be able to do so with my blessings.

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