Hi everyone,
It's been a while since I posted that message, and I made a start, but have had lots of other things on... To see how far I've got, you can visit


A username/password pair that works (if you want to log in) is:

username: demouser
password: demo

If you want to install it at home, then the files are at http://www.mecheng.adelaide.edu.au/~pmdumuid/
(these may move to another location soon (such as ~pmdumuid/pmd_scripts)
The respective files to get are:

(Any comments/suggestions, please send.. I'm sorry that it's not very complete at the moment, but suggestions at an early stage would be good...
(I will be changing the acronym section of adding words)

Oh, and searching isn't that crash hot... (due to the lack of words, and bad method to search)


Eyermann Horst ICM Bocholt wrote:
Nice to see someone to plan such a project. (even better, when it is done)

I think you are right, there propably are no such projects around.

I would advice to consider to use TEI (XML) format for the dictionaries. -
This way a lot more information can be stored. 
If you are afraid, that this is to much for the average user, a translation
from headword/description to XML format can be done.
If you then use the TEI format as dictionary entries, a XSL stylesheet can
do a lot of formatting for you (not only crossreferences).

(you know wiktionary(.org), which stores dictionaries with PHP in


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Pierre Marc Dumuid 

I am wanting to develop a PHP program that can create dictionaries on 
the fly.  

I'll explain firstly why I want to do it...
I'm doing a Phd in Mechanical Engineering at Adelaide University 
(researching underwater accoustic communications)  and I love 
the kdict 
program on the KDE panel...

What I would really love is a dictionary of all the terms 
that are use 
in my research... (I know this sounds outrageous but hang on...)

What I want is for everyone in our department working on 
similar topics 
to be able to contribute online to the maintainance of the 

The idea of the PHP program would be to have a SQL database 
with a list 
of words / definitions, that can be updated by the users 
(with passwords 
of course and backups stored within the database of previous 
versions - 
in case some idiot makes a bad change!!)  

In this way, a user could make a rough definition of say of 
what a FIR 
filter is.  Then at a later time, another user will find out about a 
derived filter (such as gamma filter) and add 
cross-referencing, plus a 
new definition of what a gamma filter is. (I would probably add the 
ability to add pictures that are only available via the web 
as pictures in engineering are very importaint...)

There would be the ability for there to be primary managers for the 
different dictionaries who can see who added what, etc. (possible 
dictionaries in our department would include acoustics, fluid 
thermodynamics, digital signal processing, etc..)  

Then on a regular basis, (say once every hour) the SQL database is 
converted to multiple ???.dict and ???.index files to be 
accessed by dictd The dictd database could then be re-loaded 
(restarted) to include the 

At the moment I plan on having the PHP script generate a JARGON FILE 
(the one with headwords with colons around it), and then passing it 
through dictfmt to generate the ???.dict and ???.index files.

Hopefully the intentions of my idea should be clear...

My questions I have before commencing the planned project:

* Does anyone know of an existing project (or program which 
does all this??)

* Do I have to restart dictd or is there a way to send a 
signal to the 
daemon to perform a reload (similar to httpd which has a control 
program) or make it "watch" the dict and index files for changes?

* Does the dict protocol include a update mechanism (whereby 
a user can 
modify a definition)
   - from my reading, I'm pretty sure the answers no, but I 
thought I'd 
ask anyhow...

* What are the types of formatting conventions are used for the dict 
files? Are there escape characters?
 - so far I've worked out that {}'s are used for 
cross-referencing other 
locations in the dictionary,  and _<text here>_  I think is 
supposed to 
indicate italics (from dictfmt.c - but the italics doesn't work in 
kdict...) It appears that the conventions can to an extent 
depend on how 
the client processes them...

* Anyone have any comments / ideas on my proposed project

Thanks for any of the feedback you can provide for me...

Pierre Dumuid




 Mr Pierre Dumuid
 Postgraduate Student
 Active Noise and Vibration Control Group
 Department of Mechanical Engineering
 Adelaide University
 SA 5005
 Email:  pierre.dumuid@student.adelaide.edu.au
 Work:   +61 (0)8 8303 3847
 Fax:    +61 (0)8 8303 4367
 CRICOS Provider Code 00123M