spelling and grammar checker

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costantino
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spelling and grammar checker

Post by costantino » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:15 pm

Hello,

I've a rather strange problem. I'm working with Snow Leopard and the most recent version of Mellel. Apparently, when starting Mellel, the application chooses: AUTOMATIC BY LANGUAGE. However, Mellel tells me that all my texts are not correct... When I choose English of French, I cannot activate the grammar checker. Is this a bug? The grammar checker is provided by Apple, I thought, and therefore I should be able to select it. Am I right?

Grazie

Costantino Maeder

donb
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by donb » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:32 am

Mellel does not support the Snow Leopard grammar checker. I very much hope it never will do so, grammar is far too subjective and also personal to be left to mechanical analysis.

Don B

miles11
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by miles11 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:08 pm

I agree with donb. Long ago, I installed a program to check grammar and it was a lot of fun -- tinkering with the settings and prefs, playing around with it. It was like a computer game, an enjoyable time-waster. What it did not do well, is check grammar. I soon got tired of it and dumped it.

pantagruel
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by pantagruel » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:41 pm

While I agree with donb and miles11 about grammar check, I strongly disagree with them about spell check. Mellel has long needed multilingual spell check capabilities if it is to be the academic writing tool of choice. As good as the software is, it lags behind nearly every other competitor in this regard. Spell Catcher and utilities like it just don't get the job done. Finally, Apple adds "Automatic By Language" spell checking in Snow Leopard. The feature works quite well in other Mac programs and I, for one, would really like to see Mellel take advantage of it. In the latest version of Mellel (2.7.1b3), choosing "Automatic By Language" fails miserably because, as costantino explains, nearly every word is highlighted as an error regardless of what language it's in. This is definitely a bug that needs to be addressed.

macula
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by macula » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:56 pm

I concur in the need to dramatically improve spelling checking in Mellel. In its current form it does not live up to expectations: It fails to identify the language automatically and it misidentifies words as misspelled. In the humanities, where language switching within a single paper is the norm, this is extremely frustrating. Dear Redlers, please go give this area the attention it deserves.
Last edited by macula on Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

kjmatthews
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by kjmatthews » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:03 pm

I heartily agree with the call for improved spell checking, particularly for multi-lingual documents.

gke
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by gke » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:29 pm

Please, correct me if I am mistaken, but Mellel simply uses the System Wide Spell Checker, so the Redlers are not really in a position to improve smth. in this respect. Only if they would create their own spell-checking infrastructure this would be an option, but I strongly think this is NOT the path they should take - a centralised spell-checking architecture is by far a better option, so I would strongly advise all those experiencing problems with spell-checking to report this to Apple through their feedback-form. I know, for instance, that the Russian mac community has managed this way to considerably improve the quality of Russian spell-checking in the subsequent versions of Leopard since its introduction.

An entirely different thing, of course, is when certain functionality of the system wide spellchecker does not function in Mellel, as appears to be the case with the multi-lingual options under Snow Leopard.

pantagruel
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by pantagruel » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:30 pm

Gke,

I agree with you and I was not suggesting that Mellel develop a customized internal spell-check system. As I wrote in my original post, Mellel 2.7.1 is not working with Snow Leopard's built-in, OS-level spell check and that has more to do with Redlers than Apple, as the Automatic By Language feature works well in the majority of other Mac applications. From what I have been able to glean from posts elsewhere on this forum, Mellel both does and does not use OS X's default text processing system (those users more expert than I, please feel free to offer a better explanation here). The reasons why it diverges from default text treatment have to do with Mellel's support for RTL languages and other non-Roman alphabet based languages. In the latest version, something about the way Mellel processes text is not allowing Apple's default OS-level spell check to work as intended. When I was asking Redlers to address this problem, I meant for them to correct whatever issue is not allowing Mellel to fully take advantage of Snow Leopard's new spell-check features. I stand by my original post that views this as a bug. The best part for Redlers is that Apple has given Mellel a great feature upgrade basically for free, one that users have been demanding for a number of years now. Redlers just needs to fix whatever isn't allowing Mellel to fully use it.

DylanMuir
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by DylanMuir » Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:47 pm

Mellel does not use the OS X apple-supplied text display and processing system, and so cannot use the spell- and grammar-checking that comes for free with that system.

The Redlers wrote their own text engine, to better support right-to-left languages, and better support opentype font features. (opentype? Is that right?) As I understand it, their support of nice opentype features makes Mellel support for non-latin scripts much much much better than applications that used the apple-supplied text system.

I imagine it might be technically possible for Mellel to dump the text from a document and feed it to the apple spell- and grammar-checkers, but it's probably a largish job.

However, the Redlers should take note of these discussions, and recognise the confusion that users have when told by Apple that "spell-checking is updated with this next version of our OS", and then not seeing that update apply to Mellel.

DRM

DanZac
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by DanZac » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:00 pm

While I can understand some of you grammar gurus not wanting some grammar help, not all of us are at that level. I'd love to see Mellel utilize Snow Leopards built in spell and grammar check

pantagruel
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by pantagruel » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:11 pm

DRM,

Thank you for your post. I just wanted to add a clarification. Asking for Mellel to take advantage of Snow Leopard's "Automatic By Language" spell checking is not equivalent to requesting some grand new feature that Redlers would have to develop from scratch. Mellel has partially taken advantage of OS X's built-in spell checking for some time now. Even in Snow Leopard, if you set the dictionary to a single language, the spell checker works properly. This is what I meant by the phrase Mellel does and does not use OS X's default text processing engine. Since Mellel can use the OS-level spell checker, it is already partially passing data through that engine.

Consequently, I don't think it would be a particularly onerous task to allow Mellel to take advantage of Snow Leopard's new spell check. As I said earlier, true multi-lingual spell checking is a sorely needed feature for scholars in the humanities. Personally, I'd like to see one of the developers respond to this thread and explain 1) why the "Automatic By Language" feature of Snow Leopard doesn't work, 2) what would be involved in fixing Mellel to use it, and 3) what Redlers' plans are to do so.

macula
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by macula » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:37 pm

pantagruel wrote: Personally, I'd like to see one of the developers respond to this thread and explain 1) why the "Automatic By Language" feature of Snow Leopard doesn't work, 2) what would be involved in fixing Mellel to use it, and 3) what Redlers' plans are to do so.
+1

I am confident that the Redlers, who are renowned for their customer support, will chime in and contribute to this important discussion.

pantagruel
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by pantagruel » Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:50 pm

bump

2.7.2 was released a few weeks ago and spell check still isn't working properly in Snow Leopard. We're also still waiting for a response from the developers here.

macula
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by macula » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:45 am

Bump!

This begins to border on the absurd. A blatant bug that persists across versions with no word of comfort/acknowledgement/explanation from RedleX. Simply put, spelling checking is broken with automatic language detection. If this is impossible to fix, then please remove the "feature" altogether until it actually works. This is not a beta version, so there's no room for "placeholder" features.

Thank you.

Hendrix
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Re: spelling and grammar checker

Post by Hendrix » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:50 pm

A word processor like Mellel should be able to spell-check properly in several languages. I personally don't find grammar checking as useful, but I admit it might be of some use.

Aside from the fact that Snow Leopard's spell checker doesn't work properly with Mellel, there's a bigger problem. "Automatic by language" means that a word is correctly spelled as long as it's correct in any of the languages available. That makes it practically unusable with multilingual texts (words should be properly spelled in the language they're supposed to be written in, not in another available language). That means text must be marked with the language it belongs to, and then checked by a multilingual spell checker. That's how it works in, uh, Microsoft Word.
Last edited by Hendrix on Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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