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Release Digest: GNU, August 29, 2004

Aug 30, 2004, 05:00 (0 Talkback[s])


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

AUCTeX 11.53

The following message is a courtesy copy of an article that has been posted to comp.text.tex,comp.emacs,comp.emacs.xemacs as well.

In a surprise action just before its maintainer escaping to the post-Olympic Greece, AUCTeX 11.53 has been released. It is hoped that the most pressing bugs are now covered. Really.

Release notes for AUCTeX 11.53

AUCTeX provides by far the most wide-spread and sophisticated environment for editing LaTeX, TeX, ConTeXt and Texinfo documents with Emacs or XEmacs. Combined with packages like RefTeX, preview-latex, flyspell and others it is pretty much without peer as a comprehensive authoring solution for a large variety of operating system platforms and TeX distributions. It supports document-dependent completion and syntax highlighting, easily accessible menus, jumping to error locations in the source file, a number of editing shortcuts, and intelligent indentation and filling of the text during entry.

Interfaces in this release remain a moving target with the documentation lagging somewhat. We need volunteers in particular for non-programming tasks: documentation writing, tutorials, translations, reference material, sleuth work, testing.

New features and fixed bugs in this release

Another bug in connection with XEmacs and PDF modes has been uncovered. GTK versions of GNU Emacs will now use Unicode characters in the LaTeX math menu. The installation process tries to detect a few more things automatically. Some performance fixes have been done.

IMPORTANT: Many of the new features rely on special properties in the variable `TeX-command-list' and will not work if you customized this variable for a former release of AUCTeX. If this is the case for you, please re-initialize the variable by erasing the customization, thereby setting the variable to the new default, and re-adding your changes afterwards. Many such changes can be avoided by using other customization variables.


It is required that you use at least GNU Emacs 21 or XEmacs 21.4 with AUCTeX. Support for Emacs 20 has been dropped in favor of getting more important work done. For XEmacs, you need at least version 1.84 of the xemacs-base package (released on 01/27/2004) or a sumo tarball dated 02/02/2004 or newer for compiling AUCTeX because of non-trivial changes in easy-mmode.el:please use the XEmacs package system for upgrading if necessary. The current developers don't have the resources for providing backward compatibility to earlier versions.


AUCTeX can be downloaded from <URL:ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/auctex>. There are tarballs, and RPMs for Fedora and SuSE (for Emacs). A separate directory contains some stuff from the tarball, such as ChangeLog, printable manuals, a reference sheet. The download area is mirrored to the directory support/auctex on CTAN. AUCTeX is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2.

You'll find more information at the web site of AUCTeX <URL:http://www.gnu.org/software/auctex>, including its mailing list address.

Future development and additional information

AUCTeX is proceeding as a GNU project with the long-term intent of merging it into Emacs (and merging with preview-latex <URL:http://preview-latex.sourceforge.net> probably next year). For that reason, all new contributors need to assign copyright to their contributions to the FSF (the usual procedure for Emacs contributors). The same holds for past contributors. The principal authors and maintainers have already done so, but it would require a diligent and diplomatic volunteer to find and ask the rest.

Current project manager is David Kastrup <URL:mailto:dak@gnu.org>. While Paypal contributions are appreciated, volunteering for tasks remains the most effective way of helping AUCTeX development.

The following people contributed to this release series (in alphabetical order): Ralf Angeli, Masayuki Ataka, Thomas Baumann, Berend de Boer, Peter S. Galbraith, Patrick Gundlach, Yvon Hevel, David Kastrup, Frank KÃ&fraq14;ster, Jan-ÃÂ…ke Larsson, Dan Nicolaescu, Piet van Oostrum, Davide G. M. Salvetti, Mike Sperber, Reiner Steib, Christian Schlauer, Shiro Takeda (Please accept our apologies if we forgot somebody).

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

GNU Aspell 0.60

GNU Aspell 0.60 is now available at:

GNU Aspell is a Free spell checker designed to eventually replace Ispell. It can either be used as a library or as an independent spell checker. Its main feature is that it does a much better job of suggesting possible replacements for a misspelled word than just about any other spell checker out there for the English language. Unlike Ispell, Aspell can also easily check documents in UTF-8 without having to use a special dictionary. Aspell will also do its best to respect the current locale setting. Other advantages over Ispell include support for using multiple dictionaries at once and intelligently handling personal dictionaries when more than one Aspell process is open at once.

Additional information on GNU Aspell can be found at http://aspell.net.

The two major changes in this release, as compared to 0.50.5, are support for affix compression and better Unicode support.

Complete list of changes from 0.50.5:

  • Added support for Affix Compression. Affix compression stores the root word and then a list of prefixes and suffixes that the word can take, and thus saves a lot of space. The codebase comes from MySpell found in OpenOffice. It uses the same affix file that OpenOffice (and Mozilla) use. Affix compression will even work with soundslike lookup to a limited extent.
  • Added support for accepting all input and printing all output in UTF-8 or some other encoding different from the one Aspell uses. This includes support for Unicode normalization. Asp can now support any language with no more than 210 distinct characters, including different capitalizations and accents, _even if_ there is not an existing 8-bit encoding that supports the language.
  • Added support for loadable filters and customizable filter modes thanks to Christoph HintermÃ&fraq14;ller.
  • Enhanced SGML filter to also support skipping sgml tags such as "script" blocks thanks to Tom Snyder.
  • Added gettext support thanks to Sergey Poznyakoff
  • Reworked the compiled dictionary format. Compiled dictionaries now take up less space (less than 80% for the English language) and creating them is significantly faster (over 4 times for the English language).
  • Reworked suggestion code. It is significantly faster when dealing with short words (up to 10 times). Also added support for MySpell Replacement Tables and n-gram lookup. In addition, added basic support for compound words.
  • Manual has has been converted to texinfo format thanks to the work of Chris Martin.
  • Reworked the build system so that a single Makefile is used for most of the code.
  • All data, by default, is now included in `LIBDIR/aspell-0.60'. Also added a built time option to increment the major version number of the shared library. This should allow both Aspell version 0.50 and 0.60 to coexist. The major version number is _not_ incremented by default as Aspell 0.60 is binary compatible with Aspell 0.50.
  • The code to handle dictionaries has been rewritten. Because of this support for the dictionary option `strip-accents' has been removed. In addition the `ignore-accents' option is currently unimplemented.
  • Lots of other minor changes due to massive overhaul of the source code.

With support for affix compression finally being implement Aspell should be able to replace Ispell for most tasks. The only major feature that Ispell has which Aspell does not is a nroff filter, which can easilly be corrected if someone who knows nroff well is willing to work with me to add it.

With the release of GNU Aspell 0.60 it is my sincere hope that GNU Aspell can replace Ispell as the de facto spell checker for all free operating systems and possible all Unix like systems. All known Ispell dictionaries have been converted to Aspell format, except for Albanian (sq) as I was unable to find the source word list.

GNU Aspell can support any of the following languages, many of which already have dictionaries available:

Code Language Name Dictionary
aa Afar - -
af Afrikaans 0.50 -
ak Akan - -
am Amharic Planned -
ar Arabic Planned -
as Assamese - -
ast Asturian / Bable Maybe -
av Avar - -
ay Aymara - -
az Azerbaijani 0.60 -
ba Bashkir - -
ban Balinese Maybe -
be Belarusian 0.50 Incomplete
bem Bemba Maybe -
bg Bulgarian 0.50 -
bh Bihari - -
bi Bislama Maybe -
bm Bambara - -
bn Bengali 0.60 -
bo Tibetan - -
br Breton 0.50 -
bs Bosnian Maybe -
ca Catalan / Valencian 0.50 -
ce Chechen - -
ceb Cebuano Maybe -
ch Chamorro Maybe -
co Corsican Maybe -
cs Czech 0.50 Yes
cv Chuvash - -
cy Welsh 0.50 -
da Danish 0.50 Incomplete
de German 0.50 Yes
ee Ewe - -
el Greek 0.50 -
en English 0.50 Yes
eo Esperanto 0.50 -
es Spanish 0.50 Incomplete
et Estonian 0.60 -
eu Basque Maybe -
fa Persian Maybe -
ff Fulah - -
fi Finnish 0.60 -
fj Fijian Maybe -
fo Faroese 0.50 -
fr French 0.50 Yes
fur Friulian Maybe -
fy Frisian Maybe -
ga Irish 0.50 Yes
gd Scottish Gaelic 0.50 -
gl Gallegan 0.50 -
gn Guarani Maybe -
gu Gujarati Maybe -
gv Manx Gaelic 0.50 -
ha Hausa Maybe -
haw Hawaiian Maybe -
he Hebrew 0.60 -
hi Hindi Maybe -
hil Hiligaynon Maybe -
ho Hiri Motu - -
hr Croatian 0.50 -
hsb Upper Sorbian 0.60 -
ht Haitian Creole Maybe -
hu Hungarian 0.60 -
hy Armenian - -
hz Herero - -
ia Interlingua (IALA) 0.50 -
iba Iban Maybe -
id Indonesian 0.50 -
ig Igbo Maybe -
ii Sichuan Yi - -
ilo Iloko Maybe -
io Ido - -
is Icelandic 0.50 -
it Italian 0.50 -
jv Javanese - -
ka Georgian - -
kac Kachin Maybe -
kg Kongo Maybe -
ki Kikuyu / Gikuyu - -
kj Kwanyama - -
kk Kazakh - -
kl Kalaallisut / Greenlandic Maybe -
kn Kannada - -
kok Konkani Maybe -
kr Kanuri - -
ks Kashmiri - -
ku Kurdish Maybe -
kv Komi - -
kw Cornish Maybe -
ky Kirghiz - -
la Latin 0.60 -
lb Luxembourgish Maybe -
lg Ganda Maybe -
li Limburgian Maybe -
ln Lingala Maybe -
lt Lithuanian 0.60 -
lu Luba-Katanga - -
luo Luo (Kenya and Tanzania) Maybe -
lv Latvian 0.60 -
mg Malagasy Maybe -
mh Marshallese Maybe -
mi Maori 0.50 -
min Minangkabau Maybe -
mk Macedonian 0.50 -
ml Malayalam Maybe -
mn Mongolian 0.60 Yes
mo Moldavian - -
mr Marathi Maybe -
ms Malay 0.50 -
mt Maltese 0.50 -
my Burmese - -
nb Norwegian Bokmal 0.50 -
nd North Ndebele Maybe -
nds Low Saxon Maybe -
ne Nepali Maybe -
ng Ndonga Maybe -
nl Dutch 0.50 Yes
nn Norwegian Nynorsk 0.50 -
nr South Ndebele - -
nso Northern Sotho Maybe -
nv Navajo - -
ny Nyanja 0.50 -
oc Occitan / Provencal Maybe -
om Oromo - -
or Oriya - -
os Ossetic - -
pa Punjabi - -
pam Pampanga Maybe -
pap Papiamento Maybe -
pl Polish 0.50 -
ps Pushto - -
pt Portuguese 0.50 Incomplete
qu Quechua 0.60 -
rn Rundi Maybe -
ro Romanian 0.50 Incomplete
ru Russian 0.50 Yes
rw Kinyarwanda 0.50 -
sc Sardinian 0.50 -
sd Sindhi - -
se Northern Sami Maybe -
sg Sango - -
si Sinhalese - -
sk Slovak 0.50 -
sl Slovenian 0.50 -
sm Samoan Maybe -
sn Shona Maybe -
so Somali Maybe -
sq Albanian Maybe -
sr Serbian Maybe Incomplete
ss Swati Maybe -
st Southern Sotho Maybe -
su Sundanese Maybe -
sv Swedish 0.50 -
sw Swahili 0.50 -
ta Tamil 0.60 -
te Telugu Maybe -
tet Tetum 0.50 -
tg Tajik Maybe Incomplete
ti Tigrinya Maybe -
tk Turkmen Planned -
tl Tagalog 0.50 -
tn Tswana 0.50 -
to Tonga Maybe -
tpi Tok Pisin Maybe -
tr Turkish 0.50 -
ts Tsonga Maybe -
tt Tatar - -
tw Twi - -
ty Tahitian Maybe -
ug Uighur - -
uk Ukrainian 0.50 Yes
ur Urdu Maybe -
uz Uzbek 0.60 -
ve Venda Maybe -
vi Vietnamese 0.60 -
wa Walloon 0.50 Incomplete
wo Wolof - -
xh Xhosa Maybe -
yi Yiddish 0.60 -
yo Yoruba - -
za Zhuang - -
zu Zulu 0.50 -

Dictionaries marked as "0.50" are available for Aspell 0.50. Ones marked as "0.60" are available for Aspell 0.60 only. Ones marked as "Planned" should eventually be available. Ones marked as "Maybe" might be available in the future. See http://aspell.net/man-html/Planned-Dictionaries.html for more info.

Dictionaries can be downloaded at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/aspell/dict/

Finally, if you wish to support the continuing development of Aspell please consider donating. Your donation will encouraging me, Kevin Atkinson, to continue to spend my time developing Aspell. Without your support Aspell may go into another period of non-development as was the case for most of 2003.

If you wish to contribute a modest amount of money you can do so now by using the SourceForge donation system: http://sourceforge.net/donate/index.php?group_id=245.

If you wish to talk to me (as in over the phone) before contributing money, or wish to only contribute money towards development of a certain area of Aspell, this can be arranged.