Integrated spellcheck

Posted on 2010-01-15 13:13 UTC by James Moore. Status: Under consideration, Categories: System.

I have used a few smartphones/PDAs in the past (Blackberry, iPhone, Palm, Psion, etc.) and I find an integrated spellchecker vital on any device with a keyboard. I was expecting the N900 to have one.

I hope I am using Brainstorm in the correct way to propose adding this feature:

Problem: Maemo 5/N900 does not have an integrated spell checker. It does have predictive typing (word completion) as a text input option. I think this function should be adapted to spellcheck within applications.

User scenarios:

  1. Email: User responds to a business email. It is very important that the reply does not contain typos. User selects the “Check spelling” option within a message to verify that there are no spelling mistakes. Additionally, clicking on “Send” activates the options of “Check spelling and send” or “Send without spellcheck” (this is essentially how the Blackberry uses spellcheck).
  2. MaStory: User is composing a blog entry in MaStory. Before posting, user proofs the text by selecting the “Check spelling” option from the menu.
  3. Browser: User is composing a message in a text entry window (perhaps for a webmail message). User selects the “Check spelling” option from the menu. This checks spelling within the window.
  4. Office app: User is updating a text document. User selects the “Check spelling” option from the menu a proofs a document before saving.

Reasons why word completion is not an option:

  1. Word completion adds to cognitive load (adds more data on the screen as you type).
  2. Word completion aids “fat fingered” typists (by correcting mistakes), but slows down typing for accurate users of the keyboard.
  3. Word completion does not help with proofing text that has been copied and pasted from another application.

What do you think? How would this be added to Maemo 5 / N900?

Solutions for this brainstorm


Solution #1: Use Aspell

Posted on 2010-01-16 04:39 UTC by Andrei Dancau.

It's free, includes many languages by default so you are not limited by the default one that Nokia includes, and it should not be very hard to port. Integrates very well with Gnome and Gtk+ editing components so my guess is it should work with Maemo as well.

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