[libvoikko] Voikko and upcoming changes to Firefox extensions

Henri Sivonen hsivonen at hsivonen.fi
Wed Mar 29 12:43:29 EEST 2017

On Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 10:23 AM, Tino Didriksen <mail at tinodidriksen.com> wrote:
> On 29 March 2017 at 09:00, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen at hsivonen.fi> wrote:
>> Based on the results, it
>> turns out that there exists only three implementations of the
>> mozISpellCheckingEngine: the one within the Firefox code base for the
>> Mozilla fork of Hunspell and two libvoikko-based ones (for Finnish and
>> Greenlandic).
> The Greenlandic one does not use libvoikko. The backend is a tiny forwarding
> DLL that runs hfst-ospell. There is no reason it couldn't use libvoikko +
> hfst-ospell, though.

OK. Thanks. I misread
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/kukkuniiaat/ which says
it reuses code from Mozvoikko as opposed to Voikko itself.

>> I don't know if the Apple and
>> Microsoft-provided system services support Finnish or Greenlandic (the
>> two libvoikko languages that currently are supported in Firefox via
>> XPCOM extensions) or if they do a good job spell checking them.
> Finnish is natively supported, but no clue about quality. Greenlandic is not
> supported.

Upon extremely superficial inspection, the system Finnish spell
checker in El Capital is inferior to Voikko. (My Mac is too old to run
Sierra.) The system Finnish spell checker in Windows 10 seems (again,
upon extremely superficial inspection) competent, though.

> But you're right that it's a moot point. There is no cross-platform support
> for all the languages we eventually want to spell and grammar check, and
> Hunspell cannot handle the complexity of those languages. We need a better
> cross-platform backend, and libvoikko + hfst-ospell would certainly satisfy
> this.

To go back to the start of the thread:
 * Do I understand correctly that libvoikko + hfst-ospell can be used
under MPL 1.1 (or alternatively GPLv2 or later, or alternatively
LGPLv2.1 or later) for the libvoikko part and Apache License 2.0 for
the hfst-ospell part?
 * Do I understand correctly that the Finnish dictionary is licensed
under GPLv2 or later only?
 * Do I understand correctly that the hfst-ospell part is not needed
for Finnish but for other languages whose dictionary licensing status
is unclear at this time?
 * Do I understand correctly that libvoikko weighs 212 KB for x86_64
without debugging symbols?
 * Do I understand correctly that hfst-ospell weighs 125 KB for x86_64
without debugging symbols?

(I got the binary size numbers by building from the latest tarballs
with -Os and running strip -s later. As noted earlier, my attempt to
build from git failed thanks to autotools.)

Is there a realistic way to make the binary size go down e.g. by
omitting features (e.g. grammar checking, since Firefox currently
can't make use of grammar checking), by building with static linkage +
LTO, or in another manner?

Henri Sivonen
hsivonen at hsivonen.fi

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