Archive for the 'MDBG' Category

Language Aid 1.1.1 is out!

October 23rd, 2007
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter

There are four fairly major changes/additions in this version of Language Aid which make it more compatible and easier to use.

Services menu

The first of which is the added “Services” menu item. This new feature adds a Language Aid submenu to the Services item in the application menu. From here you can trigger any of your currently enabled plugin modules and have them act on the text you currently have selected in an application. This has the added benefit of being able to grab text from applications that don’t support the Accessibility API (required for Language Aid compatibility before) very well or even at all! This does not mean that Language Aid can act on text in every application but it does get it a lot closer!

Contextual Menu

The second major addition to version 1.1.1 is the contextual menu item which is very similar to the services menu. If you select a block of text in an application that supports contextual menu items and right click (or control-click for one button mice) a contextual menu with your active plugins are displayed which can act on the selected text block. Now you can have your plugin act on exactly what you select in Safari instead of having it broken up by links and other formatting! Again, this doesn’t work with every application but it significantly broadens Language Aid’s reach.

The third major feature is the inclusion of the MDBG plugin! This is a new plugin that performs Chinese dictionary lookups in a similar manner to the WWWJDIC plugin. This plugin was originally announced in a previous post and has been available through Language Aid’s built in software update but is now included standard with Language Aid. Gradually we hope to expand Language Aid’s reach to more and more languages!

The last reason to upgrade to version 1.1.1 is for Mac OS X Leopard compatibility. There were a few changes in Apple’s new operating system that caused previous versions (<= 1.1) to not behave as expected. These changes have now been accounted for and going forward Language Aid should be fully compatible with both Tiger and Leopard. Perhaps at one point in the future we will start to take advantage of Leopard specific behavior.

MDBG plugin for Language Aid released!

October 15th, 2007
Spencer Nielsen Follow snielsen42 on Twitter
MDBG logo

At long last we have another plugin for Language Aid! Today a plugin for the Chinese dictionary lookup site MDBG was released for Language Aid version 1.1. This plugin is similar in function to the WWJDIC plugin in that it can take small or large chunks of Chinese text, send them off to the MDBG which provides dictionary lookups for words that it parses out of the text and then display the results. Much thanks goes to the administrator of the MDBG who was very cooperative and helpful in the development of the plugin! You can get the MDBG plugin by clicking on the “Add New Modules” button the Language Aid preference pane and selecting the MDBG plugin. You may need to wait a bit before it shows up in the plugin modules list after installing and restart Language Aid to get it to work correctly. If you know of a web service that can perform translation or dictionary lookups for your favorite language let me know. Also, Language Aid 1.1.1 is just around the corner with some small (but nice) new features.

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