New Projects - Fresh from the Labs

gWaei—Japanese-English Dictionary (gwaei.sourceforge.net)

Students of Japanese have had a number of tools available for Linux for sometime, but here's a project that updates the situation and brings several elements together from other projects to form one sleek application. In the words of the gWaei Web site:

gWaei is a Japanese-English dictionary program for the GNOME desktop. It is made to be a modern drop-in replacement for Gjiten with many of the same features. The dictionary files it uses are from Jim Breen's WWWJDIC Project and are installed separately through the program.

It features the following:

  • Easy dictionary installation with a click of a button.

  • Support for searching using regular expressions.

  • Streams results so the interface is never frozen.

  • Click Kanji in the results pane to look at information on it.

  • Simple interface that makes sense.

  • Intelligent design and Tab switches dictionaries.

  • Organizes relevant matches to the top of the results.

gWaei is a quick and easy-to-use Japanese dictionary that updates some old Linux favorites.

The coolest feature in gWaei is this kanji pad, where you can draw kanji with your mouse, and the computer dynamically alters the selection based on your strokes.

Installation

If you head to the Web site's download section, there are gWaei packages available in deb, RPM and source tarball format. For me, the deb installed with no problems, so I ran with that. When running with the source version, I couldn't find all of the dependencies, but the Web site says you need the following packages, along with their -dev counterparts: gtk+-2.0, gconf-2.0, libcurl, libgnome-2.0 and libsexy.

The documentation also says that compiling the source is the standard fare of:

$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

After installation, I found gWaei in my menu under Applications→Utilities→gWaei Japanese-English Dictionary. If you can't find gWaei in your menu, enter the command:

$ gwaei

Usage

Once gWaei starts, the first thing you see is a Settings window that's broken into three tabs: Status, Install Dictionaries and Advanced. Status tells you how things are currently set up, and to start off with, all you'll see is Disabled. Click the Install Dictionaries tab, and you'll see that there are buttons already set up to install new dictionaries, called Add, for English, Kanji, Names and Radicals. Once these are all installed, each of them will be changed to Enabled back in the Status tab.

After these are installed, click Close, and you are in the program. The first place you should go is the search bar. Enter something in English or in Romaji (Japanese with the Latin alphabet we use), and meanings and translations appear in the large field below with a probable mix of kanji and kana, and an English translation. You also can enter searches in kana and kanji, but my brother has my Japanese keyboard, so I couldn't really try it out.

For a really cool feature, click Insert→Using Kanjipad, and a blank page comes up where you can draw kanji characters by hand with your mouse. Various kanji characters then appear on the right and update, depending on how many strokes you make and their shape. If you click Insert→Using Radical Search Tool, you can search for radicals on basic kanji characters, which also can be restricted by the number of strokes.

All in all, gWaei is a great program with elegant simplicity, and it has the features you need, whether you're in Japan or the West (or anywhere else that's not Japan for that matter). If you're a Japanese student, this should be standard issue in your arsenal.

John Knight is a 24-year-old, drumming- and climbing-obsessed maniac from the world's most isolated city—Perth, Western Australia. He can usually be found either buried in an Audacity screen or thrashing a kick-drum beyond recognition.

______________________

John Knight is the New Projects columnist for Linux Journal.

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState