GNU Dictionary Server
Gcider is a window-based application for browsing the
GNU Collaborative International Dictionary of English
(GCIDE). When started, it launches a copy of
with a specially crafted configuration file and interfaces with it via
stdin/stdout. For operation it needs to know the location of the
dicod binary and of the directory where the GCIDE
files reside. When started for the first time it will present you
with a dialog box to help it locate the needed components. The
location of the
dicod binary is normally guessed by scanning
PATH environment variable. The only parameter you need to
supply is the directory where the dictionary files reside. Once these
data are entered, the program will save them in its configuration file
(located in ~/.gcider) and will reuse them in subsequent
gcider user documentation is available online at
The program display is organized in three areas, ordered vertically.
The topmost area is the menu bar, which contains pull-down menus.
It is followed by a search control area. It provides an input
line for you to enter the term to look-up in the dictionary, a set
of widgets for bringing back prior inputs from the history and for
controlling the search types and matching strategies. The area that
follows presents two windows, side by side. The leftmost one is the
article window, where definitions of the search terms are
shown. The rightmost one is the match list, which will present
the results of the recent match command. Finally, at the very
bottom of the
gcider window is located the status
bar. Its purpose is twofold. First, it displays a status of the last
search. Secondly, it provides a terse contextual help describing what
you can do using the widget your mouse pointer points to.
To look up a word, type it in the input line in the search area and hit CR or click on the ‘Define’ button. The definition, if found, is then displayed in the article window. This text may contain cross-references to other words in the dictionary, which are shown underlined, to draw your attention. To define a cross-reference, click on it with your mouse. You can also define any other word from the text. To do so, select it and click on the right button. Then, in the menu that will appear, select ‘Define’.
If you are not sure about the exact spelling of your search term, try searching for closest matches first. To do so, click on ‘Match’ instead of ‘Define’. To find closest matches for a word in a definition, select the word (or part of it) and select ‘Match’ in the contextual menu. In both cases, the program will try to match the word using the strategy selected currently in the strategy widget at the right of the search control area. Matching headwords will then be displayed in a listbox to the right of the article window. Clicking on a headword will bring its definition to the article window.
To select a match strategy, click on the strategy widget and select the desired strategy in the pop-down list that will appear. The list contains short strategy names. To help you select the right one, the status line will show a full description of the currently highlighted strategy.
Those search terms for which a definition was found are saved in a history list. Several ways are provided to retrieve definitions from that list. First, clicking on the input widget brings a popdown list with all headwords from the history list shown in a reverse chronological order. Selecting a word from that list brings back its definition. Secondly, two special buttons to the right of the input widget can be used to navigate through the history. The button marked with a left arrow brings back previous definition, whereas the one marked with a right arrow brings back next definition.
By default the history list can accommodate up to 500 search terms. Once this limit reached, adding a new term to the list discards the oldest item, so that the total list length remains the same. Actual length of the history list can be configured using the Edit/Appearance menu.
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