Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004
From: Kevin Atkinson <>
Subject: Financial Support Needed for the Continuing Development of Aspell

[Please distribute this document as widely as possible.]

In the past couple of months I have put a lot of time in developing
Aspell.  This comes after over a year of non-development.  Without some
serious financial support there is a very good chance that Aspell will
slip back into non-development mode as was the case for most of 2003.

I have had a lot of free time to put into Aspell since the only other
responsibility I've had was to finish up my masters thesis.  I was hoping
to go on to a PhD program.  However, my luck has not been so good as I
have yet to be accepted into a program with financial support.  This means
that, unless I can get some money to continue to develop Aspell, I will
likely need to get a job over the summer in order to support my self.  If
this happens I will likely have very little time to spend on Aspell.  It
is very likely I will wind up losing interest in Aspell, yet again, and
thus Aspell 0.60 may never officially be released as there are a number of
things to do (see the end of this email).

I would *really* like to be able to continue to work on Aspell over the
summer so that I can get Aspell 0.60 out the door and perhaps make
significant progress on the following version.  However, In order to do
this I need some serious financial support.

Considering the GNU Aspell is the *only* actively maintained general
purpose free (as in freedom) spell checker I think contributing a few
thousand dollars to the development of Aspell would be a wise investment
for an Open Source company.

If you wish to contribute a modest amount of money you can do so now by
using the SourceForge donation system:

If you wish to talk to me (as in over the phone) before contributing
money, or wish to only contribute money towards development of a certain
area of Aspell, this can be arranged.

Thanks in advance.


Some of the many things that need to be done before I consider Aspell 0.60
ready for release:

   * The Aspell language toolkit needs enhancing to be able to create
     Aspell 0.50 dictionaries and to allow multiple dictionary
     packages for the same language.

   * The suggestion code needs some work now that Aspell supports
     affix compression.  In particular I want to be able to support a
     very simple soundslike algorithm which can be used with affix
     compression.  I also what to support using MySpell N-Gram method.

   * Testing and bug fixes.

I would also really like to:

   * Clean up copyright notices and bring the Aspell package up to GNU

   * Come up with a nroff mode for spell checking.

   * Develop an enhanced C API to support the advanced features of
     Aspell.  This API should supporting doing anything that can be
     done with the Aspell utility.

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