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HTML Spell Checker


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

I use HTMLValidator to spell check my documents. However, it has two major flaws.

  1. It cannot deal with words containing accented letters via UTF-8, alpha entities, hex entities or decimal entities, e.g. naïve (in the text, it is appears as nïve). They should be treated like any other letter, no matter how they are encoded.
  2. It cannot deal with words containing html tags, e.g. BC (British Columbia) in the text, it appears as <span class=ac>B</span>ritish <span class=ac>C</span>olumbia</span>. The spell checker should behave as if the tags were not there, though some like <br /> should act like a space.

I would like you to write a dedicated spell checker for HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). It display words it thinks are spelled incorrectly with some highlight. You can hop forward and back with F3 F4 to the next spelling error. You can correct the error by selecting from some likely alternates. You can add a word to the dictionary. You can request the change be propagated. You can correct the error with an ordinary text editor.

You will probably find that writing the editor would be much harder than writing the spell checker part. So what you might do is look for IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) or Editors that let you attach Java source code add-ins/macros. Failing that, you could write it without an editor by not letting the user correct errors, just mark them with some special easy-to-search for comment inserted that you display with an icon or highlight and insert text on export. You could correct with the spell checker replace, but not general errors. The advantage of that approach is the user could use any conceivable editor to make the more complex corrections.

You should be able to find a free spell checking engine to manage the dictionary.

Bulk Spell Checker Student Project
grammar checker
spell checking

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