Great free dictionary! WordNet simple command line interface for Linux users, no Tlc/Tk hassles We, as have many, thought it would be a great idea to have the Princeton University WordNet application available on Linux to use as a free dictionary. As is common if you google the concept, installation of the windowed browser version of WordNet available at their website https://wordnet.princeton.edu/ is a real pain in the neck since they use Tcl/Tk and that forces you into fighting with package updates and dependencies to try to make Tcl/Tk available and function with their code (last version of which was 2006).
We looked back to the 1997 source when they were just beginning to use Tcl/Tk and Autotools Automake etc and managed to extricate a simple makefile with no recursion or Tcl/Tk involved. You just follow the installation instructions we provide in our pdf Manual, basically create a working directory in your home directory and make the executable there. Then you make a directory in /usr/local/ named WNtight. In other words, a "tight" version of WordNet; if the name is annoying to you, you need to modify the wn.h include file, where the path is hardwired to find the dictionary files in /usr/local/WNtight/dict. It would be advisable to get it working before modifying it.
You require a C compiler (I used gcc-7). You may have to obtain the build-essential package to permit compiling and building on recent Linux installations (like our Ubuntu 18.04.4). That is discussed in the pdf manual available here. Not much more is required, just gcc, make, libc, etc. and the c library for your installation and the headers to use that code in the make. ar library tool should be on any Linux system.
Just copy the directory where you made the executable, to /usr/local/WNtight/ . Only the executable wn and the sub- directory /dict at that location with its dictionary data files are really needed to run, since it is compiled statically, but it is simpler to just copy the entire make directory, e.g., /home/yourName/WNtight/ to /usr/local/ creating the required /usr/local/WNtight/ directory target in the process. If you write an application that uses any of the WordNet library utilities, then it is convenient to have that libwn.a file in /usr/local/WNtight anyway.
You can test it from that new location with the terminal session line ./wn "dog" -over. If that works then add the path /usr/local/WNtight to your PATH variable and you are good to go. Just open a terminal window anytime you want to check the definition or spelling of a word and type wn "dog" -over (if you are only interested in the word "dog"). I give some hints how to explore some of the linguistic information available also at the command line (in the pdf manual).
I organized, edited and consolidated the html documentation from the WordNet 3.0 original package and put it up here as a searchable pdf with outline links. If you want to really understand the WordNet design and implementation, this document facilitates that by making all term references instantly accessible with functions, design concepts and file details organized together. We omitted discussion of Prolog data files available (of no interest to us). Similarly, we omitted discussion of the Tcl/Tk browser application files, since we did not include that functionality. Go to Princeton at the links given to download original Princeton packages.
The license from Princeton is available anytime with wn -l after installation and is: WordNet Release 3.0
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