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Release 1.2 (February 28, 2012)
* Some incorrect words purged or fixed, and 600 base words added.
* Continued to improve the niqqudless.odt document, which describes Hspell's
spelling standard. The document is still incomplete, but is already over
80 pages long and may already explain spelling issues you've been
pondering - so take a look!
* Fixed bugs which could cause the "hspell" command to core-dump on some
words with a lot of apostrophes (because they were confused with gimatria),
and hspell_trycorrect() to core-dump on an empty word.
* Fixed a bug which caused us to accept a definite article on verbs with
objects, e.g., äëåáùï.
* The "myspell" target was removed, as this format has been all but abandoned
in recent years. Use "make hunspell" instead.
* The "hunspell" target used to use a utility called "doubleaffixcompress"
to make the dictionary smaller. This utility is in fact broken, and is no
longer used in this release - resulting in bigger, but more correct
hunspell-format dictionaries.
* In previous releases, generated hunspell and aspell dictionaries incorrectly
accepted bare infinitive verbs, e.g., éùåï. This is fixed in this release
for hunspell dictionaries, using the hunspell-specific NEEDAFFIX feature.
Unfortunately, aspell does not have this feature, so the aspell dictionary
still has this bug. Added a "make test" to test this bug.
* The "--enable-aspell" configure parameter was removed - use "make aspell"
instead. Also added a "make he.rws" target to build he.rws from he.wl.
See the INSTALL file for more information about building Hebrew
dictionaries for various multilingual spell-checkers.
* Added new "--enable-shared" configure parameter to build a shared library, which would be used when compiling the "hspell" tool.
* Vocabulary: 464,725 words (when built with "--enable-fatverb")
based on 24082 base words: 12718 nouns, 3786 adjectives,
5244 verb stems, and 2334 other words.
Release 1.1 (December 31, 2009)
* Some incorrect words purged or fixed, and 900 base words added.
* This release introduces a new a document (in Hebrew), niqqudless.odt,
which explains in detail Hspell's spelling standard, and why Hspell
spells some words the way it does. If you ever wondered whether
(or why) Hspell's spelling is justified, this is the document for you.
This first release is still far from explaining all of the spelling
questions that we have encountered while developing Hspell, so be on
the lookout for newer releases of this document on Hspell's website.
On the website, you can also find the same document in alternative
formats, such as PDF; The source package contains only the source of
the document, in OpenOffice format.
* Fixed some makefile errors, and modernized some makefile targets.
* The myspell dictionary created by "make myspell" now uses a different
encoding, and as result loads as much as 10 times faster in the
"hunspell" multilingual spell-checker.
Also added a new makefile target "hunspell", which generates a dictionary
especially for hunspell, which is smaller and uses less memory than the
myspell dictionary.
* Vocabulary: 461,326 words (when built with "--enable-fatverb")
based on 23486 base words: 12445 nouns, 3583 adjectives,
5242 verb stems, and 2216 other words
Release 1.0 (May 16, 2006):
* Some incorrect words purged or fixed, and many more words added:
1,500 base words added.
* Fixed small bugs in the generation of dictionaries in the aspell format
(for aspell) and myspell format (for Mozilla and OpenOffice), and made
these files somewhat smaller.
* New "hebeng" make target, which generates an xpi file like the "mozilla"
target, but instead of taking only the Hebrew word list, it merges it
with another English word list. This can allow mixed Hebrew-English
spell-checking in Mozilla.
* When Hspell was given Hebrew words with niqqud (in the cp1255 encoding)
it used to incorrectly split them on the niqqud characters. Now it
collects the entire word, with its niqqud, and by default considers it
to be an error (as Hspell cannot check its correctness). To accept
this voweled word as correct, you can add it to your personal dictionary.
* Hspell is part of Fedora Extras and is available in places such as
To save the pain of maintaining two RPM packages, the hspell.spec file
was removed form the tarball.
* A new "-vv" option prints some information on optional Hspell features
enabled at compile time. It can be used, for example, to check if
morphological analysis has been enabled, by checking
hspell -vv | grep -q LINGINFO
* Small bug fixes and manual page improvements.
* Vocabulary: 455,043 words (when built with "--enable-fatverb")
based on 22589 base words: 11724 nouns, 3297 adjectives,
5223 verb stems, and 2345 other words
Release 0.9 (January 13, 2005):
* Some incorrect words purged or fixed, and many more words added: almost
2,500 base words added.
* Continued the effort to export Hspell's dictionary (word list and valid
prefix information) to formats used by other spell-checking frameworks.
The "aspell" make target finally works correctly, and was used to generate
a Hebrew dictionary for Aspell 0.6 (
A new "myspell" target generates a dictionary in Myspell format, suitable
for use in OpenOffice and Mozilla. The "mozilla" target prepares an xpi
package for Mozilla out of that dictionary.
* C API improvements: New hspell_set_dictionary_path() function to tell
Hspell where its dictionaries were installed. Fixed bug on UTF8 locales
and removed spurious printouts.
* "Hspell -a" (ispell-like pipe API) improvements: words can now be added to
personal dictionary. This means that the "Add word" in KDE, LyX, and other
Hspell-using applications will finally work.
* Fixed errors in the morphological analyzer ("-l" option, when built
with --enable-linginfo). Also, now if the "-l" and "-c" options are given
together to hspell, morphological analysis is given also for correction
suggestions, and those are given even for words which are already correct.
* Fixed many other bugs. Check out
* Vocabulary: 445,081 words (when built with "--enable-fatverb")
based on 21087 base words: 10728 nouns, 3008 adjectives,
5207 verb stems, and 2144 other words
Release 0.8 (June 21, 2004):
* Some incorrect words purged or fixed, and many more words added: almost
2,000 base words added.
* Reorganized and simplified directory structure of source distribution,
and added "autoconf" configuration (use "configure" before "make").
See "configure --help" for a list of build-time options, such as to enable
more verb forms and to enable a morphological analyzer for the "-l" option.
See the INSTALL file for more instructions.
The old Perl "", deprecated in release 0.6, is now gone.
* If available, use zlib instead of an external gzip process to read the
compressed dictionaries. On our tests, this reduced startup time 2-6 fold.
It also allows the Hspell API to be used on systens where pipes or
gzip are not available, but zlib is (namely, Windows).
* Improved Hspell's C api. There is a new function hspell_uninit() for
reclaiming memory allocated by hspell_init(), and all exit() calls
were purged from the Library (printouts are still there, unfortunately).
NOTE: Because Hspell now uses zlib (see above), when using the libhspell.a
library you must now also link with the zlib (-lz) library. This is
especially important to remember when looking for libhspell in your own
configure scripts.
* Fixed a few bugs: in morphological analyzer, handling of files without
a newline, and more.
* It is now possible to use Hspell's Hebrew word list (and valid prefix
information) in the upcoming versions of the Aspell spell-checker.
A new build option, "configure --enable-aspell", creates the two files
"he.cwl" and "he_affix.dat" which can then be used to build Aspell's
Hebrew dictionary.
We would like to thank Kevin Atkinson and Kevin Patrick Scannell for
their efforts in fixing Aspell's affix support, and making Aspell a
viable multi-lingual spell-checker.
* Vocabulary: 425,709 words (when including kinuyim on verbs)
based on 8935 nouns, 2181 adjectives, 5192 verb stems, and
2289 other words
Release 0.7 (December 22, 2003):
* Some incorrect words purged or fixed, and many more words added: over
1,000 base words added.
* Portability improvements (thanks to Baruch Even).
* New run-time option -H causes hspell to accept He Ha-she'ela in the text.
* The "-n" option (for spelling hints, an explanation of certain kinds of
errors) that was lost in version 0.6, is now back. The "likelyerrors"
feature is still missing in this version.
* A new, and somewhat tentative, Documented C API (libhspell.a library,
spell.h header, hspell.3 manual). This are not available in the normal
RPM - compile the sources yourself if you want them.
* A full morphological analyzer (explaining all the possible ways to read
a given word, how each reading was derived and its syntactic properties)
is now available when Hspell is run with the "-l" option.
Because the data files needed for this feature currently take up as much
as 4 times the space needed only for spell-checking, and because the
collection and sorting of linguistic information makes the compilation
takes much longer, this feature is not compiled by default, unless
compilation is done with "make linginfo". Also, the normal RPM does not
include this feature, but the "fat" RPM does include it.
An innovative parade of hash symbols now appears on screen to the benefit
of the bored builder :)
* Vocabulary: 406,629 words (when including kinuyim on verbs)
based on 8042 nouns, 1783 adjectives, 5113 verb stems, and
1880 other words
Release 0.6 (August 5, 2003):
In this release, the Hspell front-end (the hspell program) was rewritten.
The new front-end has many improvements over the old one, but also a few
setbacks - features that are (temporarily) unavailable because they weren't
yet ported to the new version.
The improvements:
* A huge performance improvement - hspell now starts up, and runs, at least
20 times faster than it used to and takes less than one fifth the memory.
* The new front-end is written in C, so Hspell can now run on systems which
do not have Perl. Perl is still needed for building Hspell from source.
* The list of allowed prefixes was improved (joined work with Shlomo Yona)
and hspell now finally knows which prefixes are valid for most words,
reducing the risk of accepting misspellings as correct and reducing the
number of silly (and wrong) correction suggestions.
Note that unlike earlier versions, words listed in the user's personal
dictionary (~/.hspell_words or ./hspell_words) are no longer automatically
accepted with prefixes. Also, these words are never used as suggested
* "hspell -a" was made more compatible with the standard "ispell -a" (thanks
to Mooffie). Hspell is now known to be used with LyX, KDE, Geresh and Emacs.
The setbacks:
* The "-v" option, that used to explain how valid words were derived, is
no longer available in this version. It is replaced by a "-l" option,
which in this release is weaker (it can only show a division of valid
words into prefix particle + word).
* The "-n" option, that used to give hints on how to spell correctly, is
not available.
* The "likelyerrors" feature (or recognizing certain words as theoretically
correct but still very likely to be mistakes) is not available.
* TeX-like repeated single quote ('') is not treated as double quotes (").
* Long options (GNU's "minus-minus" options) are not supported in this
Some other changes:
* Included in the distribution is a new utility "multispell" by Mooffie,
which can spell-check mixed Hebrew-English text by interfacing with two
spell-checkers (hspell and ispell) simultaneously. Multispell is better
than hspell's built-in slave mode (hspell -a -i) when the calling program
can't deal with wrong word order in the results (e.g., Emacs has this
* Some incorrect words purged or fixed, and more words added: over 600
base words added.
* Vocabulary: 394,833 words (when including kinuyim on verbs)
based on 7462 nouns, 1533 adjectives, 5060 verb stems, and
1819 other words
Release 0.5: (May 8, 2003)
* Some incorrect words purged or fixed, and many more words added: about
2,000 base words added.
* Objective Kinuim are now allowed on all forms of verbs. Because this adds
as many as 150,000 correct but rarely-used (in modern texts) inflections,
a compile-time option is present for enabling or disabling these forms.
The default in this version is *not* to enable them, but this may be changed
in the future.
Also, precompiled RPMs of both types are available (thanks to Tzafrir Cohen).
In order to build the source rpm you must --define in the command-line either
'fat 0' or 'fat 1'. Can anyone tell me how can I set a default for that?
* Infinitives now allow áëìî prefixes, not just ì: ìùáåø, áùáåø, ëùáåø, îùáåø.
* Added a "-d" option to the word-list generators, which prints derivation
explanation for all inflections, and also gender information for all nouns.
This feature is not presently used for spell-checking.
* Bug fixes: B-words were ignored unless "-v" was used; gimatria checking
failed to recognize numbers ending in 17-19;
* fixed "ispell -a"'s handling of "^..." lines that prevented Hspell from
working properly with KDE (thanks to Meni Livne).
* Vocabulary: 390,846 words (when including kinuyim on verbs)
based on 7125 nouns, 1484 adjectives, 4801 verb stems, and
1799 other words
Release 0.4: (March 10, 2003)
* Some incorrect words purged or fixed, and many more words added: over
2,300 base words and 60,000 inflections.
Thanks to Orna Agmon for reporting some of the missing words.
* Complete overhaul of the hspell homepage
Also, the site now features signed RPMs, and the spec used to make them
is included in the source distribution. The current binary RPM includes the
dictionary compressed with a special algorithm, making it, and the final
installation, very small (as little as 100K), at the expense of the "-v"
option not working.
Thanks to Tzafrir Cohen and Oron Peled for the initial version of the spec.
* Shem Poal Natuy + Kinuy for all verbs, things like: åúáùá ,éððèöäá
There is probably an error in the conjugation of these Shmot Poal from Binyan
Qal. woo creates áæåëøðå, while the strict rules say it should be áæëøðå.
This would be settled by the next release.
* Added "-i" option, to be used in addition to "-a" from within other
programs (e.g. LyX) to allow spell-checking of mixed English-Hebrew text
by using ispell for the English words. The new program "hspell-i" runs
hspell with the -i option, so it can be used in (for example) LyX as
the spellchecker. (thanks to Alon Altman)
* Long options, and new --help and --version options. (thanks to Tzafrir Cohen)
* Vocabulary: 250,027 words
based on 6238 nouns, 1174 adjectives, 4584 verb stems, and
1291 other words
Release 0.3: (February 2, 2003)
* Some incorrect words purged or fixed, and many more words added: over
1,000 base words and 20,000 inflections. In this release, emphasis has
been put on adding Hebrew nouns and adjectives.
* Fixed Makefile behavior in certain case. In particular "make" should work
regardless of LC_* environment variables. However, as hspell currently
works on iso8859-8 encoded files, users with a utf8 locale must run the
"hspell" perl program as "LC_ALL=C hspell" (otherwise, they will see
error messages from Perl).
* Added ispell-like "-a" option, for interfacing with LyX.
If you want to use hspell under LyX you should use Hebrew-enabled LyX
(version 1.1.6fix4 is known to work). Add the following line to your
.lyx/lyxrc file:
\spell_command hspell
Notice that this prevents using English ispell/aspell from within LyX.
If you know of a better configuration, please tell us.
Notice that if a Hebrew misspelled word is found, it is shown reversed on
LyX's spellchecker (and so are its corrections). This is about to be
corrected in future releases of LyX. Also, LyX breaks Hebrew acronyms
wrongly, and causes hspell to reject them.
Read for
Hebrew LyX general instructions.
* No longer incorrectly recognize ùìåååí (should be ùìååí, "that to their
* The automatic inflector can handle country names, and many more
country names and nationalities have been added. Note that since I did
not find a source for "official" country-name spellings in Hebrew, our
list might contain errors. Please tell us if you know a dictionary or other
authoritative document which contains the official Hebrew spellings of
country names.
* Vocabulary: 189,347 words
based on 5238 nouns, 927 adjectives, 3568 verb stems, and
1203 other words
Release 0.2: (January 5, 2003)
* Many more nouns, verbs, and other words: around 2500 new base words, and
40,000 inflections. Emphasis has been given to adding *common* words that
will appear in typical, modern, documents.
* Several incorrect words purged or fixed.
* (noun inflector) overhaul to better and more consistently handle
niqqud-less (ktiv male) spelling rules, and to be able to theoretically
handle at least 99.9% of the Hebrew nouns (of course, we don't have all of
them in the dictionary, yet :)).
* -n option to hspell program, which gives longer (human-written) explanations
on certain spelling errors - especially common niqqud-less spelling errors.
* Read additional accepted words from ~/.hspell_words and/or ./hspell_words
* Kinuim Khavurim (possesive suffixes) are recognized on the infinitive forms
of the verb.
* Added manual page, hspell(1)
* Improved Makefile (thanks to Oron Peled) and made other changes to the
distribution (thanks to Baruch Even) for more easily building binary
packages of hspell.
* Vocabulary: 169,266 words
based on 4505 nouns, 645 adjectives, 3407 verb stems, and
1237 other words
Release 0.1: (first public release - December 13, 2002)
* Vocabulary: 125,022 words
based on 3206 nouns, 452 adjectives, 2712 verb stems, and
980 other words
* In this release we would like to thank Uwe Brauer and Michael Lugassy for
"convincing" us to start and to advance this project when we were almost
ready to give up.
See more acknowledgments in the README file.