Announcing Eclectus, a Han character dictionary

[img_assist|nid=194|title=Full Dictionary View|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=73|height=100]
May 27th, 2009

I would like to announce Eclectus, a Han character dictionary especially
suited for learners [1] (see screencast [2]).


The lack of a good and user-friendly learner's dictionary for Chinese
motivated the work in the past months that went into Eclectus. With more than
40,000 mostly complexly shaped Chinese characters the Chinese script is rather
difficult to learn. This dictionary tries to acknowledge that and offers a wide
set of features including quick ways to find characters you don't know how to


Eclectus heavily builds on cjklib, a Python-based library for handling Chinese
characters I only announced last week [3]. While the library matures, Eclectus
will at the same time grow in functions and data.

While currently mostly only Chinese features are being implemented, the goal
is to provide the same level of features for Japanese and for other languages
relying on Chinese characters.

The dictionary currently relies on KDE-bindings, which for now limits its use
to Linux. One future goal is to provide the same functionalities under a pure
Qt foundation, and then making Eclectus available on Windows and Mac OS X.

Try it out

You are welcome to give Eclectus a try and join as a user or even a developer
to make this dictionary the best out there. Checkout svn or use the snapshot
packages available for download. Please note the list of current shortcomings
[4], which you may take as a starting point to get involved yourself :)

Now the mandatory warning for early adaptors: Eclectus is still in an early
development stage, expect errors and sparse data.

Tell me what you think


[img_assist|nid=193|title=Handwriting Recognition for Japanese|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=71][img_assist|nid=195|title=Radical Table|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=71][img_assist|nid=196|title=Multi-radical search|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=71]