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Sentry Spelling Checker Engine for Java

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Frequently asked questions

How do I use the spell check engine from my application?
See Add a spell checker to applications you develop for information on integrating Sentry with applications.

What text components does Sentry work with?
The Sentry engine does not actually work with user interface components directly. Instead, it obtains words for checking from a class which implements the WordParser interface. At run time, the Sentry engine calls the WordParser-based class's getWord method to obtain the next word to spell check. WordParser supports other methods your application can call to correct misspellings, undo previous changes, etc. The Sentry Java SDK comes with StringWordParser (used to check the spelling of text contained in Strings) and HTMLStringWordParser (used to check the spelling of text containing HTML markups). Example applications are provided with the SDK which contain the following WordParser-based classes: JTextComponentWordParser, which is used to check the spelling of text contained by JTextComponent derivatives, including JTextField, JTextArea, and JTextPane, and TextAreaWordParser, which is used to check the spelling of text in an AWT TextArea component. Source code for TextAreaWordParser and JTextComponentWordParser are included with the SDK. If you need to check the spelling of text contained in more specialized components, you can modify one of the existing WordParser-based classes, or create your own WorParser-derived class (described in the programmer's guide which comes with the Sentry Java SDK).

You can also use the BackgroundChecker class included with the Sentry Java SDK to monitor JTextComponent objects (including JTextField, JTextArea, and JTextPane) for misspelled words as the user types.

Can I use Sentry to check spelling from an applet running in a Web browser?
Yes. You can use Sentry to add spell-check capability to Web applets. Spell checking takes place entirely within the client -- no servers, servlets, or CGI needed. See Adding a spell checker to a Java applet for more information.

Can I use Sentry in a servlet or JSP application?
Yes. You can use Sentry in any situation where Java can be used. Sentry Java SDK comes with a comprehensive set of servlet examples demonstrating a variety of ways of using the Sentry engine in a servlet to check spelling.

What about support?
Support is included at no charge. See Support Policy for a description of the support we provide.

What's the current version of Senrty?
Information on the current version is posted here.

How do I obtain upgrades?
To obtain in upgrade, order product #0141 (Sentry Java SDK) or #0142 (Sentry Java Source Code). Annual maintenance contracts are also available (product #0151 or #0152). When you purchase an Annual maintenance contract, we will send you any major or minor upgrades released during the year.

Can I add words to the dictionary?
Yes. The Sentry engine allows your application to open dictionaries, much like a program can open files. When Sentry checks the spelling of a word, it checks all open dictionaries. Text dictionaries are modifiable; your application can add and remove words from them at runtime. Any number of dictionaries can be open at once. You can easily create a custom dictionary that contains new words, and users can add words to one or more user dictionaries at run time. (Note that the ability to add words at runtime depends on the context in which the Sentry engine is used. For example, browsers will not allow unsigned applets to update local files.)

Can Sentry offer suggested replacements for misspelled words?
Yes. Sentry's SpellingSession class includes the suggest method, which looks up suggestions for misspellings.

Do I have to use your user interface, or can I write my own?
You can do either or both. The Sentry engine actually has no user interface, but example applications implementing common spelling-checker user interfaces are included with the Sentry Java SDK. Using the user interface in the example applications is the easiest approach, but the Sentry engine includes a basic spell check API which you can use to determine if words are spelled correctly, look up suggestions, add words to user dictionaries, etc. Full Java source code for AWT and Swing dialogs is included, so you can customize them as needed.

Does the dictionary just contain words, or words and definitions?
Just words. Sentry is a highly optimized Java spellchecker.

If we license the Java SDK, do we need to license the English Word List too?
No -- The Java SDK includes compressed American, British, and Canadian English dictionaries. You would need to license the English Word List only if you needed to modify the dictionary in some way (e.g., remove or add some words)

What platforms are supported? Can Sentry be used on a UNIX system? On a Macintosh system?
Sentry can be used on any platform that has a JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and Java library.

How fast is Sentry?
Very fast! On a modest system (700Mhz PIII), Sentry can spell check over 20,000 words per second. Click here to find out how we measured this.

Does Sentry work with Java 1.2? With Java 1.3? With Java 2? With Java x.y?
The Sentry spellcheck library is a conservative user of Java features. Sentry will work with any version of Java from 1.1 onwards, including Java 2 (J2SE and J2EE).

Do I have to pay any royalties or other licensing fees to bundle Sentry with my applications?
No! The Sentry license agreement permits you to bundle certain run-time portions of the Sentry Java SDK (the Sentry class library, dictionaries, and a few other bits and pieces) with your applications without paying additional fees.

How long has Sentry been around? Is it stable?
The core spell check engine has been around since 1992. It formed part of a commercial stand-alone spell check product. We released Sentry as a separate product in 1993. Since then, it has been used in many commercial and in-house applications (see our customer list for more information). The Java SDK was developed and released in 1997. Since then, we have issued 10 major releases to add new features and keep pace with changing technology.

There are several spellcheck packages on the market. Why should we license yours?
Glad you asked! Here are a few areas where we beat the competition hands down:

Click here for more information about Sentry Spell Checker Engine for Java

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