aspell does not install any dictionaries by default (RE: git gui 1.7.9-1: "spell checking is unavailable" error message)

Matt Seitz
Thu Nov 8 02:07:00 GMT 2012

Updated subject line to reflect the root cause.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Matt Seitz
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2012 5:57 PM
To: cygwin
Subject: Re: git gui 1.7.9-1: "spell checking is unavailable" error message

> From: Matt Seitz (matseitz)
> Any idea what caused the "git-gui" error message to start appearing after 
> I ran "setup.exe" on Nov. 5?
> I've been running "git-gui" 1.7.9-1 since February, and I haven't changed 
> my "git-gui" options recently.
> "Git-gui" was working fine with no error messages on Nov. 2.

I looked through "setup.log".   I see that something triggered "aspell" to
be installed on Nov. 5:

2012/11/05 06:48:59 Adding required dependency aspell: Selecting version for installation.

2012/11/05 06:48:59 Adding required dependency libaspell15: Selecting
version for installation.

>From what I've read, git-gui silently disables spell check if "aspell" is
not installed.  But if "aspell" is installed, "git-gui" tries to load it,
and then load whatever dictionary is specified in the
"gui.spellingdictionary" option. This option is not set on on my system,
which apparently means "use default dictionary".   So, "git-gui" tries to
load the default dictionary, and reports an error when it can't find it.

It looks like the Fedora team originally installed the "aspell-en"
dictionary by default whenever "aspell" was installed.  Then they dropped it
as a dependency for the same reason given earlier in this thread: that it's
not really required for "aspell".  Then they made installing  the
"aspell-en" dictionary a requirement again, to avoid issues like this.

Does it make sense for Cygwin to follow Fedora's lead, and install
"aspell-en" by default when "aspell" is installed?

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