Comparison to Lexique Pro

Webonary can handle sizeable dictionaries, will allow you to update your dictionary as time goes on, has a better search engine, and has more opportunities for customization and support. Webonary depends on FLEx for layout, requiring you first to import your data in FieldWorks. Lexique Pro is a fine piece of software, one that some have used to import their dictionaries online. If you have your data in Lexique Pro already, that might be your best choice, especially if you have only a few words in your dictionary.

The approach Webonary uses allows fast searching for a word. Webonary searches the entire database for a word, whether it occurs as a headword or in the definition, and places the more relevant search results at the top of the list. Lexique Pro requires a computer to retrieve all the dictionary entries for a particular letter before it can display one entry, which can take a long time if the dictionary has a lot of entries.

Webonary easily imports new and changed dictionary entries from FieldWorks Language Explorer (FLEx). With LexiquePro, an update requires re-importing the complete database.

Since Webonary is based on WordPress code, support is not limited to a single software developer. Millions of people use WordPress worldwide.

The approach Webonary uses gives the option for people in the language community to make comments about a particular entry. For example, someone might say that an entry is missing a sense. Someone authorized to make changes to the dictionary can determine if the comment is accurate, and if so, can make the appropriate change.

Comparison to Aboriginal Dictionaries

Several Aboriginal lexicons have been put on the web. The data for these were collected with Toolbox, and Drupal was used for building the sites. While these sites act like a paper dictionary, they lack the search capability built into Webonary.

Comparison to LEXUS

We have not had an opportunity to review the software. However, looking at a presentation that Jacquelijn Ringersma gave, the chief feature of LEXUS is to create a new lexicon. Webonary requires the use of FLEx to create lexicons and export the data to Webonary.

Comparison to the Project for Free Electronic Dictionaries at the University of Sydney.

The project started in 2007 and was still in initial stages as late as February 2011. Their demo of the cell phone produced an error. It is not clear what to do with the rest of the site. But two things are of interest:

1) “A large part of the project lies in creating a software package that can be used to easily convert dictionary files, such as toolbox/shoebox databases, into the more flexible XML format…” 2) They are using a Creative Commons license. This is a project worth watching for producing cell phone dictionaries.

Comparison to Yurok Language Project at the University of California, Berkeley

The site looks very much like a WordPress site. However, the software used to build this site is unknown, and it is uncertain whether it is open or available for use.