Wednesday, April 28, 2004


At home, I use the Amaya browser/editor to do the bulk composition of web pages (fiction and some pre-composing of blog entries before I dial up). One of its handy features is that it comes with a spell-checker (which has to be taught en-GB, alas). Unfortunately, I seem to be able to hit on words that cause it to crash (well, vanish like a popped soap-bubble).

Some while back I found that the misspelt "superintendant" (should be "-ent") crashed it, and that was fixed. Then in recent days I found that I'd managed to compose a document that had 4 separate space-delimited strings that caused version 8.4 to silently become one with the snows of yesteryear.

  • superhurricanes
  • supersymmetric
  • virtualization
  • underambitious

I suspect that there must be something anomalous about the handling of the "super-" prefix that the first time around didn't fully address.

Now version 8.5 is out, only a couple of weeks after 8.4, and is reported to address this issue and other crashes. I wonder how long it will be before I manage to find another word it chokes on. I could try supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but that would be cheating - I'll just wait to find things that come up naturally as I write.

Later - I spellchecked this entry as a regression test. As expected, the regression strings passed OK, but Amaya 8.5 reports that it has no match for "supercalifragilisticexpialido" and separately for "cious". I spot a fixed length buffer (30 characters including a nul?) being used rather than the check being made on a range of references into the document.

Conversely I also spotted that if a word contains markup e.g. the source looks like


that it is taken as separate strings delimited by the markup as well as the surrounding whitespace, which is what I'd expect from a single reference range check rather than through any assembly of the word into a separate buffer.

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