After the Deadline

Let’s Make More Proofreaders Available in More Places

Posted in Talking to myself by rsmudge on July 1, 2010

When After the Deadline started out, its greatest weakness was the lack of places one could use it. Originally it was available on PolishMyWriting.com, then WordPress and TinyMCE, and now many more applications. Making After the Deadline available in many places has allowed many of you to use it.

After the Deadline isn’t the only proofreading game in town though. Language Tool, An Gramad√≥ir, and CoGROO are among many existing projects to make proofreading technologies available under an open source license. The challenge for these tools is they can’t be used in many places. The three I mentioned are available for OpenOffice.org and maybe a few other places.

Make Your Proofreading Technology Available in More Places

So, imagine that you want to make your proofreading technology available in more places, what would you do? One solution: implement the After the Deadline protocol.

After the Deadline is available for Firefox, Google Chrome, bbPress, WordPress, TinyMCE, jQuery, and even OpenOffice.org (beta). We have pretty solid extensions for each of these. Each of these extensions communicates with an After the Deadline server using a simple XML protocol.

If your proofreading technology spoke the After the Deadline protocol, then in theory, you could point one of our many extensions to your software and voil√†, you’ll have a full user-experience for your technology.

Check Your Esperanto Grammar in Firefox

The developer of Esperantilo, a grammar checker for Esperanto, realized this and modified AtD/Firefox to talk to his program when it’s running. The result? Speakers of Esperanto now have an option to check their Esperanto writing from Firefox.

Here is a screenshot of it in action:

Esperanto in AtD/Firefox

Yes, I like this…

Right now it’s easy to configure AtD for WordPress.org, bbPress, TinyMCE, jQuery, and OpenOffice.org to talk to another server. That’s a lot of ways for users to use your proofreading technology. Artur, the developer of Esperantilo, had to use an older (non-SSL) version of AtD/Firefox to point it to his software. If other proofreading packages choose to support the After the Deadline protocol and API, I’m happy to add an option to After the Deadline for Firefox and Google Chrome to support custom end-points.

If more developers implement the AtD protocol in their proofreading software, then users can benefit from using the best proofreading technology for their needs in many more applications.

2 Responses

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  1. Kevin said, on July 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    That is so cool :-) I hope LT gets AtD protocol support soon =D

    • rsmudge said, on July 5, 2010 at 3:24 am

      If I wasn’t so busy I’d write a patch to do it myself. It’d be pretty easy to do. Just use NanoHTTPD (a webserver in one .java file) to implement the AtD protocol by talking to the LT API. We do this for German and French AtD.


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