It’s been a few years since we launched After the Deadline, and it’s helped millions of bloggers put their best feet forward with clean, error-free copy.
If you’re a WordPress.com user you’ve got After the Deadline technology built right in to your site, although you might just know it as the “proofread” button in your visual editor. If you’ve got a self-hosted WordPress.org site, then you have After the Deadline as part of the suite of features in the Jetpack plugin.
(You do have Jetpack installed, right? No? Go ahead and do that, we’ll wait.)
If After the Deadline proofreading is something you rely on when publishing, we encourage you to use the built-in WordPress.com tool or install Jetpack — while there are extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Open Office available, Automattic will no longer be supporting those as of the end of this month.
Luckily, After the Deadline and all its extensions are completely open source. If you’re a developer with a yen for good grammar, why not lend a hand in its future growth? There are lots of developer resources on the main After the Deadline site, as well as an active Google Group for folks who want to pitch in or figure out how to add After the Deadline to their projects. (If you’re not already a part of Google Groups, join up and then search for “ATD” to find them.) We appreciate everyone who’s already taken the time to contribute, and look forward to see where you’ll take After the Deadline next.
After the Deadline for OpenOffice.org has been kept under the radar. It started out as a modification of the Language Tool plugin for OpenOffice.org. The first release was simple but worked. The second release added some error checking to let you know when the extension couldn’t connect to the AtD server. Today, I’m releasing the third release.
This release fixes a bug that prevented OpenOffice.org from applying After the Deadline to non-English (US) documents. As the developer, I’m responsible for specifying the locales the extension can check and well. I used en_UK and not en_GB. It’s an honest mistake. If you tried After the Deadline but found yourself frustrated because it wouldn’t check anything, try again–you’ll be quite pleased.
This release also cleans up the “AtD Service” option. It trims trailing slashes from the URL (if you added one) and makes it easier to reset the extension to the default AtD server.
If you’re using After the Deadline 0.1 or 0.2, click Tools -> Extension Manager -> Check for Updates to get the latest. Otherwise you can download the After the Deadline for OpenOffice.org from our site.
After the Deadline for OpenOffice.org is now ready for a more general audience. Enjoy.
After the Deadline for Google Chrome 1.2 is now available. This release fixes several bugs and adds a few options. Specifically:
- This release fixes issues that were affecting Google Spreadsheet, Blogger, and GMail users.
- The “no writing mistakes were found” dialog is now optional. Go to the AtD options page to disable it.
To update to the latest:
Go to chrome://extensions/ and click Update Extensions Now.
The zesty sauce of After the Deadline is our language model. We use our language model to improve our spelling corrector, filter ill-fitting grammar checker suggestions, and even detect if you used the wrong word.
It’s not hard to build a language model, but it can be time-consuming. Our binary model files have always been available through our GPL After the Deadline distribution.
Today, as our gift to you, we’re releasing ASCII dumps of our language models under a creative commons attribution license. There is no over-priced consortium to join and you don’t need a university affiliation to get these files.
Here are the files:
This file contains each word token, a tab separator, and a count. There are 164,834 words from 76,932,676 occurrences. Our spell checker dictionary is made of words that occur two or more times in this list.
beneficently 4 Yolande 12 Fillmore's 4 kantar 2 Kayibanda 3 Solyman 2 discourses 92 Yolanda 11 discourser 1
This file is a dump of each two-word sequence that occurs in our corpus. It has 5,612,483 word pairs associated with a count. You can use this information to calculate the probability of a word given its next or previous words.
military annexation 4 military deceptions 1 military language 1 military legislation 1 military sophistication 1 military officer 61 military riot 1 military conspiracy 1 military retirement 2
This file has a limited set of trigrams (sequences of three words). Each trigram begins or ends with a word in our confusion set text file. You will need the information from the bigram corpus to construct trigram probabilities for these words.
a puppy given 1 a puppy for 4 a puppy dies 1 a puppy and 4 a puppy named 2 a puppy is 3 a puppy of 3 a puppy with 1 a puppy when 2
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The smarts behind After the Deadline is our open source software service. This is the code that accepts text, checks it with cool AI algorithms, and spits out XML containing spelling errors, grammar errors, and suggestions. This code, with the TinyMCE and jQuery plugins, allows you to integrate After the Deadline checking into your web applications.
Today, I’ve posted an update to the software service package. Many of you have emailed me with questions about the AtD service, these updates should help you out. Here are the main changes:
- Added a low-memory mode to run AtD. Now you no longer need a super-computer to run AtD. The low-memory mode loads (and discards) parts of the language model as needed. The trade-off, it’s a little slower and probably won’t scale to hundreds of thousands of clients per day. The option to run AtD in full-bore production mode still exists. The quality of service is the same between the two modes.
- Parts of the AtD service were rewritten to allow AtD to run on Windows out of the box. I’ve also added a run-lowmem.bat file that starts the AtD service in low-memory mode on Windows.
- This update to the service supports the /checkGrammar API call that AtD for OpenOffice.org relies on. This call performs all checks except spelling. Why? Because the spelling corrector is the slowest part of AtD. By eliminating it, it’s possible to do as-you-type grammar checking for a lot of people.
- Of course this update has more grammar checks, an updated dictionary, and other enhancements that come from my maintenance of After the Deadline. You can view the commit to see the differences.
Enjoy the update.
AtD started as a plugin for WordPress and everything it checked was going to be posted on a public blog anyways. Now that AtD is in the browser this has changed. To protect your information, both AtD/Chrome and AtD/Firefox now use SSL to communicate with the AtD service. This means your data is now encrypted when it’s sent to our service for proofreading.
If you’d like to know what else is new, you can read the change logs:
How to Update:
To update to the latest After the Deadline for Google Chrome, visit chrome://extensions and click Update Extensions Now. This will automatically download and install the update for you. No restart required.
To update to the latest After the Deadline for Firefox, visit Tools -> Add-ons and click Find Updates. This will download and install the update for you. Firefox will ask you to restart your browser.
The number one search term on this blog is “After the Deadline Chrome”. You’d think some people wanted to see After the Deadline on Google Chrome.
After the Deadline is a powerful proofreading technology, that’s also available for Firefox. If you haven’t used After the Deadline before, check out our demonstrations. Now you can feel safe when you push send, tweet without alerting the writing police, and get your status updates correct on Facebook.
This extension is built to put you in control of the proofreading experience. You can disable AtD on certain sites, ignore phrases, enable more proofreading features, control auto-proofread, and set a keyboard shortcut.
For the best user experience, we recommend the latest beta channel of Chrome. The browser is constantly evolving and we took advantage of new features to bring the AtD experience to Chrome.
I have a bag of goodies for you today.
Thanks to the help of wonderful volunteers, our WordPress plugin has been updated with translations for German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Polish, and Russian. It also includes updated translations for Portuguese and French.
This update also fixes several bugs related to finding and highlighting errors. I recommend this update for all AtD users.
You can get the latest from the WordPress plugin repository.
If you use After the Deadline for Firefox, the 1.2 release is available on the early access page. The early access release exists because it takes time for the volunteer editors to review the release. An approval is necessary for it to show up as an automatic update.
I like to think of it as a free code review from an experienced developer, just for participating in the Mozilla community. You can wait for the automatic update or get the early access release now. Don’t you want to be the first on your block to run the latest AtD for Firefox?
The latest bbPress plugin adds an auto-proofread option, the ability to select which errors you see, and an ignore always option.
If you’re a developer using AtD, don’t worry–I haven’t left you out. Our TinyMCE plugin is up to date with the latest bug fixes. Also if you’re using the jQuery plugin, the cross-domain AJAX calls now support all the languages AtD supports.
You can always find the latest AtD libraries on our Developer Resources page.
This release of After the Deadline for Firefox works in more places. Here is a screenshot of After the Deadline working with Google Docs:
This release also:
- Adds proofreading for French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish
- Fixes several bugs and reported add-on conflicts
You can read the full list of changes at http://firefox.afterthedeadline.com/upgrades/1.1/
So many things to announce, how do I do it in one blog post? Let’s do a list. Drum role roll please.
5. Good-bye API keys
We’ve gotten rid of the AtD API keys. I was pushing to ask for more information and force folks to download a white paper before getting anything. Needless to say, I lost that battle. Using After the Deadline no longer requires registering with us. It’s still free for personal use. If you have a commercial need, grab our open source software.
4. Open Source Software – Updated Release
Finally, after all this time, After the Deadline’s server software is in a public subversion repository. We’ve also repackaged the current code and updated some of the documentation. Now you can check out the server software and stay in sync with what we’re using. We also have a mechanism (a local.sl file) where you can make local changes and not worry about us breaking them during future updates.
3. AtD speaks multiple languages
Yes, now AtD speaks multiple languages. We’ve put servers in place for French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. We have more languages ready to go and we’ll make those available in the future. We’re providing contextual spell checking for these languages. French and German have grammar checking courtesy of the excellent Language Tool project. Misused word detection is under development.
The AtD Language Pack on our open source server page has everything you need.
2. bbPress Plugin Update
As if some otherworldly power was driving him, Gautam released an update to AtD/bbPress with support for French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish on Friday. How he knew about all this stuff before us, I don’t know But it’s great and if you use bbPress you need to get the plugin.
1. WordPress Plugin Update with Translations
And yes, our WordPress plugin has been updated to banish the API key nag-screen and to support proofreading in French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
The updated WordPress plugin uses your WPLANG setting to decide which language it should proofread in. If you blog in many languages or this setting doesn’t work for you, visit your profile page (the same place where all the AtD settings are) and enable the proofread with detected language option. With this turned on, After the Deadline will detect your language and apply the correct proofreader to it.
Thanks to the wonderful WordPress community volunteers, the AtD plugin has translations for Portuguese, Hindi, Japanese, French, Finnish, Bosnian, and Persian.
0. An Extra Bonus
I originally wanted to provide 10 exciting news items and this post became way too long with too much stuff at the top. So now you get a bonus item. We’ve also released updates to the AtD front-end components. They’re L10n ready and AtD/jQuery is now compatible with jQuery 1.4.