After the Deadline

Top Ignored Phrases on

Posted in Talking to myself by rsmudge on September 24, 2009

One advantage of working with is I have access to how you use After the Deadline and what you’re doing with it.  The “Ignore Always” preferences are stored in our databases.  I decided to see what I could learn by querying this information.

Here are the top ignored phrases:

  1. alot
  2. Kanye
  3. lol
  4. texting
  5. everytime
  6. Beyonce
  7. cafe
  8. youtube
  9. haha
  10. dough
  11. facebook
  12. f***
  13. Steelers
  14. chemo

It’s kind of funny because this tells me something about what you’re writing about.  Here are my responses to these.

2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 13, and 14 are legitimate things you’re writing about and belong in the AtD dictionary.  I added them to the master wordlists yesterday.

1 and 5 are errors but you like them, I’ll keep flagging them. 🙂  I do realize AtD needs to do a better job suggesting split words in the spelling corrections.  It’s a day project and I already know how I plan to do this.  Expect this soon.

8 and 11 are proper nouns and the correct capitalization exists inside of AtD.  In fact AtD probably suggests the correct capitalization when marking these words as wrong.  For example, at Automattic we consider WordPress the only proper spelling of WordPress.  AtD honors this.  Still, despite this, I noticed some folks have chosen to select ignore so WordPress does not come up as a misspelled word.

7 is in the AtD dictionary but with the accented character.  I wonder if a plugin exists to automatically insert accents in words where they belong.  Using AtD’s contextual model I could probably do this in a non-intrusive way with a high degree of accuracy.  Any interest?  In the meantime, I’m going to add words like 7 without the accent to the AtD lexicon.

12 is in the dictionary and isn’t checked by the misused word detector.  I hypothesize that several writers feared their self-expression would be hindered and added it manually from their user settings page.

The word dough (10) is in the dictionary.  My guess is the misused word detection loves to flag the word dough as incorrect despite the best intentions of our baking bloggers.  This is precisely the kind of insight I wanted to gain from this little experiment.

Where I’d like to see AtD go…

Posted in Talking to myself by rsmudge on September 23, 2009

I often get emails from folks asking for support for different platforms.  I love to help folks and I’m very interested in solving a problem.  I don’t have the expertise in all the platforms folks want AtD to support.  Since it’s my occupation, I plan to keep improving AtD as a service, but here is my wish list of places where I’d like to see AtD wind up:


I’d like to meet Jimmy Wales, one of the founders of Wikipedia.  First because I love Wikipedia and it tickles me pink that so much knowledge is available at my finger tips.  I’m from the last generation to grow up with hard bound encyclopedias in my home.

Second, because I’d love to explore how After the Deadline could help Wikipedia. AtD could help raise the quality of writing there.

Since the service will be open source there won’t be an IP cost necessarily.  The only barriers are AtD support in the MediaWiki software and server side costs.  Fortunately I’ve learned a lot about scaling AtD from working with and given a number of edits/hour and server specs, I could come up with a good guess about how much horsepower is really needed.

I’d love to write the MediaWiki plugin myself but unfortunately I’m so caught up trying to improve the core AtD product that this is beyond my own scope.  If anyone chooses to pick this project up, let me know, I’ll help in any way I can.

Online Office Suites and Content Management Systems

There are a lot of people cutting and pasting from Word to their content management systems.  There are many web applications either taking over the word processor completely or for niche tasks.  For this shift to really happen these providers need to offer proofreading tools that match what the user would get in their word processor.  None of us are supposed to depend on automated tools but a lot of us do.

Abiword, KWord, OpenOffice, and Scribus

It’s a tough sell to say a technology like AtD belongs in a desktop word processor.  I say this because AtD consumes boatloads of memory.  I could adopt it to keep limited amounts of data in memory and swap necessary stuff from the disk.  If there isn’t a form of AtD suitable for plugging into these applications, I hope someone clones the project and adapts it to these projects.   If someone chooses to port AtD to C, let me know, I’ll probably give a little on my own time and will gladly answer questions.