Kenneth Stailey kstailey at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 19 06:42:03 AEST 2004


I have a copy of the WEBSTER server and client port to UNIX by

 * David A. Curry
 * Purdue University
 * Engineering Computer Network
 * April, 1986

I see in the doc directory a very TOPS-20-ish docuement webster.hlp which
describes the way to invoke the client:

  @WEBSTER word-to-define

I'm assuming the @ is the TOPS-20 prompt.  It also says you can use

  If you want to look up more than one word, just do


  and you will be prompted with


  Type the word, or hit <return> to exit.

But if the @ prompt wasn't enough evidence of TOPS-20 you also get:

  <escape> and "?" are used the same way in Webster as in most programs.
  <escape> tries to complete what you have typed so far, and "?" lists
  those words that match your partial word.

Which is pure TOPS-20 "COMND JSYS".  See this page for what "COMND JSYS" is:


There is some cryptic mentioning about EBCDIC conversion as if the dictionary
data went from ASCII to EBCDIC and back to ASCII causing some degradation.

ebcdictp.ememo talks about the format of the EBCDIC tape (not that I have one)
and errors.ememo says:

   2)   Pronunciation records.

          Three classes of errors occur here.

          During the translation to EBCDIC occurances of the glyphs *( and
     )* in the pronunciation records were treated in the same way as in other
     records, that is encoded as <( and >) (representing left and right
     braces), rather than left as is.  Thus a schwa precceding or following an
     optional phoneme was lost.

I just blew a few minutes looking it over today and ported it to FreeBSD/AMD64
catching a 

        char word[BUFSIZ];

bug and some other minor things.

Does anyone else have this treasure running?  I like it better than dict for

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