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This page is part of the Proceedings of Wikimania 2006 (Index of presentations)

Wikipedia on the Nokia 770: wik2dict and MaemoDict

Author Kasper Souren
Track Technical Infrastructure
License GNU Free Documentation License (details)
About the author
Kasper Souren was born in the Netherlands and lived in Paris, in Mali and in Peru. Currently he is travelling in North America. He studied mathematics, cognitive science, electronic music and artificial intelligence and is a hobby linguist. He fluently speaks Dutch, English, French, German, Limburgish, Spanish and Python. While working for Geekcorps Mali he founded (and funded) the Bambara and the Fulfulde Wikipedia and is administrator of several other wikis, such as the Hitchwiki (his favourite means of transport).
I wrote some software that can be used to access information from Wikipedia on the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet, while actually not being connected to the internet.


DICT is a dictionary network protocol created by the DICT Development Group. It is described by RFC 2229. Its goal is to surpass the Webster protocol and to allow clients to access more dictionaries at the same time. Usually it runs over port 2628. It basically is a client/server system for compressed hypertext with a fast indexing system.

Debian GNU/Linux comes with quite some packages, like a bunch of Freedicts, Wordnet and several other useful sources of information.


In 2004, when I suddenly found myself without an internet connection at home, I wanted at least to be able to access information from several Wikipedias. Since I was already a happy user of several dicts I decided to create wik2dict, which converts MediaWiki database dumps into the DICT format. It's written in Python and available under the GNU General Public License.

I liked the result very much, it became really easy to access many different languages and information from different projects.

An example of DICT and wik2dict: http://dict.aioe.org/

Future developments

Nokia 770

The Nokia 770 is "a wireless touchscreen internet appliance from Nokia .. It is designed for wireless internet browsing and e-mail functions and includes software such as internet radio, an RSS news reader, image viewer and media players for selected types of media." It is very Debianic and a lot of its software is free.

Sometimes you just don't have the internet, and you do want to access information.


MaemoDict is a dictionary tool for the Maemo platform. It started as a simple dict client, to access information on other DICT servers. But as of April 2006 it includes a dictd server. Like wik2dict it's written in Python and available under the GNU GPL. It uses the Eagle library.

Future developments

  • Place MaemoDict and several dictionaries in a repository, making it easily installable for Nokia 770 users
  • D-Bus, so that it'll be easy to access from FBReader (one of the best e-book readers)
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