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Using the online dictionary means that the one that is sitting in my cubie just collects dust. You know, all that extra effort involved turning pages - phew...
(OK, lexicographers are exempt from this sign of "laziness"...they're hacking the dictionary after all, and referring to an print copy is like designing Apache 2.0 with a printout of the 1.2.x sources...)
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If there's any chance of helping on such a project, I'd be happy to give a hand. Not being able to access the content other than through the predefined interface is the one reason why I never acquired the OED.
Perhaps the best approach would be to find a contact inside and somehow explain that having an open API to access their content would make them far more desirable, would produce quality software, and wouldn't encourage stealing since it's probably already rather easy to crack it.
-- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]
This could be helped by all sorts of nifty UI tricks showing neighbouring words and the such, and with actually real "breadcrumbs" widgets that would list all the pages/words you've been to so that you can wander through and not lose track (which is why I still use paper dictionaries when they're available).
Of course, that's not to say that it would actually be easy to do that without crufting the interface. It's just a matter of programming ;-)
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