Announcing WriteType 1.0.98

The next version of WriteType (1.0.98) is now available for download!  WriteType is a word processor designed to make typing easier and more efficient for young students and students with disabilities.

What’s new in this release?

  • Grammar checking: WriteType now has an enhanced grammar checking system.  It will check for common grammatical mistakes, and offer to correct them.
  • Translation support: WriteType is now multi-lingual!  A special thanks to Emilio Lopez and Harm Bathoorn for providing Spanish and Dutch translations.
  • Word list sorted by use: The words you use most frequently within your document will float to the top of the list of word completions.
  • Tab word completion: Now it is possible to select words from the list of suggested completions by tabbing and back-tabbing through the list.  For convenience, the arrow keys may also be used.
  • Auto-save support: WriteType autosaves your document frequently so that you never have to worry about losing any work.
  • Changed file extension: Files created with WriteType are .wtd files instead of .html files.  There is no difference in formatting; the new format simply allows WriteType to be selected as the default file handler.
  • Diction checking: Advanced writers can use the diction check feature (courtesy of GNU Diction) to improve their writing style.
  • Readability and statistics: It is now possible to figure out at what level you write.
  • Fresh new look: WriteType has a new, more refreshing icon set.
  • Lots of bugs: If you were experiencing a problem with the last version of WriteType, chances are this version fixes it.
  • Some stuff I’m probably forgetting: Hey, I’m human!

How can you help?

If you would like to help out, there are all kinds of ways for you to do so.  Translators, packagers, testers, and programmers would be very much appreciated.  If you are a Debian developer and are interested in sponsoring WriteType, please let me know as well.  As always, however, the best way you can help WriteType is by getting it into the hands of students who could use it! I didn’t create WriteType for my own benefit, and letting it sit abandoned on a server isn’t helping anybody.

Getting WriteType

Download Ubuntu and Debian Sid .deb

Download Debian Lenny .deb

Download Python package (install using “python install”)

Bzr Branch

Other Links

Initial Release Announcement

Launchpad Page


Published in: on September 2, 2010 at 3:47 pm  Comments (15)  


  1. This error occurs on Debian Testing/Unstable:

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/bin/writetype”, line 2, in
    import writetype.main
    ImportError: No module named writetype.main

    • Use the Ubuntu build. The Debian build was made for Lenny, which uses Python 2.5. I will make this more clear. Thank you for pointing this out.

  2. The Debian package doesn’t work on Debian Testing/Unstable, but the Ubuntu package does. I’d recommend removing the Debian package and simply saying “Download Ubuntu/Debian .deb”.

    This is a very nice piece of software. Although, I’d prefer a GTK+ version.

    • Sorry, I didn’t see your reply.

  3. I got the following error :

    selecting driver
    this is a test
    SIOD ERROR: unbound variable : voice_rab_diphone
    festival: text modes, caught error and tidying up

    I am using writetype r98 on Ubuntu 10.04 with festival installed. Festival is working independently.

  4. I installed this on my Lucid desktop and this is a marvelous little app!

    I’m a tech working with the OLPC XO project, so I tried to get it to work on an XO running F11. After getting a bunch of python deps (python-devel PyQt4 PyQt4-devel PyQt PyQt-devel python-enchant) and then installing the Python package, I get the following errors:

    [olpc@xo-a7-4b-d6 ~]$ writetype
    setting intallation prefix
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “/usr/bin/writetype”, line 2, in
    import writetype.main
    File “/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/writetype/”, line 625, in
    app = MainApplication()
    File “/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/writetype/”, line 65, in __init__
    File “/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/writetype/”, line 47, in setupUi
    self.textArea = spellCheckEdit(self.splitter)
    File “/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/writetype/”, line 52, in __init__
    self.dictionary = enchant.DictWithPWL(platformSettings.getPlatformSetting(‘language’))
    TypeError: __init__() takes at least 3 arguments (2 given)
    Exception AttributeError: “‘NoneType’ object has no attribute ‘QMainWindow'” in <bound method MainApplication.__del__ of > ignored

    If this could work on the XO on their F11 base, I’d definitely try to implement it at the deployment here.

    • I think this could be solved by adding None as a final argument to the enchant.DictWithPWL constructor referenced in the error message, but I’m not 100% sure. Maybe it has to do with conflicting versions of Enchant?

      Is that vanilla Fedora 11? If not, is there someplace I could find a version to run on a VM to test it with? I want to work to get it functioning on the XO!

      • This would be a wonderful XO project. I just emailed a guy I know at OLPC letting him know about it. All you need to do now is submit a project proposal and get your very own XO to develop and test on.

      • Is there any way I can try it out without getting a laptop? I tried to find a virtual machine image, but all of them I found seemed to be very outdated.

        Plus, I figure, making a serious project out of it would likely require me to switch to GTK, which would pretty much mandate a complete rewrite.

      • There’s Sugar on a Stick, which should be more up to date. In case you didn’t know, Sugar “Activities” (i.e. applications) are in Python.

        I’d really encourage you to go through the contributors program and request an XO to develop with if you’re interested in porting this to the XO. Emulation is useful, but only goes so far, as the hardware is rather unique. And WriteType looks like it could be a very useful Sugar Activity.

  5. If you are going to get it to work with Sugar then you will also need to more than like need it get it working with collaboration.

    Here is a tutorial on writing Actvities for Sugar
    Here is the HIG for Sugar

    • Collaboration is nice to have, but it’s not absolutely necessary. There are quite a few standalone Sugar Activities.

  6. Need to make an rpm for this. While, at 47, I am not a young student, I am a student with disabilities. Anything that will help me be productive is definitely a Good Thing™.

  7. I get the same errors as Anna, enchant version 1.60.1.
    Where do I find the enchant.DictWithPWL constructor?

  8. Max provided the solution; I hadn’t installed aspell-en.

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