Subject: emacs-goodies-el: dict.el not working
Package: emacs-goodies-el
Version: 35.12
Severity: important

One of the components of package `emacs-goodies-el' is `dict.el',
which does not work.

1] The linux program `dict', upon which dict.el depends, has
deprecated its option `--pager', with the result that function
`dict-generate-options' now silently fails. From the bash
command-line, the output of such a dict command would be `option
"Option --pager is now deprecated"'.

 $ dict --version
  dict 1.12.1/rf on Linux 4.5.0-0.bpo.2-amd64
  Copyright 1997-2002 Rickard E. Faith (
  Copyright 2002-2007 Aleksey Cheusov (

The fix for this is to remove the `--pager' option from that function.
See below (paragraph #3) describing that I successfully manually
evaluated such a dict command to an emacs buffer.

2] The same dict.el function `dict-generate-options' terminates its
option string with a `-', when it should be a `--'.

The fix for this is to make that change.

3] The above changes weren't enough for me to get dict working. The
trouble seems to be in the function `dict-get-answer' with how it sets
a process sentinel. Since I locally made the above changes, I have
gotten the code to function using the following snippet:

  (start-process "dict" "*DICT test*" "sh" "-c"
    (dict-generate-command "word" "wn" "localhost"))

Where buffer "*DICT test*" had already been created, where function
`dict-generate-options' had been modified per paragraphs #1 and #2
above,and for a dict server installed locally with the `wordnet'

I don't have a fix for this.

4] FYI, Debian is now packaging a parallel package `dictionary-el' in
addition to the `dict.el' packaged as part of `emacs-goodies', so
there is now some duplication of functionality floating about. Debian
may want to consider choosing just one; I wouldn't feel qualified to
voice an opinion on the matter until I could compare working versions
of each.

-- System Information:
Distributor ID: Devuan
Description:    Devuan GNU/Linux 1.0 (jessie)
Release:    1.0
Codename:   jessie
Architecture: x86_64

Kernel: Linux 4.5.0-0.bpo.2-amd64 (SMP w/4 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=en_US.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash
Init: sysvinit (via /sbin/init)

Versions of packages emacs-goodies-el depends on:
ii  bash                   4.4-1
ii  dpkg                   1.17.27
ii  emacs24-nox [emacsen]  24.5+1-6~bpo8+1
ii  install-info           5.2.0.dfsg.1-6

-- debconf information:
Unescaped left brace in regex is deprecated, passed through in regex; mark\
ed by <-- HERE in m/^(.*?)(\\)?\${ <-- HERE ([^{}]+)}(.*)$/ at /usr/share/\
perl5/Debconf/ line 72.
Unescaped left brace in regex is deprecated, passed through in regex; mark\
ed by <-- HERE in m/\${ <-- HERE ([^}]+)}/ at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/Con\ line 30.

CA45 09B5 5351 7C11 A9D1  7286 0036 9E45 1595 8BC0

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