Change Log

Changes of note are mentioned here. The end has a story by Jeffrey Friedl about how this whole thing got started. Note that anything done since 17 years, 11 months ago has not been done by Jeffrey. (Note: this is a mirror for Jeffrey's main dictionary server in the US).

Changes, going backwards in time:

4 years, 7 months ago

Many internal changes to the operation of the server (about time too!) but nothing that affects the way it works for users. Among the changes were dropping the links to the defunct mirror at Lund, Sweden as well as removing a lot of old HTML markup that simply isn't supported any more. Also graphics generation has been disabled at the San Jose, California, USA mirror at the request of its host, Jeffrey.

6 years, 1 month ago

Updated auto-update to now include compdict in the updates to the J-E server.

6 years, 2 months ago

Implemented a request by Peter Jakobi to have romaji optionally displayed along with results when using any of the Japanese encodings. So for those of you who don't use the graphical portion of the server (the one which allows kanji and kana GIF generation), you'll now not need to have two browsers open to get romaji in one to compare to the encoding non-graphical version in the other.

8 years, 7 months ago

Thanks to Maya Pedersen for pointing out the unobvious: Kanji lookup when using romaji readings doesn't trigger a fuzzy search. Onna won't work, but omna does. A link has been placed to remind users how to instruct the romaji conversion engine to more finely search for romaji using this server's romaji flavor.

8 years, 3 months ago

After what seems to be an eternity, the UNICODE encoding option seems to have been tested long enough on the test server, so it's time to roll that out to all the mirrors. Note that by request, the mirror in New Hampshire USA has had GIF generation disabled due to loading problems. (Note that GIF generation may get disabled everywhere some time in the far future - these days everyone ought to have native capability for viewing Japanese in their web browsers.)

9 years, 5 months ago

Thanks to Eri Takase and Takase Studios, LLC, there's now a new dictionary mirror in Hawaii up and running.

9 years, 6 months ago

Major update to the CGI, as the server now accepts and emits UTF-8. So you can paste into the search boxes any UTF-8 character safely and the server should be able to deal with it. Note GIF generation, all other features, etc. will work for this encoding as others do.

9 years, 7 months ago

Many updates, specifically:

9 years, 10 months ago

More updates, namely:

10 years, 0 months ago

Several updates this time around:

10 years, 8 months ago

Added the ability to search Google Maps to the link external search engines. You can activate this useful feature by searching for either Japanese place names or the names dictionaries.

10 years, 11 months ago

Thanks to Martí Mesquida of Spain for pointing out that the kanjidic search should allow case insensitive searches when using the UNICODE index option.

11 years, 8 months ago

Many updates and changes to the server itself. Amongst them are:

11 years, 9 months ago

The mirror in Vancouver has physically moved to Toronto, Canada.

11 years, 11 months ago

As suggested by Christopher Malon of MIT, the customizations page really ought to include the main dictionary page's other options.

12 years, 7 months ago

Added the riverwater dictionary.

13 years, 2 months ago

Added a new mirror to the J-E server system, with thanks to Tomas Gradin and the Lund University Computer Club in Lund, Sweden. This marks the second time there has been a mirror located on the European continent.

14 years, 10 months ago

Added Jean-Marc Desperrier's Dictionnaire français-japonais. Note that this dictionary can be searched if you selected no encoding at the introductory page (use GIF generation instead). This is because the server is currently unable to display results in UTF-8.

14 years, 10 months ago

Added a new feature! You can now optionally have links to external search engines show up with your search results!

15 years, 0 months ago

Added Juan Manuel Cardona Granda's glossary of forestry terms.

15 years, 0 months ago

LOTS of changes. Worked on adding more search options to the kanji database search facility since kanjidic has more data, which has gone through quite a lot of updates since the kanji search code was last modified 21 years, 1 month ago. -- Added New Nelson to index and cull retrieval methods. -- Added De Roo's 2001 Kanji to index retrieval method. -- Added to index retrieval search method ability to seek codes in Kanji Learners Dictionary. -- Added P.G. O'Neill's Essential Kanji to index retrieval method. -- Updated prose here and there. -- Added required pointer to Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group licence on the gateway page. -- Updated the links found on the dictionary books page.

15 years, 1 month ago

Thanks to the original author Jeffrey Friedl himself, this server now has another mirror. Also updated kanjidic and enamdict.

15 years, 4 months ago

Thanks to Jim Breen for hosting the Australian mirror of this server!!!

15 years, 5 months ago

Yay! The server can now be partially customized!! The kanji lookup isn't quite ready for primetime, but at least the main dictionary gateway can be customized as need be. There are still some bugs here and there, but they'll be fixed as time goes on. At least that ends that part of the server's modernization. The remaining work involves the kanji database lookups, which has been in neglect since 1996. Also managed to add some missing icons for the other dictionaries.

15 years, 5 months ago

Updated edict and compdict, as well as expanded the index.

15 years, 5 months ago

Fixed a major problem with the server's backend that miscomputed the correct dictionary to use.

15 years, 6 months ago

Courtesy of Jim Breen, added the dictionary of engineering and sciences.

15 years, 6 months ago

This server has another new mirror in Canada! Also the server in the USA has had its hostname changed.

15 years, 7 months ago

Slowly starting to re-instate the broken customizations on this server. For example, ASCII Kanji is back.

15 years, 9 months ago

As suggested by Brendan Scott of Australia, add capability to restrict search for words by word-class.

15 years, 9 months ago

Added capability to restrict searches to commonly used words.

15 years, 10 months ago

Added extra dictionaries to search for.

16 years, 5 months ago

Doh! Fixed a Y2K bug that was causing incorrect date output in the Expires: header.

16 years, 5 months ago

Updated list of terms on edict documentation page. Also cleaned up some typographical errors. New versions of dictionaries have also been added to the main server.

17 years, 9 months ago

This server has a new home!

17 years, 9 months ago

Fixed several typos that still permeated within the prose. Made preparations for the J-E server's new home. Made lots of link updates, and included a link to Jim Breen's new WWWJDIC server.

17 years, 11 months ago

The dictionary server has been handed off to William Maton. So perhaps, there may be new features added and enhancements made - or not. Actually the changes are likely to be very subtle in terms of keeping it running, but the overall structure of the server is not likely to change.

18 years, 11 months ago

Added a new mirror in America, in web space kindly provided by Robert Henney.

19 years, 2 months ago

This site seems to run by itself pretty well -- no major time put into it in ages, but there was a bunch of cleanup that needed to be done. All references to the old Omron sites have been removed, and some of the data files and programs have been updated to work with the changes in the most-recent dictionary data.

Also, added information on how to get Japanese TrueType fonts for Windows platforms, and new information about Microsoft's new Input Method Editor (so you can enter Japanese text, even while using the English version of Windows). See the overview page.

19 years, 7 months ago

Finally got around to removing references to the mirror in America, which has not been available for some time.

19 years, 11 months ago

Information on Jack Halpern's New Japanese-English Character Dicitonary now online. It's a fantastic dictionary of kanji for the student of kanji. (Also see my discussions of dictionaries for more information on the differences among the ``kanji dictionaries'' out there.)

19 years, 11 months ago

The Kenkyuusha dictionary site went to a paid-only site, so my support for them has been removed.

20 years, 0 months ago

Added some font information for Navigator and Explorer users here. (Thanks go to David Hicks for some help here).

20 years, 1 month ago

Finally got around to updating my home page to note that I now work at Yahoo. (Yahoo Japan is here.)

20 years, 3 months ago

Thanks to help from [Kanji Image] (Gentaro Inose), tidied up some of the Japanese pages.

20 years, 3 months ago

Added the ability to suppress the fuzzy lookup of Japanese searches. Made non-fuzzy the default when using the Japanese-language interface. Thanks to Brandon Phillips for the idea.

20 years, 6 months ago

The mirror in England is up and running. Also fixed many errors kindly pointed out by Andy Church.

20 years, 7 months ago

The mirror in Tokyo is up and running. Thanks to G-square for the web real-estate.

20 years, 11 months ago

Fixed a perl5 bug (affecting the Canadian server) that caused the kanji pictures in the kanji database to screw up. My thanks to Martin Minich <> for pointing out the problem.

21 years, 0 months ago

Had a bug whereby a kanji's readings (in the kanji database) weren't being sent via the proper encoding. Thanks to Leo Yamamoto ( for pointing out the problem.

21 years, 0 months ago

Backed out the change to the HTTP header that supplied the character encoding. Seems lots of browsers don't like it. Perhaps it's my misunderstanding of the HTTP spec....

21 years, 1 month ago

Added the pages on kanji dictionaries (let me know what you think) and radicals, and updated a lot of intra-site links. -- Added more information for users of Netscape Navigator about a bug with their Japanese display. -- Also added charset information to the HTTP header (as well as providing it via a <META HTTP-EQUIV...> HTML tag, as I have been for a while). -- Made it so that prose pages expire ``real soon'' if they're grabbed while I'm in the process of working on the server. Otherwise, they expire after a month. Note: if your browser information screen says there's no expiration, or perhaps a crazy date (like 1970), then you're probably going through a proxy that takes care of the caching.

21 years, 1 month ago

Added Korean-readings to kanji database search screen, and widened up the textfields too.

21 years, 1 month ago

You can now enter multiple indices when doing an Index Search in the kanji database, or multiple stroke counts, etc., when doing a Cull Search.

21 years, 2 months ago

Added the ability to remove colors and background, 'cause no matter what you choose, someone will not find them viewable, or even if viewable, appealing.

21 years, 2 months ago

Fixed a recently-introduced bug that had kept customization from working, various spiff-ups, and substantially enhanced the Kenkyusha link information (to take into account that they don't support fuzzy searches).

21 years, 2 months ago

If you use raw Japanese support (which you aren't at the moment), I now include links to Kenkyuusha dictionaries on-line with the results of lookups at this server. Their interface and search engine isn't as nice as mine, but if you can read Japanese, the results are much more detailed (it's a real dictionary).

The information about these dictionaries came along with a slew of other helpful comments from Yoshiyuki Mizuno (note: his page requires Japanese support) Thanks!

21 years, 2 months ago

As suggested by William Maton, I've changed the default for inlined text -- they will now not be inlined if they contain no kanji (since there's really no additional information beyond what the romaji gives you). However, you can if you like select to have the kana-only entries inlined as well -- just check the appropriate box on either the customization page or the main dictionary page.

21 years, 2 months ago

A lot of changes:

These changes are ongoing this week, so things might not work from time-to-time (the mirror in Canada won't be updated until I get things settled, so feel free to use it instead).

21 years, 4 months ago

Fixed a stooopid bug that caused the input of Japanese via ``!JIS'' codes to not work at the Canadian mirror. For the same reason (byte ordering differences), the EUC/KUTEN, etc. had been reported incorrectly in the kanji lookup page. Sorry! Thanks to Marco De la Cruz for pointing out these problems.

21 years, 6 months ago

Due to a most-cool suggestion by Armen Nakashian (, you can now have dictionary results returned with kanji information linked in.

21 years, 6 months ago

Changed the default gif-text color to red (for Netscape only). Seems Netscape changed their default background to white, which caused the previous default of white characters to appear invisible.

Also added a 'Last-Modified' field to the header of most pages. Although each page is constructed on a per-request basis, the last-modified date will represent the last time the ``page's pattern'' changed.

21 years, 8 months ago

The mirror in Canada is up and running! Thanks to William Maton for providing the web real-estate.

21 years, 11 months ago

Now have a pre-release version of kanjidic, which is chock full of new info, such as much more expansive SKIP patterns, and S&H indices.

21 years, 11 months ago

Added the ability to accept Shift-JIS directly in a search query (your browser may still not allow you to enter it, but if it does, I'll now recognize it). Previously, only EUC was allowed. But then I tried a Netscape browser that allowed me to copy (ctrl-C) and paste (ctrl-V) into the search window, but it always pasted as Shift-JIS. So now I keep two browsers running... a short one across the top of the screen with my dictionary server, and the main one I'm browsing in. When I hit some Japanese I don't know (not hard to do), I just copy and paste to the server window and zappo, I'm informed.

21 years, 11 months ago

Added the kanji database customization -- can now customize the wazoo out of the thing.

22 years, 0 months ago

Added first semblance of a new feature -- ASCII picture representations of kanji. Sort of neat, especially if you're on a TTY-based browser. See the customization page.

22 years, 0 months ago

Re-did quite a few things, including adding documentation for the kanji server. Customization is now much easier (try it!).

22 years, 0 months ago

Added ability to search for kanji in dictionary via ``!JIS'' code (see here), and added first hack at the kanji database lookup.

22 years, 0 months ago

The default patterns are now like filename patterns a'la ``*.txt'', but used here to describe words (i.e. `*gakko' will find entries with words ending with ``gakko'').

22 years, 10 months ago

Jeffrey's first public announcement via USENet is made.


I started keeping this log here only with that last entry (May 13, 1995) above. However, this server has been around for some time.

I've been a CS/UNIX geek since 1980 or so, but was slow to find out about The Web. The first times I vaguely heard about it, I thought it was just a fancy GUI to FTP. But wow, I was sure wrong. I first saw a web browser (Mosaic for the X Windowing System) on June 13th, 1994 (about 22 years, 11 months ago). Two days later, I wrote to a friend:

After playing with the [Xerox PARC] map server (, I thought it might be cool to provide a Japanese<->English dictionary the same way.
I knew I'd need to transfer Japanese text as GIFs, so the next day I scrounged up a copy of the GIF standard and wrote some perl scripts to generate them. Then I modified my lookup program to run as a server in the background, then set my sights on creating the Web interface. Soon got something up and running, but since I was still learning about what the whole Web really was, what it had to offer, and most importantly, how it worked, my first cut at a server was a bit kludgey.

By June 23 I had something ready to put up for the world, but unfortunately, at the time my company's server was not accessible from outside. However, I still had accounts at Carnegie Mellon University, so contacted the webmaster about putting up the server.

It took a while to get the permission and everything set up, so I wrote a lot of the prose pages while waiting. Eventually the permission came through, and the first successful lookup occurred at about 11am on June 30, 1994 JST.

So, I guess that officially makes the server about 22 years, 11 months ago old.

My accounts eventually expired at CMU, so the dictionary server there was shut down. Grand total there was 280,258 accesses. This particular mirror has had 120,118,814 accesses.

Comments appreciated
[Return to Credits] [Return to Main Page] [Jump to Index]
(this page's master source last modified 4 years, 7 months ago)
This reply to request 120,118,814 made just for you Sun May 28th 2017 6:05am JST [load currently averaging 4011 requests/day over a 1120-second sample]