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Re: Japanese input in an English environment

On Wed, 21 Aug 2002 00:29:44 +0900
tkubota@riken.go.jp wrote:

> Hi,
> At 20 Aug 2002 23:07:01 +0900,
> marshal@h9.dion.ne.jp wrote:
> > Is there any possibility of extending multilingualization to more
> > programs?  I would like to have everything work like emacs and allow
> > mixing of languages, since I'm working on being bilingual.  I would
> > like things under linux to work kinda like Mac OS X or Windows, with
> > a default language, but allow for other languages to show up, and
> > for a decent unified input method.
> Unfortunately, for Japanese users and developers, support of
> singly Japanese has more priority than multilingual, because
> Japanese monolingual environment is yet poor.  Of course there
> are much more people who need Japanese support than people who
> need bilingual support of Japanese and another language.
> International input is one of the most difficult fields in i18n.
> It is because ...
>  (1) XIM (X Input Method) protocol is difficult to understand.
>  (2) XIM can be used only from softwares which supports XIM, unlike
>  XKB.(3) XIM is required only by east Asian languages, which causes
>      lack of active developers who understand XIM, write patches
>      for various softwares in the world, send them developers in the
>      world, and explain the patches and persuade to adopt the patches.
>      It also causes developers in the world (outside east Asia) to
>      tend not to be interested in XIM.
>  (4) Even though it is true that there are a certain amount of
>  softwares
>      which support XIM, there are few softwares which support
>      switching of XIMs.
> To solve these problems, modern widget sets like GTK and Qt supports
> XIM.  By using XIM-supported widgets, general developers can be free
> from studying XIM.  However, the problem is that these sets have
> non-XIM-supporting version of widgets (and, even more, non-fontset-
> supporting version of widgets)!  Novice developers may choose these
> non-internationalized widgets!  Note that Xaw is also
> internationalized.
> For bilingual or multilingual input, emacs or xemacs-mule has been
> the only solution for a long time.  However, recently, there are
> several softwares which support multilingual input, such as:
>   yudit  ... Unicode editor with its own multilingual input mechanism
>   mlterm ... terminal emulator which can switch multiple XIM servers
>   Gnome2 ... I heard that this can switch multiple XIM servers.

I am using Gnome2, and it's the best solution for multingual i found for
now. Even there's still problems with XIM. But in facts I can have my
french locale set, and having all my applications in french (and accents
like "é" doesn't print a kanji on my screen...), while being able to
input Japanese with the use à XIM. The problem is we still need to set
the locale to ja_JP to be able to input japanese, if not, XIM doesn't
One of the good idea i like in GNome2 is the way you can change your
input method, you just have to right click in any texte box, and yu
choose your way. The default input will take the gnome-session locale
(for me : fr_FR), and will use the accurate xkb, but if you choose XIM,
you can start entering japanese (or chinese or korean) if you defined
the LANG=ja_JP.utf-8 before starting the app. It just misses a keyboard
shortcuts to easily switch between some choosen methods.

Gnome2 uses a not so bad method with the available software, it lacks
many things implemented in yudit, but it's usable, at least i can input
french and japanese without difficulties (sometimes i need to restart my
app, because i didn't set the good locale, but that's usable).

The problem is really with XIM and the need to set a locale to use with
it. You still cannot input Chinese and Japanese in the same application
if you don't have a software that uses setlocale() before.

I'm going to have a look to IIIMF, it looks like to be interesting.


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