--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, John Hudson <tiro@...> wrote:
> suzmccarth wrote:
> > India has a literacy rate of 52% and people are discussing
> > game pieces and race horses and ancient and private scripts, but
> > the syllables of the languages of India?
> The major writing systems of India are already encoded. If people
want to develop
> mechanisms to input text as visual syllables, they can do so on
top of the existing
> encoding. There is no single, determinative relationship between
an encoded character and
> a keyboard or other input method. I have made keyboards in which a
single keystroke =
> multiple characters = single glyphs, and others in which multiple
keystrokes = single
> characters = multiple glyphs, etc.

I am listening. Let me try this - the Tamil phonetic keyboard uses 1
or 2 keystrokes per character with multiple glyphs. The
transliteration system uses 2 or 3 keystrokes for each character. So
that is the multiple keystrokes to single character and multiple
glyphs - I can see that clearly. However, when I use the Pinyin
input, I can click on one of the displayed syllables and it is input
as text, but in Tamil IME I cannot - they are just a set of images.
I have to now keystroke the English letters. So when I switch from
Pinyin to Tamil the difference in the encoding model feels obvious,
because one is clickable and one is not but maybe the syllable
display in Tamil could be may to be clickable it just isn't.

There is no reason at all why the encoding model for a
> script should be obvious to users or, indeed, why they should even
give it a thought.
> Their relationship is with the input (e.g. keystrokes) and the
output (glyphs), not the
> processing (characters).

Sometimes I don't know where I am on the line. It looks like there
are four spaces but there is only one so I backspace and lose the
last character, when I retype it, it has a different shape, of
course, because it has lost contextual shaping. It feels

However, my computer now feels as if it has Tamil language support.
It has the phonetic keyboard, all Tamil know what that is at least,
with the keyboard layout, and tranliteration with syllable display.
I have been so frustrated up to now because I felt intuitively that
this display should exist and couldn't find out where to get.

Suzanne McCarthy
> John Hudson
> --
> Tiro Typeworks www.tiro.com
> Vancouver, BC tiro@...
> Currently reading:
> Typespaces, by Peter Burnhill
> White Mughals, by William Dalrymple
> Hebrew manuscripts of the Middle Ages, by Colette Sirat