--- suzmccarth <suzmccarth@...> wrote: > --- In
qalam@yahoogroups.com, Marco Cimarosti
> <marco.cimarosti@...>
> wrote:
> > suzmccarth wrote:
> > > Thank you for personalizing this, Marco.
> >
> > :-) It was my blunder, anyway... I wanted a name
> > with a short "i" because I thought vowel "i" went
> > of the left of its consonant. But that's
> > devanagari and other scripts: for Tamil, I should
> > have chosen a name with an "e"...
> I just assumed that you were thinking of Devanagari,
> the word Hindi to be precise, with its preceding and
> following i.
> Tamil has preceding e, ee, and ai but also o, oo,
> and au have parts that both precede and follow, so
> half the vowels are out of sequence. They are full
> size characters, not diacritics. Lots of reshaping
> too.

It's not size but function which make the vowel signs
of Tamil and the other Indic languages diacritics.
You cannot write them without joining them to a
consonant in a meaningful way.

> > whether visual or phonetic sequence is used, that
> > has nothing to do with Chinese-like IME's.
> The new syllablic IME looks like Chinese IME, sort
> of.
> >
> > Tamil has only about 50 basic signs (letters,
> > matras, etc.), so it makes perfectly sense to
> > assign one letter per key, as it is for English
> > or any other alphabet-like keyboard.
> Well, more like 30 something. But the Tamil call
> the aksharas their alphabet, so 247 units. These
> are the visually constant and distinct units. A
> phoneme, without support of a constant visual
> support is too abstract to be processed by everyone.
> Some people in any language community are never
> able to manipulate phonemes easily, members of qalam
> aside, as I am so often reminded.
> > > No, Microsoft was asked explicitly to provide an
> > > IME in order to enable input of each visually
> > > distinct akshara and Microsoft refused.
> >
> > Correctly so, IMHO. It's sound like a silly
> > request
> silly to whom, westerners, come on...
> > > now some research centres are moving to
> > > handwriting input and speech inut because they
> > > are so dissatisfied with trying to input in
> > > order of phonetic sequence.
> >
> > That sounds like moving from a bicycle to a space
> > shuttle because one is dissatisfied with the
> > height of the saddle. Isn't it easier to fix the
> > height of the saddle?
> I totally agree with you here. But it seems that
> there is a bit of a crisis - how can the less
> literate keyboard with so many issues to be
> resolved. It is the lack of visual input that
> has precipitated this crisis.

If you think this is a crisis, just try to imagine
what a crisis it would be if Unicode had this visible
order. Most of the normal kinds of data processing
which is trivial for most languages, becomes extremely
complicated if you make the internal representation
match an illogical visual order. Sorting is the most
obvious one. Basically, every program would have to
implement these functions seperately for Tamil which
now work for most languages without any extra

The input problem might not yet be solved to
everybody's satisfaction, and not enough fonts, OSes,
and rendering systems (Uniscribe etc) yet work
properly with the Unicode encoding. But, once they are
the other, harder problems will not even exist.

The data processing and text processing problems may
not be relevent to your needs at all but if Tamil is
to "just work" in *serious software* without a Tamil
expert reprogramming each application to work around
visual encoding, it would make Tamil a 2nd class
language for computing. That would be a much worse
problem than the one being faced now.

> Not that input in visual sequence is the answer. I
> don't think there is a consensus yet on what to do.
> >
> > > FOR ME, typology and input method ARE related.

Perhaps but not on a 1:1 basis. Thai and Devanagari
and Tamil writing systems are related typologically
their methods of encoding in Unicode are not.

> > I might agree, here.
> You agree that it is for me - but should not be a
> norm in the industry?
> >
> > > The way I think about it, I see Tamil as having
> > > syllabic characteristcs and then I can look for
> > > the syllabic IME.
> >
> > I definitely disagree, here.
> Well, it happened. I looked for the syllabic IME -
> it does exist.
> What's to disagree?
> > On the other hand, it's not a problem for an
> > operating system to ship with three or more
> > different Tamil keyboard drivers, e.g., "Visual
> > sequence", "Phonetic sequence", and even a
> > crazy "Syllabic IME".
> Haven't seen visual sequence for Unicode,

What does this mean? You confused input,
representation, and fonts so often that it's very
difficult to guess which you're talking about some-

> I think it might be hard to implement coding, I have
> no idea here, maybe you could tell me how possible
> this is - or maybe they just can't agree on this.

It's possible, it's just a very bad idea from which
Tamil users would suffer for longer than they have
been suffering so far over input woes.

> However, the syllabic IME has the ITRANS
> transliteration built in and that is a disaster for
> Tamil.

It would be trivial to change the transliteration
compared to working with a visual encoding. Think
of work versus years of work.

Andrew Dunbar.

> Suzanne
> >
> > _ Marco

http://linguaphile.sf.net/cgi-bin/translator.pl http://www.abisource.com

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