--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Cunningham <andj_c@...> wrote:
> There seems to be a number of issues involved ... that
> input tends to be based on logical order or phonetic
> order .... ie enter a consonant then enter a vowel.
> This may be confusing for a student who is thinking in
> terms of the visual appearance ... first one character
> is entered on the screen .. then a second character is
> entered changing the shape of the first .. or maybe
> placing the second before, above or below the first

Okay, I have become used to the reordering (and don't want to
complain too much since I overdid it last spring,) ... but the
students haven't. Especially the u syllables which are very
opaque. Part of being aware of vowels in English is that we have
visual reinforcement for this in our writing system. I observe how
difficult it is for a student to analyse an unstressed Tamil
syllable into consonant and vowel. Impossible actually, and he can
read English at a grade 4 level.

> to some extent i still consider it an input issue
> rather than a uniscribe issue ... the character
> sequences are being sent and rendered in sequence, ie
> "C" entered and rendered, then "V" entered and
> onscreeen display changed to render "CV" instead of
> "V".
> Yep, i'm being overly simplistic.
> In theory ... it should be posisble to create a input
> method that would trap the "C" temporarily, ie not
> display it until the sequence is finished (ie. CV).

That is a good idea. However, the popup syllable array in the Indic
IME from Bashaindia is not bad also. What the students expect,
however, is that they will be able to click in the syllables as you
can in the Chinese Pinyin IME. I know that this is an economic
issue but I have been dreaming of a universal syllabic IME that
could be modified for the different langauges. (like Keyman)
Wouldn't development of a non language specific application be more
plausible? Of course, this wouldn't apply to most languages with
encoded syllables.

Two points here. It is less distracting, (no reshaping) to input
the whole syllable at one time. And if you click in the syllable
directly (already precomposed in the application) instead of looking
at the popup array and then returning to type in the English
letters, you feel that you get direct feedback from the Tamil
character itself.

I am giving up on the visual input method - somehow I don't see that
reflected in Tamil applications in development. However, a syllable
display is gaining popularity, it is showing up in more Tamil web
applications - just needs more time and money to come up with
something smooth.

My own use of multilingual applications is really not significant,
just a hobby - the real market for such a programme would be the
native speaker who is partially literate and needs to use the
> It would require a complex set of rules, and most
> developers tend to prefer simpiler solutions, but it
> should be possible, and maybe would be suitable for
> your students? Not sure.
> Similar sort of issue holds for the backspace and
> delete keys ....
> > I read that somewhere. However, I did say to ask
> > you. So you don't
> > need to laugh at me.
> >
> my apologies, i wasn't laughing at you, just that my
> warped sense of humour kicked in ... at the time I was
> responding to your email, i was also writing some
> recommendations for Victorian public libraries for
> multilingual public access workstations .... for some
> reason ... that i'll never understand ... libraries
> around here seem so set on using Internet Explorer 6
> despite how old and antiquated it is now.

Okay, apology accepted - I was tired. If you recommend Mozilla and
Firefox, I will seriously consider it.

You mentioned Wordpad. How is that different from Notepad?

> Life would be easier if i didn't have to be backwards
> compatible with Internet Explorer.
> Andj