At 23:42 +0000 2005-08-23, suzmccarth wrote:

>However, I do agree that a significant part of Africa and India are
>not literate in roman orthography no matter what the official language
>is. And I don't see why making an input method that suits a few Vai
>users who are literate in English would preclude developing input
>methods for those who are not.

Oh, for heaven's sake. The road signs in Liberia are in Latin. Are
you suggesting that the Vai people can't make heads or tails of them?
Vai people are multilingual as are most people in West Africa.
Whether they speak the trade language Liberian English or whether
they have learned standard English, it's just not credible to suggest
that a Vai who is going to use a computer would be disadvantaged in
any way by having the consonants and vowels of his language related
to the engraved Latin letters on his keyboard.

I say again: Vai users will use QWERTY keyboard hardware. That's just
a fact. If they buy a laptop, it will never have Vai engraved on it.
A QWERTY-based keyboard layout *can* give Vai users access to 350
characters, which is all of the Vai characters in the proposal, plus
needed punctuation and digits.

That would be a keyboard layout where "s" + "A" = SA. "s" + "EE" = SEE.

If you think this is imperialistic or impractical, please tell me how
you would fulfil the brief: Allow a Vai user with a 48-key laptop to
access all 350 required characters.
Michael Everson *