suzmccarth wrote:

> It disturbs me, however, that the most common way to keyboard most non-
> alphabetic scripts is with the roman alphabet and transliteration.

I think the real value (in the economic sense) of keyboarding methods is
in having something that is transferable across languages. If the
keyboards are similar or the same, then manufacturing costs are reduced
and any variations can be reduced to "free to reproduce" software layer.

For many of the languages we are talking about, there is no economic
market for keyboards that would justify the production of them, even if
you could invent one that was ideal.

Plus, even if you have unique keyboards for every language, you still
need the software layer to reconcile the data from the keyboard into the
intended encoding anyway.

So to me, it is purely a keyboard volume issue.

Academic and industrial research on non-keyboard writing methods
continues apace. There was a recent announcement from IBM (I think the
sw is posted on their alphaworks site) about a new gesture related
system. Probably English only, but possibly useful for other languages
as well.

> I would prefer to see a greater effort put into glyph-based
> keyboarding. Chinese is the only script which has full functional and
> standardized phonetic keyboarding as well as many innovative and
> workable methods for glyph-based entry. Q9 was even tested on mentally
> handicapped children in HK and found to be successful.
I thin we are a long way form seeing any text inputting method establish
dominance in "exotic" locales for a long time. It is likely that the
keyboard won't be part of the dominant form factor eventually anyway,
which is why there is research in non-keyboard methods.

> It was only a consistent and committed interaction of study of script
> and technology that brought about the increasingly intuitive glyph-
> based keyboarding in Chinese.

Agreed that a study of the nature of the characters and writing systems
beyond the superficial is likely to yield results - the IBM work
mentioned above probably resulted from seeking such insights for English.

> While methods of keyboarding for Chinese cannot be trasferred to other
> scripts, although sometimes I wonder, certainly some of the principles
> can be.

alternatively, the principles for the IBM method may be extendable to
other writing systems and easily learned by users of multiple writing
systems. This is conjecture at this point, but it may be.

> However, it is recognized that the use of computer and an input method
> that converts kana to kanji has altered the writing sytle of the
> average Japanese.

How so?