On Sun, 23 Jan 2000, Steve Cheng wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 22, 2000 at 04:05:06PM -0800, Jon M. Taylor wrote:
> > Nice, eh? The unfortunate truth is that this crazy input system
> > is pretty much required, due to the highly contextualized nature of the
> > Japanese language. The Kanji for 'Zen' (for example) can have over 20
> > completely different meanings when used in different grammatical contexts.
> > Unless you keep track of the running context, it is impossible to
> > accurately translate subsequently entered Kanji syllables into Kanji
> > words. This more or less requires a full Japanese grammar engine be
> > embedded into the input protocol itself |-/.
> There are free programs which do this kana -> kanji conversion (Wnn,
> Canna, etc.).
> > As far a Chinese and Korean are concerned, I really don't know
> > that much. I think that the Chinese and Japanese kanji are mostly the
> > same, but China does not have a phonemeic written alphabet. And written
> > Vietnamese is all phonetic (Roman alphabet with a bunch of phonetic
> > modifications to the basic roman characters).
> Chinese input methods are even more difficult. There is a phonetic
> syllabary ("bopomofo"), but it is never used in normal writing, only
> learning, and only for Mandarin dialect I think. (I speak Cantonese,
> read Chinese, but still don't know the syllabary.)
> Various Chinese input methods use the strokes/radical of the kanji... I
> don't know how to use them myself and have not seen any documentation on
> it, so I can't tell you much. Using a tablet and (CJK) writing
> recognition software for input is quite popular here, but unfortunately
> the products are all for Windows :(
Now I -have- seen how Chinese input methods are typically done... at
least as far as IBM is concerned with their North American distrib. (I
stopped by and visited a large IBM store and checked it out there a ways
Anyways, you have about 5 keys (IIRC) mapped to different strokes. A key
is used to bring up the entry window and you tap strokes, and the menu
gives choices of valid characters from that list. IMHO I like it better
than the various Japanese systems I've seen - although you need to know
how many strokes and what order they are in for the characters. (this is
how I learned to write the Chinese characters so... :)
Anyways, once you've selected the character (glyph) you want, it's
inserted where-ever you happen to be.
Now this -was- under OS/2 so Linux may handle it differently. IIRC there
were no extra keys either so I'm not sure how they triggered the character
entry. Though there could have been a key for it.
G'day, eh? :)