Linked by Eisel Mazard on Thu 14th Jun 2012 22:01 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The average computer user might think that the number of languages their operating system supports is pretty long. OSX supports 22 languages, and Microsoft claims to support 96, but they're counting different regional dialects multiple times. But there are over 6000 languages, and though many of them are spoken by a dwindling few, there are some languages that are spoken by millions of people that are supported very poorly, if at all, by computer operating systems. The reason for the support being poor is that the people who speak those languages are poor, and are not good "markets." It's only because of the efforts of a few dedicated people that computing support for languages such as Burmese, Sinhalese, Pali, Cambodian, and Lao have been as good as they are, but the trends for the future are not good.
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RE[3]: What is the problem?
by sorpigal on Fri 15th Jun 2012 12:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What is the problem?"
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Computers only deal with binary. Everything else is an abstraction. Some things lend themselves to binary representation. Take the Latin alphabet for example. It has 26 letters (52 with upper/lower) and 10 digits. It can be described with a binary string of 6 bits, 7 if you want all the extra punctuation, 8 if you want all the symbols.

Your understanding is simplistic. Try representing all cursive script in 255 bytes. Quiz: How many different ways are there to write "g"? What about "q"? Do you realize that the answer for "q" will be *at least eight*?

Alternatively, Chinese has a much larger alphabet, but as far as I know the characters are always rendered the same. So character no. 77 will always be rendered the same way.

That depends highly on your definition of "the same."

Personally, I find this concept fascinating. I had never considered that the way I visually represent a sound/concept might be influenced by other concepts/sounds around it. Human creativity never ceases to amaze me.

Do they still teach handwriting?

Write the following words in english long hand:


How many *distinct* glyphs do you see?

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