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[4]: What is the problem?
by jburnett on Fri 15th Jun 2012 14:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What is the problem?"
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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*?

Yes, but you can use any of those representations for 'q' and people will know it is the same letter. The original post made it sound like slightly altering the rendering changed the meaning. Thus, when the letter was changed by a new OS rendering engine, it was "unreadable."

Do they still teach handwriting?

Write the following words in english long hand:


How many *distinct* glyphs do you see?

I learned handwriting in two forms, print and cursive. Print I still use heavily, though I blend it with cursive a bit when scribbling notes really fast. Do I expect some vendor to support my personal script, no. Do they support a language almost identical and fully readable, yes. Heck, I don't even like my script, I just cannot hand write as cleanly and quickly as a computer can render.

This discussion isn't about writing words to look pretty or conform to some sense of artistic style. It is about being able to render a language so that it can be written/read by somebody who knows the language.

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