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Re: [tlug] Japanese Input on CentOS / KDE

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On Thu, Aug 11, 2005 at 11:43:13AM +0900, Dave Gutteridge wrote:
> Thank you for the advice and follow up.
> The reason that Scott's web page confuses me, and why I'm still generally 
> confused about Japanese input, are that every page, and each piece of advice I 
> get on mailing lists seems to be talking about entirely different systems. 
> There are all these methods, and layers to methods, such as iiimf, canna, wnn, 
> kbx, xim, kterm, kinput... I'm not sure which does what, and each web page, 
> including Scott's, seems to draw on only a few of them. 

The reason for that (not only, I'm sure, on my web page, which goes off
on far too many tangents) is actually to avoid confusion.  

Actually, after Stephen's advice, I'm working on a major update, to
cover a good deal more about scim and anthy.

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with CentOS (or the later versions of

At any rate, as you say, there's a ton of terms there, and the idea is
to pick a few that will work for you and use them first.  

Do you have any of these installed?  That is, either kinput2 or scim,
canna or anthy scim-anthy or something else?

If you think it's bad now, you should take a look at Mr. Oda's howto,
written when it was REALLY hard.  :)

I would say, let's start by trying to decide on an input method
combination.  You said you would prefer to use UTF-8 and Stephen isn't
sure that canna supports it, so let's go to scim and anthy.  

Are you completely fluent in Japanese?  Just learning?  What about
Gnu Linux in general?  Are you familiar with it in English?

There is a distribution called Berry Linux, it runs from a live CD,
meaning you don't have to install it, that will put you in a completely
Japanese environment and Japanese just works.  

I'd say take a look on your CentOS CDs and see if any of them have some
of these packages. I think you will need kterm, regardless.  That's a
terminal program that can display Japanese.   Then see if you have scim,
anthy and scim-anthy.  

Are you familiar with searching the CD's?  You would mount it, go into
the RPMs directory and see if you can find these with something like 

ls | grep -i anthy.

> weeks of configuring my Linux desktop to use Japanese, I've never touched the 
> same setting twice.

Probably not.  I did a bit of reading in preparation for redoing my
page, and saw exactly what you mean.  
> It also means that after fiddling with some setting, I ask on a mailing list 
> about why it didn't work, and someone gives me an answer that probably works 
> for their set up, but because they most likely followed a different route to 
> get there, it doesn't seem to apply in my case. Surely it can't be that 
> everyone has a completely different method of Japanese (or other languages) 
> input, and yet it seems that way now.

Heh, I recognize these signs of frustration.  Keep in mind that there
are several hundred Linux distributions (though perhaps only a few main
ones, upon which most of the others are based) and each has their own
way of doing things.

> Getting more specific to Scott's page. It does seem like the intention was to 
> help people unfamiliar with Linux, like me, which is good. But, as mentioned, 
> it's a little "breathless". There's a lot of information that is in a long 
> continuous block of text that is hard to keep up with.

See my excuse for that last night.  :)  It started dealing with nothing
but RH 7.1 and grew.  In a week or so, it'll be better.  

> For example, right off the bat the web page starts out with "I'm assuming you 
> have everything installed". Um... I'm not sure I do, and I'm not sure what 
> "everything" is.
> " Be sure that you are using a kterm rather than an xterm". I probably need to 
> go hunting around on the net to find out what these are. I'm hoping to be able 
> to switch to and from Japanese input within programs like Firefox, Thunderbird, 
> and OpenOffice. Where and how kterm or xterm fit into that equation, I don't 
> know, so this is losing me.

Ok, thank  you.  That will help me in the rewrite.  It counts as a
valuable bug report.  (That's not sarcasm.  The page is written for
newcomers, and as one gets more experienced, they take things for
granted, forgetting that they didn't know that once.  kterm and xterm
don't really fit into that situation.)

> Anyway, I open up a terminal window and type:
> [ ~]$ kinput2 -canna &
> [1] 4464
> Okay, well that did something. What next?
> [ ~]$ export LC_ALL=ja_JP
> [ ~]$ export LANG=ja_JP.eucJP
> [ ~]$ export XMODIFIERS=''
> Alright, I hope I'm with you still. The commands don't return errors, but 
> nothing has happened.
> " Now, various applications will also work in Japanese" the web page says.
> Okay, I start up Thunderbird. Start a new mail window. Press shift+space. No 
> Japanese input there. Press ctrl+space. Nope, nothing. Hmm...
> Okay, how about this?:
> [ ~]$ LANG=ja_JP.eucJP kedit
> QInputContext: no input method context available
> QInputContext: no input method context available
> And now I have no idea what's going on. And I don't know what relevance, if 
> any, all this variable switching has to the "input method switcher" on my panel 
> which seems to be doing nothing.

Yeah, it sounds as if you are using scim--I found the pages had too much

Ok, for your purposes, don't worry about kterm right now.

> I hope that explains why the web page confuses me.

Yes, it's a big help--again, it is going to be rewritten more or less
from the ground up, hopefully by the end of this week.

> If you can point out where I've gone wrong in this, I would be greatly 
> appreciative.

Err, by not knowing everything?  :)

I hate to leave you hanging, but I'm in NY and will be sleeping very

If you could do the following, it would be helpful (because I'm not
famliar with centos).

First update your locate database.  This will take a little time, but
will save us time later.

As root or with root privilege


When that's done, please try

which scim

I think you'll get an answer, if you don't, it means it isn't installed. 


locate anthy | more

locate scim-anthy.  | more

(just as I typed them with the pipe | and the word more.  

Also please do 

locale -a | grep ja_JP

We want to see if it comes back as ja_JP.UTF-8 utf8 or whatever.  

In general, tlug is oriented towards the more experienced, but if worst
comes to worst, we'll take this offlist.  (That's not a putdown, we were
all beginners at one point, and although there are a few good articles
on Japanese in *nix, the majority are in Japanese.)  :)

- -- 

Scott Robbins

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Spike: Oh, listen to Mary Poppins. He's got his crust all stiff 
and upper with that nancy-boy accent. (everyone looking at him)
You Englishmen are always so... (pauses) Bloody hell! (ticks off 
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oh God! I'm English!
Giles: Welcome to the nancy tribe.

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