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Re: [tlug] Ubuntu 14.04 Setup, Keyboard Toggling for Jp-En, Etc

Lyle H Saxon writes:

 > But again - why is this so persistently screwed up
 > year-after-year-after-year?

Because Canonical failed to hire me in 2007, is my guess. :-)

More seriously there are a lot of people in the Linux and X11
communities who implement things based on cool ideas (cf.  Localization is a place where the
devil is in the details, so these folks keep creating "new better
bright'n'shiny frameworks" about every other year, when it takes 3
years to whip a framework into acceptable shape and 10 to make it
excellent.  And when it comes to ignoring standards and going your own
way at the expense of compatibility with the rest of the world, that
trend sort of peaks out in Kasumigaseki, doncha know?  You should not
be surprised that "if anything breaks, it will be Japanese".
(Example: I do most of my Japanese typing with Anthy and Canna.  I bet
most of the newer members haven't even *heard* of Canna!  "What ain't
broke yet, don't need fixin'."[1])

There's also a major problem with standards.  The POSIX localization
model is just broken in the world as it is today (it was pretty
marginal back in the 1990s, too, but that's another story).  So to do
a decent job, you really need to support POSIX (because an awful lot
on monolingual-but-internationalized programs[2] follow that standard)
*and* do something else for multilingual usage (eg, TLUGers, who
mostly want Japanese support in the document and English in the
menus, that kind of thing).  But there are no standards (except
Unicode) for multilingual processing, and Unicode, unfortunately, is
like ethnic cuisine in Japan: a lot of effort has gone into avoiding
localization in Unicode as much as possible, and using standard
algorithms for different linguistic features of text across languages.

[1]  I also know enough Japanese that 95% of the time when Canna
doesn't know a translation, I can type something different and get the
characters I want.  "Kids, these stunts are performed by a house-
broken prof.  Don't try this at home!"

[2]  Ie, the program is set up so that you can plug in a language pack
and use that language but no other.)

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