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Re: [tlug] Getting Japanese input working

On 2019-09-23 23:03 +0900 (Mon), Brian Chandler wrote:

> But usability is dire. I cannot find out anything about configuring
> ibus (or anthy)...

For me (Debian 9, `xfce4-panel` holding my buttons), right-clicking on
the icon brings up a short menu, at the top of which is "Preferences."
That brings up the "IBus Preferences" window. This is the `ibus-setup`
program, which can also be run from the command line.

> * I can only change language by poking the (invisible) icon

The "General" tab has keyboard shortcut configuration; the first one
is "Next input method" which on my system defaulted, I think, to
Alt-Space or Meta-Space. I change mine to Ctrl-Space so I can switch
without moving from the home row. (My Ctrl key is to the left of A,
where God intends it to be. The heretics will be struck down one day,
probably by carpel tunnel syndrome.)

Note that "Next input method" places the previously used one in the
next second position the selection list. So for example, I have
English, Anthy and Mozc input methods installed, but after first
starting up using English input method, Ctrl-Space (and releasing
Ctrl) will switch me to Mozc, and Ctrl-Space again will switch me back
to English.

> * Assuming I eventually work out how to assign hotkeys, does anyone
> have advice for how to do it with >2 scripts (not "languages",
> though that's what they get called)? The previous default is
> ctrl-space, which is fine except that it's a single poke, and never
> clear which script you are going to get taken to.

I'm not clear exactly what you're talking about here. There are two
levels you need to deal with when using Japanese: switching input
METHODS (English, Anthy, Mozc, etc.), and switching input MODES within
the input method. English has no input modes; Anthy and Mozc have
romaji, hiragana, katakana, etc.

IBus seems to offer only one (settable) hotkey for "Next input method"
to switch between the methods  as per above. Perhaps there's an option in a
configuration file or something that would allow further key
combinations to jump directly to a specific input method, but I've not
found it. FWIW, on Windows I use Ctrl-Shift-7 and Ctrl-Shift-8 to
select English and Japanese, respectively, and these don't seem to
clash with the way of any application programs.

Regarding input modes:

For me, Anthy defaults to hiragana input, which is what I want, so
I've never bothered poking at it further. I go back to the English
method when I want to do romaji input, and just use the menu with the
mouse in those rare cases when I want to use a different Japanese

Mozc, on the other hand, defaults to direct mode (romaji only; no
conversion) at startup. (It seems that can't be changed, which is
annoying.) So for this I use a custom keymap[1] that has the
following in it:

    DirectInput     Ctrl Tab    InputModeHiragana
    Precomposition  Ctrl Tab    InputModeSwitchKanaType

Thus, when starting up in direct mode I can quickly switch to hiragana
input, and once there I can use Ctrl-Tab to rotate through katakana,
half-width katakana, and hiragana. (This doesn't clash with tab
navigation in programs like Chrome because it's in effect only when
Japanese text input is started.)


> * The "icon" consists of very very dark blue letters on a slightly light
> black background

Changing the background colour (or reducing transparency, if it's
transparent) of your panel (button bar) may help with this.

Curt J. Sampson      <>      +81 90 7737 2974

To iterate is human, to recurse divine.
    - L Peter Deutsch

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