RE: Latin 1 Western-Eurocentric?

From: Paul Dempsey (
Date: Wed Aug 26 1998 - 23:51:46 EDT

You can also use the CharMap utility to pick any Unicode character and get
it into an app via the clipboard. Not as fast and convenient as an IME, but
it works, and is generally available without waiting for NT 5.

There are numerous IMEs and keyboard layouts available in NT 5. You can be
assured that they won't be brain-dead by the time NT ships. One of the
interesting IMEs that ships in NT5 is an IME that lets you enter any Unicode
character by hexadecimal code point (it's labeled as a Traditional Chinese
IME). Of course, you must choose the option to install them, and a default
setup won't include all the languages.

It's a neat idea to have a generic non-language-specific IME that lets you
enter Unicode characters by name. If I had any free time, it might be fun to
write :-) I'd support Unicode character names, HTML entity names, and
hexadecimal at least. I'm not sure what I'd do for CJK.

--- Paul Chase Dempsey
Microsoft Visual Studio Text Editor Development

-----Original Message-----
From: Addison Phillips []
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 1998 6:09 PM
To: Unicode List
Subject: RE: Latin 1 Western-Eurocentric?

NT 5.0 (at least the most recent beta that we have) contains a full IME
system running on the "English" version. There is an early, brain-dead,
Japanese IME for it. Microsoft has promised in public for some time that
this feature is not going away, but is *for real* and will contain
keyboard drivers and IMEs installable for at least the 22 Microsoft
supported languages (and the many more associated locales).

In the meantime, I use a product called Accent Composer, which is very
similar to the ancient DEC compose utility. You can find it here: A *very* useful tool for I18N/L10N folks...



        Addison Phillips
        Director, Technology
        SimulTrans, L.L.C.
        2606 Bayshore Parkway
        Mountain View, California 94043 USA

        +1 650-526-4652 (direct telephone)
        +1 650-969-9959 (fax)
        +1 650-317-0512 (pager) (Internet email) (website)

        "22 languages. One release date."

-----Original Message-----
From: Glen Perkins []
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 1998 5:16 PM
To: Unicode List
Subject: Re: Latin 1 Western-Eurocentric?

Agreed, agreed, agreed.

On machines, or within individual applications, where it's easy for me
enter diacritics, I almost always do so. If it's easy and available
system-wide, as it has been on the Mac since 1984 for many pre-composed
chars, I'm even more likely to do so.

On Windows, I'm likely to skip the diacritics most of the time because
US keyboard drivers (mandatory on US development machines that have to
resemble plain-vanilla customer setups), and the rest of the OS, simply
it too much trouble.

I'm not at all happy about it, though. If it's a somewhat formal
document, I
make the extra effort to use the proper chars, but it's not fun. Where I
make it easy to do without screwing up a development machine, such as
MS-Word, I also use the proper chars, but it's more fun to do so. Word
what is effectively an "IME" or input pre-processor that allows you to
up your own key combinations without monkeying with the system keyboard
driver and screwing up everything else.

I long for the day when the plain-vanilla consumer version of US Windows
will have a system-wide IME, just as all Japanese systems already do.
Japanese, as everyone on this list knows, has a lot more characters than
keys, and they resolve the problem with a smart IME. Once you have such
IME, you don't have to limit it to character entry. You can create your
mnemonic keystroke sequences to insert ANYTHING: paragraphs of
today's date, a bitmap of your signature, anything that could be pasted
the clipboard.

It's high time for us to have such an IME as a standard feature of US
Windows. Even English has "more characters than keys", and few educated
English-speakers limit themselves to English words. We need to be able
easily enter the names and addresses of our customers correctly, both
out of
respect and to avoid mistakes that may cost money. And we'd like to be
enter abbreviations and have the full form automatically inserted the
the Japanese Windows users can.

I understand that something like this is coming in NT 5, but it's hard
tell what features will or won't be in NT 5. Does anyone know?

__Glen Perkins__

BTW, given the widespread use of Word for most non-email documents, it's
still not safe to assume that a typical US or UK document will be
entirely of US-ASCII chars. Regardless of how much effort the author may
take to use proper diacritics, he'll probably use curly quotes and
apostrophes by default, inserted automatically in matching left and
pairs by the "IME" in MS Word.

-----Original Message-----
From: Alain <>
To: Unicode List <>
Date: Wednesday, August 26, 1998 1:44 PM
Subject: Latin 1 Western-Eurocentric?

>A 11:15 98-08-25 -0700, Glen Perkins a écrit :
>>[...] Latin-1 is not at all sufficient for "all scripts based on
>>It's Western-Eurocentric.
>[Alain] :
>... if you exclude French, which ISO/IEC 8859-1 can't handle integrally
>(and France is Western-European, isn't it ?) (; That said, your
>that Latin 1 is not sufficient converges with mine, it is not
>I only disagree with the remark that Latin 1 is Western-Eurocentric. It
>not even at this height. (;
>[Glen] :
>>Most Americans and Brits use Windows or Macintosh for most documents.
>>and Mac have used 8-bit encodings from day one. This discussion is all
>>"legacy documents". Well, outside of some email and unix configuration
>>files, you simply can't assume that a US or UK document is encoded in
>>"US-ASCII". It almost never is (even if some header claims it is).
>>We use curly quotes and apostrophes, we use diacritics on many common
>>English words and to write the names of a large number of our
>[Alain] :
>Ah! Those nice words are dear to my heart, thanks for the intention and
>idealism (sincerely appreciated). However in practice I count on the
>fingers of a single slightly mutilated hand the number of Angles and
>Americans who dare to write my name correctly even if they indeed have
>tools (except for the keyboard (; ). Yesterday again, an appreciated
>American colleague, who asked me to correct a snail-mailing list, said
>I did make fixes, that he could not enter the final E ACUTE of my
>name and the ones in my coordinates. I showed him (and wrote him!) two
>methods to do that on Windows (use the character table of Windows
>Accessories, or use the quick-and-dirty "Alt-Numkeypad-130" method). He
>then answered honestly at last: "Well, even if I now know how to do
>I'm not sure I want to do that".
>I guess it is the average feeling as the results are not there. I
>experience this in practice... every day... with my American and
>friends (some make real efforts and they are very nice [I would say
>are heroic], but they are very few). Good tools are not there yet, one
>admit, in English-speaking-only environments (and even when they are
>if one wants, there is no big will!)
>Alain LaBonté
>Helsingør, nær København, Danmark
>(I translate for Angles and Americans : "Elsinore, near Copenhagen,
>[even if ø and æ are not French characters, I have them directly on my
> keyboard enabled to Québec government specs, which require *all* Latin
> répertoire characters, répertoire which is itself short of 3 French
> characters; our specs are a superset of level-2a-conformance to the
> CAN/CSA Z243.200 standard]
> The revision this year of the Canadian keyboard standard is going to
> French characters <OE>, <oe> and <Y:>, i.e. "OE", "oe" and "Y" in the
> Windows 'ANSI' code, or "¼", "½" and "¾" if one uses Latin 9
> (ISO/IEC 8859-15) encoding, or the equivalent in Unicode even if I
> unfortunately reproduce these yet with any of my pieces of software,
> particular email, nor exchange these data with our EBCDIC systems
> The Canadian keyboard standard is code-independent, it is a
> standard. It can be implemented under Windows (3, 95, 98), under DOS,
> on Macs, under UNIX, Windows NT or IBM 327x terminals, etc. (and it
> indeed implemented on all these platforms, even with the <oe>s on
> 3.1, 95, 98 and NT platforms, unfortunately with a nonstandard,
> blessingly useful, external code, not exchangeable with our other
> platforms... whence Latin 9 as the missing link between current 8-bit
> platforms and software and even with Unicode platforms... this for
> and Finnish-speakers, and Europeans in general for the EURO SIGN).

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