So when is Esperanto coming?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/11/30 07:17 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/11/30/1177646.aspx


Not entirely on topic of my prior post Subsets of subsets of subsets of subsets of subsets, but Bertilo Wennergren asked in a comment to that post:

So when are you going to add an Esperanto locale? There are actually quite a few people using Esperanto in their computers. Probably many more than for some of the languages that are already in that list (Sorbian, Tamazight, Sami, Romansh, Occitan, Mapudungun, Sanskrit...). What those Esperanto people mostly need is actually a keyboard layout. Wouldn't be so hard, now, would it?

Most of the big Linux distros have Esperanto locales and keyboard layouts nowadays. Don't know about the Macs.

I promise we won't sue you (like the Mapudungun people did...).

Heh heh heh, cute. :-)

I hinted at the issues in Fictional could make things less functional and then talked about them more fully And while I'm on the subject, there is the rest of the world (I even mentioned Esperanto there explicitly!). The answer is really there -- we are talking about a general weakness in the locale model that Windows uses.

Obviously architectural problems need to be figured out before we can implement the solutions. :-)

In the meantime, support for custom locales in Vista should ease the pain a bit, since there is a very easy way to support any locale that one wants to create.... especially as one can get all the language support one desires, from locales to fonts to keyboards, and so on....

 

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# Mike Dimmick on 30 Nov 2006 9:11 AM:

The question really is how many people speak Esperanto as their first/native language? How many as their _only_ language?

I suspect the number is approximately zero. The same cannot be said for many of the other languages/cultures mentioned in his comment - adding support for those languages would enable some people to use a computer who otherwise would not be able to.

My neighbours, originally from Poland, have been resident in the UK for a few years. They're pretty good with English - certainly better than I am with French, although I'm pretty rusty - but still prefer to use Polish Windows XP. They asked me to help out with NTL (cable) technical support, to get their broadband connection set up, because they couldn't follow quite what they were being asked to do - the cable setup software was all in technical 'English' jargon. Two foreign languages in one!

# Nick Lamb on 30 Nov 2006 9:51 AM:

"one can get all the language support one desires"

Last time I checked fairly obvious things like collation weren't included in this, so it falls a long way short of what most language users would "desire" or really even tolerate.

# Tom Gewecke on 30 Nov 2006 10:03 AM:

Mac's don't come with an Esperanto keyboard layout either, but making one is a very simple matter, as is typing the extra characters (ĉ, ĝ, ĥ, ĵ, ŝ, and ŭ) using the layouts that do come with the OS.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 30 Nov 2006 10:16 AM:

Hi Tom -- creating a keyboard is pretty easy on Windows, too....

# Michael S. Kaplan on 30 Nov 2006 10:18 AM:

Hi Nick,

Every interested Esperanto speaker I have ever talked to did not have a specific collation for it -- they preferred to use the sort in their country. So we support them quite well with what has been provided for custom locales.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 30 Nov 2006 10:18 AM:

Hi Mike --

Indeed, and this is also a factor here (as is the one I focused on!).

# ikk on 30 Nov 2006 12:42 PM:

***The question really is how many people speak Esperanto as their first/native language? How many as their _only_ language?

I suspect the number is approximately zero.***

As their _only_ language, it is most likely zero. But as their native language, it's not zero, it's around one thousand.

This is a mailing list for "denaskaj esperantistoj"

http://www.helsinki.fi/~jslindst/denask-l.html

***The same cannot be said for many of the other languages/cultures mentioned in his comment***

Well, there are languages in that list that have very few speakers (e.g., Sorbian, Sanskrit), so don't be surprised if there are more Esperanto speakers than speakers of the xyz language.

# Bertilo Wennergren on 1 Dec 2006 5:37 AM:

Thanks for the answer about Esperanto support!

"In the meantime, support for custom locales in Vista should ease the pain a bit, since there is a very easy way to support any locale that one wants to create.... especially as one can get all the language support one desires, from locales to fonts to keyboards, and so on...."

That sounds promising. There is currently a little program that adds support for Esperanto to most any keyboard layout in Windows XP and 9X:

http://www.esperanto.mv.ru/Ek/index.html

It does the job quite well, but no one knows if it will continue to work in Vista since it's a bit of a hack (the E-o proggie that is, not Vista - or?...).

So if Vista allows for making custom keyboard layouts, then things might work out very well indeed. As I said, as long as typing in Esperanto will be possible in Vista, most Esperantist Window users will be happy. There is not much need for a full-blown locale.  (But a spelling dictionary for Office would be really nice, and then a Grammar checker, and...)

# Remuŝ on 1 Dec 2006 7:39 AM:

It's not too difficult to define a new keyboard with MSKLC, but it's not something everybody would do, due to the prerequisites to this program in Windows XP.

What I find more a problem is the way multilingual texts are handled, specifically in OE.

Why not generalize the use of UTF-8 as a default where there is a choice between various languages, instead of ISO-8859-1?

When one communicates with people using a different character encoding, some Esperanto (and other) characters are corrupted.

The minimum to do, is to warn the user that a corruption is likely.

I switched to Mozilla/Thunderbird for this reason.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 1 Dec 2006 7:58 AM:

Hello Remuŝ,

Actually, the strength of MSKLC is not in the notion that everyone would run it, since (as you point out) not everyone would.

(It runs of Win2000 and Server 2003 as well, by the way!)

However, the fact that anyone can put their layouts up on the web and people who want them can get them is quite a big deal -- because something that almost anyone on computers can do these days is download free stuff off the internet.....

For the other (somewhat unrelated) point you raise, to be honest the default language settings in both Internet Explorer and Outlook Express are configurable and in most cases based on the machine's initial and later language settings.

So while I will certainly respect anyone's decision to run whatever browser and mail program they like, it seems like a pretty flimsy reason to make the choice, all things considered? There are likely many sigificant reasons one could find to make such a decision (in either direction!). :-)

Lance Fallin on 9 Sep 2009 1:57 PM:

I actually like using Esperanto to communiocate with others who feel that English is too dominant or difficult to learn, and I am running out of time to study more languages as well. I use Esoperanto to keep myself in practice with any second language possible, and it really is about the easiest there is (aside from maybe Bahasa Indonesia and Swahili?)  and as a result, I have no problems typing and seeing what I type in Esperanto ĉ ŝ ĝ ŭ ĥ ĵ  but I have a problem seeing them as typed by others in say ... an irc environment  #esperanto on freenode for example.  It would be nice to have that, even if i have to install czeĉ language or something?  dankon, ĝis la revido :)

Sn on 24 Sep 2010 8:52 PM:

I use a US International layout, it allows me to easily produce the Spanish accented characters such as ñáéíóú, it would be so nice if typing ^j ^c ^h would produce the desired Esperanto ĵ ĉ ĥ etc.  It probably can be created with the MSKLC, but it would be so much nicer if it comes in default.  Wasn't this what an "international" layout supposed to provide?


referenced by

2010/09/25 Is there any Esperanto in that?

2006/11/30 So when is Esperanto coming? (short version)

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