Report of an IME that splits and separates more Hangul by 9 am than most IMEs do all day

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/01/01 03:01 -05:00, original URI:

(apologies for the title; I fought it for days, but it just kind of had its way with me and refused to back down!) 

The question that came in the other day:

ok, i read about your theory thing about Hangul, and i was actually having a trouble with installing Korean on my keyboard... i did install Korean, but however, it comes out to be the second type of korean that you talked about where all the letters come out seperately, not connected... also the place of the letters are different from my previous computer... i need to talk to my family in Korea, but i can't type anything correctly in Korean... please help me. i want 한국어, not 한국어, you know? please help me. thank you

I am pretty sure this was a reference to that post from this past July (We're off on the road to Korea! We certainly do get around...) or maybe the original one it linked to (Traditional versus modern sorts).

But as far as I know, there is no IME that Microsoft ships in Windows that ever produces separated Jamo (conjoining or otherwise) on anything but incomplete sequences (and even then it is only the non-conjoining ones); they all produce Hangul. Which suggests three possible answers here:

For now, the solution in any case would be to switch to the built in IME and let it construct Hangul syllables as needed. :-)

On an only somewhat related note, I have gotten lots of positive feedback from native speakers of Korean both inside and outside of Korea who have expressed frustration at the position of standards organizations within Korea and the negative impact it has had within Unicode, ISO's WG2/10646, and within country. The distance between the people working on these standards and the actual users of the language grows every day.

I suppose you could say I serve Microsoft (those less charitable would call me a shill for Microsoft), though since I have been strongly encouraged to keep the customer focus for the entire time I have been here, it is probably more accurate to say I serve customers, or at least try to. Given that, my frustration about the situation grows every day as well....

I also have to wonder whether Apple gets into any trouble given their preference for Normalization Form D, given Korea's antagonism toward it as it applies to Hangul/Jamo? Wouldn't support on the Mac actually force this whole issue once and for all?

Microsoft, as a mostly "Normalization Form C" shop that is kind of late to the Unicode Normalization game in terms of support, has less vested of an interest in the C vs. D debate here than Apple does, other than the whole customer thing I mentioned!

I don't have a Mac or I'd probably be testing this all out more just because it is an interesting area to me (to be honest, at this point I don't know where I would put a Mac if I had one, though I suppose if I won one in a contest or something I'd probably go buy a bigger table!). But are there any Mac users out there who know about the story with Korean on a Mac and how it is supported?


This post brought to you by  (U+1112, a.k.a. HANGUL CHOSEONG HIEUH)

# kz on 1 Jan 2007 10:16 AM:

This may help:

The situation that you said comes ... funny. It's impossible for normal Windows IME as you know. If you want further sort of IMEs not from MS, here comes two;


# Tom Gewecke on 1 Jan 2007 2:16 PM:

I think Apple only uses Form D internally in the OS X file system.  If you type Korean text, the result is Form C (syllables).  

I'm sure you can find room for a Mac Mini, 8 x 11 x 12 :-)

# Tom Gewecke on 1 Jan 2007 2:22 PM:

Sorry, wrong dimensions for the Mini.  Should be 6.5 x 6.5 x 2.  The others were for the box it comes in.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 1 Jan 2007 2:42 PM:

Right, but what happens if you create a file with a Hangul name, and then what happens if you create a document based on a list of files?

That kind of easy back and forth is the thing that has the Korean standards folks so unhappy....

# Michael S. Kaplan on 1 Jan 2007 3:16 PM:

As for the Mac Mini, it is never the computer that takes up the space -- it is the monitor and so forth (and those never take up less room). :-)

# Tom Gewecke on 1 Jan 2007 4:09 PM:

You're correct, even copy/pasting filenames into a document results in Form D.

You don't need another monitor, you can just switch one of the ones you  already have over temporarily or play with the Mini via VNC or something similar:-)

Do you know where I can get a font with OT tables for Old Hangul syllables?  I'd like to see if I can get it work on my system.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 1 Jan 2007 4:20 PM:

There are ones that the Korean versions of Office used to ship which are no longer available (they are the ones I used for that blog post). Lots of people are trying to get something out there, given all the work in OT and MST to make the functionality work, but I don't know of any publicly available options, yet....

My other computers are all laptops with docking stations and external monitors, which makes the switcher idea impractical unless I were to get that new table (which I wouldn't do unless I won the Mac, as I pointed out!). Plus, I'd probably want a laptop anyway....

# Norbert on 2 Jan 2007 5:36 PM:

Yes, the use of NFD in file names causes problems - they remain NFD when pasted elsewhere, so that searching for them typically doesn't work anymore, even though Korean text in NFC and in NFD renders identically on the Mac.

To get a Mac without another table, you could replace one of your current laptops with a MacBook. All current Macs have Intel CPUs and can run Windows XP along with Mac OS X. Depending on how often you plan to switch between Mac OS and Windows, you can use Apple's Bootcamp software (which requires rebooting) or Nova Development's Parallels Desktop for Mac (which can run both OSes simultaneously).

# Michael S. Kaplan on 2 Jan 2007 6:13 PM:

At the moment, I cannot decommission any of my existing laptops in favor of a MacBook. Though I'll keep it mind for the future. :-)

How about Old Hangul? Does it render correctly on the Mac?

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