Insufficient documentation, revisited

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/01/17 03:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/01/17/1478366.aspx


Erzengel asks in the Suggestion Box:

You mentioned "Third Party IMEs" in one of you blog posts. Are these actual IMEs that can be plugged into Windows and used in any program that supports IME? If so, where are some articles, etc, that would show how to make these?

MSDN and Google aren't being very cooperative in my efforts to locate information about this.

I specifically want it so that I could type in an artificial language.

Reasonable question, ain't it? :-)

Unfortunately my answer to this question has never been great....

Though coming up soon will be some documentation on the text based TSF TIPs and how to make them work (and I'll be covering them soon, too!). Beyond that, there are many third parties that have written both the old style IMEs (there is a sample in the Platform SDK which has been there for many years, here is a VS 2005 update) and there is some documentation and samples on using The Text Services Framework that I have linked to before (more info here).

But stay tuned, info on these easier to create things is coming soon!

 

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# Michael Friedman on 17 Jan 2007 11:00 AM:

Speaking of IMEs, has Microsoft ever considered writing an English IME?

I know that sounds bizarre, but if you've ever used a Chinese IME (and probably ones for other languages) you're realize it would actually be quite useful.

The Chinese Pin Yin IME I use interprets the Pin Yin I type, determines what character I probably mean based on context and sound, and automatically adjusts both the current character and recently typed characters in the same phrase.  It does a pretty good job of guessing what I want to type and it also gives me easy options to override it with homonyms.

So think about an English IME for non-native speakers.  It would have similar features to the Chinese IME I just described:

1.  Spell check with auto-correct and some kind of warning if my word was definitely wrong

2.  Guesses / suggestions to correct my grammar and word choice (ie. If I write "I is here" it should replace with "I am here" but allow me to override)

3.  Phonetic entry if I don't know a word's spelling

You can build functionality like that into a product like MS Word, but think how much better it would be if it was embedded in an IME so it would be available to all applications on the system.  Given English's ubiquity as a second language you would probably seeing it getting more use than all of the native language IMEs except perhaps for Chinese.

# Erzengel on 18 Jan 2007 6:47 PM:

Great! I'll take a look at the example and Text Services Framework. I don't know how I could have found that myself, so thank you.


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