The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 7: That would be a "call and a raise" for Hawaiian

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/11/11 08:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/11/11/10236194.aspx


Previous blogs from this series:

Now Alan asked (early in 2010):

We have many initiatives currently to bring together a computing environment that will facilitate both English and Hawaiian languages.  For example, we are starting to require our enterprise application to support entry/storage/display of Unicode characters, we have engaged via a 3rd party to work with the MS Office folks to develop a Hawaiian spellchecker.  One of the key items was Unicode support at the OS level.  While XP doesn’t do it well, IE7 and up + Windows Vista and up are starting to provide the out-of-the-box experience we need. 

One thing that seems to be outstanding is fonts.  In both out-of-the-box Windows XP and Windows 7, we found only 2 Unicode fonts (Arial and Lucida).  Is there more available?  The Hawaiian language has non-Latin characters.  In the past, we’ve use other things like prepositions to *pretend* (e.g. an apostrophe to represent an okina) but that causes all sort of issue with things like spelling and grammar checker, text parsers, etc.  Not to mention it doesn’t work with any dictionary files.  So font support seems to be insufficient in that area and I would like to know if there are things current available from MS and what the roadmap is on general out-of-the-box Unicode font distribution.

Of course anyone who is a fan, or even a reader, of this Blog knows from part 5 that we are adding Hawaiian - United States in Windows 8, which would nominally making him happier....

But back then there was no such plan. Murray Sargent pointed out to the raised question:

Hawaiian uses the usual Latin script plus the okina, a phonetic glottal stop, which is encoded in Unicode as U+02BB. The Calibri font used by default in Word 2010 has this character. It appears in most other common Western fonts on Windows like Times New Roman, Arial, Cambria, and Courier New. Word 2010 supports Hawaiian language tagging, so I’d think a Hawaiian spell checker is either available or would work if one is added. Others copied may know for sure.

And back then, colleague Stu Stuple pointed out:

Word will look for a dictionary for any defined tag so it is possible to create an Hawaiian speller. Note that is an Office component, not part of Windows.

This kind of says it all.

It has been in all the core fonts for some time, and Word was thinking about this before Windows got the notion of being involved.

Back then, John McConnell pointed out as a sanity check:

AFAIK, the only input issue with Hawaiian is the ‘okina. The character was added to Unicode a few years ago and has been in the core fonts nearly as long. Anyone could create a Hawaiian keyboard (with ‘okina) using MSKLC. When I’ve visited the islands, I’ve noticed that public signs don’t use the ‘okina, but use apostrophe instead. Input should also not be an issue.

Now between part 4 of the series (which allows Windows to add keyboards that aren't necessarily locales) and part 5 (which makes Hawaiian a locale), we are covered now.

Though the one item -- adding the 'okina to the "complex script" character list (so that if it isn't in a font, it will be found anyway) is the last part -- and that is a part of Windows 8, too.

It would be on them to provide for a speller how Hawiian in Office 15, I suppose? :-)

No idea what their plans are in this area.

Originally it was the "poster child" for the "localeless keyboards" feature in Windows before we made that a non issue by adding it anyway. But it is unclear whether our "off the cuff" plans would cause them to do something, too.

Now I suppose in the [now friendly!] rivalry between Office an Windows, this move in Windows 8 would (in Poker terms) be a "call and a raise" for Hawaiian....

This blog brought to you by ʻ (U+02bb, aka MODIFIER LETTER TURNED COMMA - typographical alternate for U+02BD or U+02BF, used in Hawai`ian orthography as `okina (glottal stop))


Stuart on 11 Nov 2011 9:14 AM:

It makes me completely irrationally happy to see "This blog brought to you by..." back again! :)

Michael S. Kaplan on 11 Nov 2011 10:09 AM:

I don't know, this one was kinda obvious. You should hold out for the sponsorships with some deeper, layered meaning.

Stuart on 11 Nov 2011 12:58 PM:

I just think that the sponsors give the blog added (wait for it) *character*... :)


referenced by

2012/10/26 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 28: We finally fixed that 'Install New Languages' thing!

2012/10/02 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 27: No, the T and the H aren't silent...

2012/08/20 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 26: Hey Windows 8, there's someone on the phone for you.

2012/07/11 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 25: Something old, something new, something repurposed, and something...

2012/06/07 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 24: I Adar you! Hell, I Double Adar you! (Windows 8 ed.)

2012/06/05 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 23: Tamazight? Outta sight!

2012/04/12 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 22: Digit Substitution 2.0

2012/03/08 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 21: The Windows 8 Hijripalooza extraordinaire!

2012/03/02 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 20: Yes, it's Bangla. Not Bengali!

2012/02/21 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 19: In honor of International Mother Language Day...

2012/02/15 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 18: Two scripts that share ten digits can be trouble

2012/02/02 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 17: Today I feel like translating you more than before

2012/01/24 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 16: We can't scale to a Xishuangbanna Dai locale, but…

2012/01/17 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 15: Fixing our listings up in Windows 8!

2011/12/22 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 14: Tifinagh, Tamazight, and Berber? Oh my!

2011/12/21 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 13: Divvying up locales, yet again!

2011/12/09 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 12: Logic dictates that we keep a sense of proportion about the RATIO

2011/11/23 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 11: What language is that keyboard for?

2011/11/22 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 10: Perhaps it is best to think of it as unintelligent design?

2011/11/16 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 9: Nastaleeq vs. Nastaliq? Either way, Windows 8 has got it!

2011/11/15 The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 8: [Finally] taking care of some [more] languages in Pakistan

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