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*... :)
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