Updating MSKLC (part 1) for the sake of the Universal Shaping Engine

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2015/06/08 16:40 +00:00, original URI: http://www.siao2.com/2015/06/08/8770668856267196464.aspx

First, link to part 0....

At first I was going to start this series at the beginning, but then I realized that this series is all about you, and what people are thinking about and worrying about. It all starts with the Windows 10 updates for script and language support (ref), and the Universal Shaping Engine (ref).

As Microsoft moves to the next phase of Unicode character support, it is tempting to worry about how existing tools and technologies like MSKLC will be affected. And somewhere between GDI and Uniscribe and GDI+ and WPF and rumors of The Next Best Thing, it's easy to remember how not every one those exciting updates did anything to help the actual business of text support and in particular keyboard layout support, since each update had "Some Assembly Required", which is Microsoft's way of saying "Do a bunch of work yourself or find someone else to do it with new OpenType fonts and so on and absolutely everything will be more fabulous and sparkaly".

Personally, I never found that to be very reassuring. Even if Microsoft announces YAHF (Yet Another Huge Framework) and somehow gets everyone excited enough to do something about it, in the end it is YAHF, and that just means more stuff to remember, and even worse more stuff that people will forget along the way. And tools like MSKLC that are Win32 and WinForms based can and do and have often suffered for their troubles, because as one of the best examples in the world of needing respect for backwards compatibility often suffers from a huge horking lack of backwards compatibility.

Think of this as, for lack of a better way to think of it, as the bad news.

But there is also some really good news, too.

Because keyboard layout support does not require MSKLC to fully support every newfangled font and script and language to work properly. If the support isn't there yet and a new keyboard layout looks like a bunch of notdef glyphs, you can still use the force, trust your feelings, and manage to author some kickass and cool keyboard layouts.

If Microsoft does manage to update MSKLC and they forget something, MSKLC will still work properly because it doesn't rely on YAHF or The Next Big Thing to get your work done.

To sort of quote the immortal Bill Murray and his early breakaway hit Meatballs, it just doesn't matter if MSKLC gets updated or it doesn't. It just doesn't matter.

It just doesn't matter.

It just doesn't matter.



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referenced by

2015/06/10 Updating MSKLC (part 2) for the sake of being ARMed somehow?

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