Re: Subset of Unicode to represent Japanese Kanji?

Date: Thu Jul 13 2000 - 12:55:53 EDT

This is the eternal debate of embedded systems developers. Their displays
won't handle the complex characters, and they can't seem to get enough ROM
to store all of the characters.

I did a project a few years back in which we had to produce the bitmaps
for ONLY the characters ACTUALLY USED in the translation of the UI. Now
there's a limited repertoire!

If you intend to support Japanese for a consumer application, supporting
only kana is maybe *worse* than nothing: you will look like ugly
Americans compared to your Japanese competitors. Kana is a good solution
in specialized applications where users may understand the limitations. I
worked on a handheld medical device powered by two AA batteries a couple
of years ago and kanji was out of the question: two AA batteries won't
power a big enough display and the ROM to store the bitmaps for very long.

I'm just guessing from Michael's signature, but if what you're trying to
do it put text on the back of photos, print text on Picture CDs and other
kinds of consumer operations, then you will be doing yourself no favor in
supporting only kana.



On Thu, 13 Jul 2000, Antoine Leca wrote:

> I am NOT a Japanese speaker (I can only poorly read kana, and with help).
> So here is my supplementary question.
> wrote:
> >
> > Japanese document must consist of:
> ^^^^
> >
> > hiragana: less than 100 characters
> > katakana: less than 100 characters
> > kanji: basic kanji has 6,879 characters as defined in JIS X 0208-1990
> > extended kanji has 6,067 characters as defined in JIS X 0212-1990
> You mean, extended kanji is an absolute requirement for any device which
> intended to dislay some Japanese text?
> > Technically, a Japanese document can be written in all Roman characters, but
> > this is not a true Japanese document.
> I understand easily that this is _not_ the solution (it always needs me quite
> some times when I see my name written in kana or Cyrillic or whatever).
> But: What about a document written only with kanas, without any kanji?
> I know this is far from perfect, that it will hurt (or upset?) the reader
> quite a lot, and will reduce his reading speed to about a small fraction of
> normal, perhaps a tenth (but that's much better than romaji, anyway).
> But is it practical, for example for a small display? (say, 3 lines of
> 20 characters)
> Regards,
> Antoine

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