Re: [OT] multilingual support in MS products (was Re: Kurdish ghayn)

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sun Apr 27 2003 - 18:37:07 EDT

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    Thomas Milo <t dot milo at chello dot nl> wrote:

    > IJ as a character is part and parcel of Dutch orthography and
    > included in the Unicode Standard at the request of the Netherlands
    > Standardisation Committee. There is no need to ask approval to use
    > IJ/ij - the only point I am making is, that we still don't have a
    > convenient way of entering it.

    If there really is a need to add keyboard support for this
    Dutch-specific digraph, the change should be made to the Dutch keyboard,
    not to the already overburdened US-International keyboard.

    As Michka pointed out, the problem with a dead-key combination for IJ is
    that the user who presses "I" won't see anything at all until he presses
    another key. A dead-key mechanism that backspaces and replaces the last
    character may seem like a good idea, but again as Michka said, you can't
    really do that with standard Windows keyboard drivers.

    Instead, it might be more appropriate to assign IJ/ij to an AltGr+letter
    combination on the Dutch keyboard. AltGr+J seems like a suitable
    choice, and has the advantage of being compatible with the ISO 9995
    secondary layout.

    I assume Thomas has worked out the difficulties associated with
    increased use of the precomposed IJ and ij characters, such as what to do
    about the mountain of legacy data that uses I+J or i+j and how to allow
    Dutch typists to type "bijoux" and "hijack" and "marijuana" correctly,
    so I won't pursue that topic further.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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