Re: Optimus keyboard

From: David Starner (
Date: Mon Apr 30 2007 - 14:05:32 CST

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    On 4/30/07, William J Poser <> wrote:
    > A great many minority language
    > users do not need to switch back and forth constantly - if they are
    > going to use their minority language, they just need a keyboard
    > that lets them enter it efficiently. [...]
    > It is true that SOME minority language users will also have to write
    > frequently in a larger language.

    It all depends on what you consider a minority language. Twenty-four
    million people speak Hausa, making it one of the top 50 languages
    ranked by number of native speakers. More enlighteningly, 15 million
    speak it as a second language. I wouldn't classify Hausa as a minority
    language at all.

    The speakers of the indigenous languages of North America speak
    English, French or Spanish, and with few exceptions primarily speak
    English, French or Spanish. Many speakers of minority languages are in
    the same boat, and even those with enough social and community support
    to use their languages primarily are still going to have to switch
    languages to deal with the outside world.

    For computer use, GNOME supports 45 languages (counting only seperate
    ISO 639 codes) and KDE supports 26 (by roughly the same standards). If
    you don't speak one of those languages and use Linux, you're going to
    need keyboard support for one of those languages to most effectively
    use your computer.

    I know enough Esperanto to have poked around the web in that language,
    and I can't imagine trying to use Esperanto alone. I realize there are
    many differences between Esperanto and the minority languages, but
    Esperanto is fairly well supported on computers in many ways. Google,
    GNOME, and KDE all have some support for about 100 languages, and
    Esperanto is one of those languages. That's not true for the other
    4,000 languages in the world. I think that most users of minority
    languages are going to be in the boat of having to use another
    language on a computer.

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