From: Philippe Verdy (email@example.com)
Date: Thu May 10 2007 - 19:02:07 CDT
Petr Tomasek wrote:
> Philippe Verdy wrote:
> > What Microsoft did is not relevant here.
> That's exactly what I'm trying to tell: so please stop using the
> way how MS Word (and other word processors which mimic MS Word)
> as an argument on how a particular character should/should not
> be encoded!
> > In fact the problem persists since
> > much longer time, when typewriters were introduced (and IBM did MUCH
> > than Microsoft in this area with its typewriters and terminals sold in
> I don't see any problem here (i.e. I don't see any problem why a
> particular script couldn't use an apostrophe for glottal stop).
For the defense of Microsoft, it inherited from IBM conventions with MSDOS
codepages, before adopting the ISO-8859 character sets, and stopping the
proliferation of codepages, by dropping the unnecessary C1 controls in
Windows. Instead, more useful characters have been introduced very soon for
getting left and right curly quotes correctly.
So Microsoft has not made something to prohibit the use of the correct
characters ; however the national keyboard standards have not been extended
since very long to include the additional characters (with few exceptions
like the Euro symbol)
So don't blame Microsoft, it was up to each country to develop their needed
character subset for the languages they wanted, into a national standard.
Microsoft could not impose it in away that would have also satisfied Apple
Mac users, and other users of lots of terminals...
Given the existing number of keyboard variants, the common part of these
keyboards could not evolve easily to include more characters, even if they
were available on the host system. Really, don't blame too much Microsoft,
but national standard bodies for not studying this seriously by creating a
workshop involving linguists, universities, manufacturers, and software
Too much time has been spent in defining character sets for interchange, but
not enough to define reliable way to input data using those character sets.
They probably thought that auto-correctors would solve the problem, but they
did not, and inputting the correct text is still a problem for most users
except for a very restricted subset of the characters they need for their
For now, there's still NO standard keyboard mapping for all characters used
only in French on keyboards available on the French market... Is Microsoft
responsible? Should Microsoft have forced such adoption by defining required
keyboard maps required for getting the "Designed for Windows" logo? Imagine
what Apple and IBM would have said if Microsoft forced them to change their
keyboards too, without a formal specification made by a national standard
There's only one way to get correct encoding for the future: defining a
standard national recommendation (but for international languages like
French, this requires cooperation, something that the Francophonie
organization should have initiated, so that several national keyboards use
the same characters subsets for writing the same languages).
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