From: Don Osborn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Nov 05 2006 - 14:35:40 CST
I encountered an unexpected problem in trying some extended Latin, Arabic,
Ethiopic/Ge'ez, and Chinese characters on Yahoo Messenger (Beta) 126.96.36.1996.
The only ones that did not appear on my screen and on that of Daniel Yacob
(who kindly gave me feedback on the test messages I was sending) were the
extended Latin ones. Actually they appeared as empty squares on both sides.
I have several "Unicode fonts" on the system I'm running, though, and would
have expected the software to pick up the needed characters from one of them
(letters that the default font - Arial - didn't have). After all the
software apparently did that with the Arabic (in correct RTL order) and
Ethiopic characters. Introducing Chinese characters, which displayed fine
also, changed the Latin font in subsequent text messages until I pasted in
some Ethiopic (not sure of geopolitical implications in all that).
After tinkering with the default fonts I did get some different results.
Latin extended are fine on my screen, but now the Ethiopic is empty squares
in the editing box (wasn't that way previously) but does appear properly in
the dialogue window once sent.
On the other hand, Daniel reports that he still sees the empty squares
instead of the extended Latin characters (which, by the way, are the Hausa
ones that are shown in an old test screen at
http://www.bisharat.net/raba.htm - I copied and pasted).
Daniel also mentioned another issue with Yahoo Messenger that he has
encountered - one cannot compose from a Keyman keyboard. So, for instance,
IM in Amharic needs to be typed in another application (with an appropriate
font and Keyman keyboard) and then pasted into the edit window of the
All this is not to cut down Yahoo Messenger, but to point out some problems
in using it with extended and non-Latin scripts. I personally am curious to
understand better why it couldn't pick up a few hooked letters in a Latin
font while it did so well with Arabic, Ethiopic and Chinese - this reminds
me of an old impression nearly forgotten that in some ways the extended
Latin character ranges (and languages that employ them) fall in the cracks
between the worldwide use of the dominant European character sets and the
demand in many countries to meet the technical challenges of non-Latin
TIA for any feedback.
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