RE: glottal stop

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu May 10 2007 - 19:02:07 CDT

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    In f

    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
    > more
    > > than Microsoft in this area with its typewriters and terminals sold in
    > US.
    > 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
    solution providers.

    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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