Re: Gimp/GTK+ unicode on windows

(This discussion should have been on the gtk-devel-list in the first
place and not in personal mail to me. I am replying there. Please
let's continue there.)

> The thing is that sinhala differs miles away from English.

Of course I know that. And Microsoft knows it too. As far as I can see
they are trying hard to accommodate more and more scripts, each
Windows version brings support for new ones (both input and output

(Trying to make this into some kind of cultural imperialism issue is
not going to work. The majority of people working on GTK+ and Pango
are not native English speakers. internationalisation and Unicode is
very central to the philosophy of the GTK+ stack and GNOME in

> It has around 800
> different letters so typing them through a 102 or 101 key keyboard is some
> what hard.

Sure. it requires some specific convention and mechanism, keyboard
layout or IME, just like other non-trivial scripts, the other Indic
ones being the ones presumably most familiar ones to you.

> The actual layout that comes with the OS is an age old typewriter scheme,

Which OS is that then? XP (which SP?) Vista? Windows 7?

> with that the user doesn't have access to those 800 or so letters.
> And some symbol keys are assigned letters - which really pisses me off :P.

That the input mechanism pisses you off personally is not that
interesting. What does the majority of Sinhala computer users actually
use? How satisfied are they? I don't think it is not worth it for
volunteers like me who have no personal gain to put in any effort to
support something that just a small circle of "hackers" use. But as
the saying goes, "patches welcome". As long as they are clean and
don't break anything else.

Similar claims have been made from users of other scripts/languages,
too, that "yeah, the keyboard layout for our language that comes with
Windows is no good, nobody uses it". But I somehow find that hard to
believe, would Microsoft, with all its resources, really fail to
understand the real needs in a market? Is it just so that the hacker
communities are not aware of what the actual majority of computer
users is using?

It is well known that GTK+ on Windows doesn't support all keyboard
layouts 100%. Not even European ones (for instance the Czech layout is
known to be less than perfectly supported), and for instance the "US
International" layout is problematic too. There has been several bug
reports about various 3rd-party keyboard layouts, or 3rd-party add-on
keyboard software ("KeyMan" is the name of one I think I recall being
mentioned) not working with GTK+.

A clean partial rewrite of the low-level keyboard interface in GTK+ on
Windows might be needed to fix the known problems (and perhaps fix
problems not even known yet). Of course, one should take care to avoid

GTK+ is Free Software. Bugzilla is open, waiting for patches.


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