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Re: [tamilinix] Writing in Tamil on Linux: My Experiences

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  • K. Sethu
    Dear all யாவருக்கும் வணக்கம். This is a rather long overdue posting on this thread that I had participated in late November
    Message 1 of 51 , Jun 1, 2005
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      Dear all

      யாவருக்கும் வணக்கம்.

      This is a rather long overdue posting on this thread that I had
      participated in late November 2004 on my layman experiences with tamil
      keyboard layouts. Among those I had then discussed, one was ISIS. The
      use of ISIS in linux platforms is restricted to GNOME desktop environs
      and Unicode encoding combination only, that too for only Mandrake
      versions, Fedora (Cores 2 and 3) and Red Hat versions. ISIS (on linux)
      is a qwerty based phonetic layout closer to GTK2IM-TamilVP (than to
      GTK2IM-Anjal) with minor variations.

      I had then stated that the ISIS as having a major shortfall of no keys
      assigned for ங (U+0B99), ன (U+0BA9) and ழ (U+0BB4) respectively. One
      more that I had similary not found a keystroke for at that time was ஞ
      (U+0B9E). Well, sometime in January 2005, I got an off-list
      clarification mail from Gautam Sengupta, who is the developer of the
      ISIS keyboard and he is also Professor of Applied Linguistics, Center
      for Applied Linguistics & Translation Studies, University of Hyderabad.
      He pointed out to me the keystrokes for these. My many thanks to Gautam.

      The key strokes for the said 4 are as follows (if someone is interested
      in trying out ISIS:

      To get ங (U+0b99) we need to type xm (x followed by m).
      to get ன (U+0ba9) type ;n (semicolon followed by n)
      to get ழ (U+0bb4) type ll (a sequence of two lowercase Ls)
      to get ஞ (U+0b9e) type xn (x followed by n)

      Thus if we take all the tamil base characters in Unicode standard - I
      mean: 01 Ayutham (ஃ), 12 Uyirs (Vowels) and 18 Meis (consanants) as well
      as 4 granthas (ஜ,ஹ,ஸ,ஷ) - for all these the ISIS layout (in Linux) has
      qwerty based phonetic keystroke assignments. Only for the above 4
      (ங,ன,ழ,ஞ) the respective keystrokes may not be easily found out using
      intution alone by a new user, whereas the keystrokes for all other
      characters can be guessed very easily, as is typical with any of the
      other qwerty based phonetic schemes.

      One more key (by all means an important one) I should mention is the one
      for "pulli" (dot) - like the key q in GTK2IM-TamilVP, it is the key \
      that is used in ISIS. For example to get க் the keystrokes are k\ (k
      followed by \).

      The website for ISIS is http://www.bangla.name/isis/ - or to get to the
      site for linux versions quickly, the URL is::

      http://www.bangla.name/isis/download_lin.html
      It gives the links for downloads (for RH 8 & 9, FC 2 & 3 and Mandrake)
      and also instalaltion guide. I have tried this in MDK 10.0 & 10.1 and FC
      3. I found it to be at its best in FC3 in which only in OpenOffice &
      Gedit it has some problems that I haven't sought answers for yet but it
      works well in all of K-Office, K-edit, Mozilla / Firefox / Epiphany and
      Thunderbird.

      For those of you interested in trying out ISIS there is also a forum run
      by the devleopers at:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/isisforum/

      ~Sethu
    • Chaitanya Kamisetty
      ... As I understand this, I think you want to display an application where the menus show up in Tamil. To do this, you could do the following. 1. Create the
      Message 51 of 51 , Jun 9, 2005
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        > iam
        > intrested to know that how the menus and other text
        > fonts are changed. plz any body in this group idea
        > about that plz send me the detials. I want to develop
        > a Notepad and thats menuse look like in tamil fonts.
        > so plz send me the programs or deatialed documenation
        > about that.
        As I understand this, I think you want to display an application
        where the menus show up in Tamil. To do this, you could do the
        following.

        1. Create the application using whatever GUI toolkit you want (gtk or
        Qt)

        2. Use GNU gettext utility to extract the strings in your application.
        The strings extracted will be written in a special files called PO
        files. Check out PO file format for details.

        3. Translate the message strings in PO files to tamil.

        4. Compile the PO files to MO files using 'msgfmt' utility.
        Copy the MO files to the appropriate directory
        (usually /usr/share/locale/ta/LC_MESSAGES/ )

        5. Set locale to tamil and launch your application.
        $ LANG=ta_IN ./application

        This should have given you some idea on how to procede. If you stumble
        upon any specific problems, we will help you out. Good luck!

        --
        Chaitanya

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