Using non-ascii symbols

Terry Hancock hancock at
Fri Jan 27 19:12:23 EST 2006

On Fri, 27 Jan 2006 12:50:03 -0600
Runsun Pan <python.pan at> wrote:
> On 1/27/06, Magnus Lycka <lycka at> wrote:
> > Actually, it seems that recent habit of sending text
> > messages via mobile phones is the prime driver for
> > reformed spelling these days.

OMG ru kdng?

Make it stop!

Well, let's just say, I think there should be different
standards for "write once / read once" versus "write once /
read many".  The mere use of written language once implied
the latter, but I suppose text messaging breaks that rule.

> Well, to solve the problem you can either (1) reform the
> spelling of a language to meet the limitation of mobile
> phones, or (2) advancing the input device on the mobile
> phones such that they can input the language of your
> choice. For most asian languages, (1) is certainly out of
> question.

IIRC, back in the 1990s there was a *lot* of work in Japan
on optical character recognition, and especially "digital
ink" or "stroke" recognition. With all the pen tablets out
these days, it seems like that would be an awfully good way
to handle ideograms.

First of all, they are, much more than Western alphabets,
strict about stroke order and direction (technically the
Roman alphabet is supposed to be drawn a certain way, but
many people "cheat" -- I think that's harder to get away
with with Asian characters, because they tend not to look
right when drawn wrong).  And when you have the actual
stroke sequence data as input, recognition is easier and
more reliable (I think that was the point behind the
"graffiti" system for the Palm Pilot).

Terry Hancock (hancock at
Anansi Spaceworks

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