Text-mode apps (Was :Who are the "spacists"?)

Mikhail V mikhailwas at gmail.com
Sat Apr 1 18:16:24 EDT 2017

On 1 April 2017 at 18:00, Steve D'Aprano <steve+python at pearwood.info> wrote:
> On Sat, 1 Apr 2017 12:17 pm, Rick Johnson wrote:
>> Most people just quietly change the filename and move on
> There are over a billion people in China, almost a billion more in India,
> about 140 million people in Russia, nearly 130 million people in Japan, 250
> million in Indonesia, about 290 million native Arabic speakers, and even 9
> million speakers of Hebrew.

Well, this is obvious, different characters in different
parts of the world, ministries of education, etc.
But will the sky fall if people name files using
latin letters? Look, I am Russian, nothing to do
with Ugly American :)
At my work I quietly change all filenames to translit.
This is for _simplification_ of all automation processes and
some other purposes. It makes my work with digital
materials seamless and as a positive side-effect makes
it easier for external service-providers to avoid
different surprises.
So it is _not_ in the first place because some software
cope badly with unicode, but because it is natural
and logical to use same glyphs for any language
(but strangely, many have difficulties with understanding
this, well.. the time has not come yet, let's wait few
hundreds years more)

BTW, why do you think people in China do not
want to use latin letters? I suppose there are a lot
of haters for those bizarre systems among natives
and indeed, many people stay illiterate simply
because it is too hard to learn and many
have problems reading those.

Let's go back in Europe, e.g. in Germany there were
many movements against those silly spelling rules and
many younger people ignore those in informal writing,
e.g. they write 'were' intead of 'wäre', 'fur' instead of 'für'
and do not capitalise nouns, and they are damn right about it.

So this all is just your personal view on the problem.

This reminds me of one anecdote:
A Pole and a Russian talk about languages:
Russian: our language is better, we have more
letters in our alphabet!
Pole: no, ours is better - we have more grammatical

Also I never install any language packages with software
and use only english versions, anyway most tutorials
will be in english and one can't force developers to
make turorials with screenshots for all languages.
And english UI looks for me always better and more intuitive.

> One of the excellent ways the PUAs have been used is by
> medieval researchers. They have been collecting the various
> special characters used by medieval scribes, and by private
> agreement putting them into a PUA area where special
> purpose software can use it. That way they can determine
> which of the thousands of special characters used by
> medieval monks are actually significant enough to graduate
> to genuine Unicode characters, and which are best handled
> some other way.

Now I don't see who wrote this ^ initially. Suppose Steve?
So IMO this is not an 'exellent' way. If I want to
make e.g. analysis of Voynich manuscript, I'll do
following: extract/draw glyphs and encode them,
say with integers 0..26.
And all rendering and analysis will be performed on
those integers.
For multiple-alphabet rendering I will use some
custom text format, e.g. with tags
<s="Voynich"> ... </s>, and for latin
<s="Latin">...</s> and etc.

Simple and effective.


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