Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Typing Dhivehi/Maldivian

Dhivehi/Maldivian is spoken by about 350,000 people in the Republic of Maldives. It uses the right-to-left Thaana script, for which OS X does not yet have either a font or a keyboard layout.

For a keyboard layout, try this:

For fonts, try these:

I'm not sure which app will display Dhivehi most correctly -- try TextEdit, Open/Neo/LibreOffice, and Mellel. Feedback from readers about whether any of these do a good job with this script would be welcome.

Monday, September 5, 2011

OS X 10.7 Lion: Possible Fix for Missing Chinese YiTian IM

There have been several complaints in the Apple discussions about the omission in Lion of the YiTian keyboard layout in the Traditional Chinese Zhuyin IM. A recent post recommends Yahoo KeyKey as an alternative:

I don't know enough about this to evaluate it, and would welcome any comments by readers.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Odd Chinese Display Issue

If you are seeing something strange where the Simplified Chinese character 门 (men2, U+95E8) should appear, there is nothing wrong with your system or app. It turns out that the Hiragino Japanese fonts supplied with OS X have an unusual version of this (the left character in the graphic below), which I've been told can be found in Japanese handwriting (see example 2 at this page ). Normally Japanese computer text will have the Traditional character 門 (U+9580) instead.

To fix this display issue, so you get the character on the right side of the graphic, make sure that in System Preferences/Language & Text/Language you have Japanese lower on the list than Chinese, or use the Edit button to uncheck the box for Japanese.

One might consider this to be a bug in the font.  Following the Unicode Standard, this version of the character should be invoked by the data sequence U+95E8 U+E0100 (or E0101), where the second element is an ideographic Variation Selector.