[IAEP] Computer as a tool

K. K. Subramaniam subbukk at gmail.com
Wed Aug 12 23:21:02 EDT 2009

On Thursday 13 Aug 2009 2:12:07 am Sayamindu Dasgupta wrote:
> > What have been the issues preventing you from using Sugar? What
> >
> >> blockers still exist which would prevent you from using Sugar?
> >
> > LaTeX and Stellarium were two big show stoppers. We just wanted a
> > 'digital kit' that children could use to read/write in their local
> > languages (Kannada/Hindi/English). A lot of work in Sugar was focussed
> > around UI and storage models but not in multilingual support and
> > immersive learning.
> Could you outline the issues you have faced while trying out local
> language support ? I would definitely love some feedback on this area
> - especially for Indic languages.
This will require a separate thread :-(. But briefly, we faced issues in all 
three aspects - input methods, character encodings and rendering.

Schools use the regular US keyboard for entering vernacular characters. SCIM 
(m17n) was not stable enough when we started. Recent versions are much more 
stable and we are trying them out this year.

Much text work in Kannada is still based on proprietary encodings (Baraha, 
Nudi). Baraha/Nudi were designed for office documents, not school work. 
Transition to Unicode/UTF-8 for text is not yet complete.

Indic truetype fonts don't blend well with text mixing English and Math 
symbols. Kannada scripts involve double subscripts giving them a larger 
average height. Indic text will appear visually smaller in mixed context. You 
will see this effect in mailing lists like Indlinux-group. Fontography is yet 
to catch up with Typography.


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