Wednesday, October 31, 2007

OX 10.5 Leopard: New Dictionary Development Kit

One of Leopard's new language features is the addition of a cool Japanese dictionary alongside the English one in But I see that in the XCode stuff, in Developer/Extras, there is also now a Dictionary Development Kit. Assuming it is not too hard to use, this could open the door to the creation by ordinary users of all kinds of additional dictionaries in other languages.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Leopard Can Use Windows Arabic Fonts

Playing around with TextEdit, I've discovered that the new Leopard can apparently display Windows Arabic fonts correctly. Previously trying to select such fonts would result in disconnected and wrongly-shaped glyphs, so that only Apple's Geeza Pro or other AAT fonts could be used. This was especially a problem in Safari when the user had installed MS Office, which included Arial and Times New Roman fonts with Arabic in them that often got selected by web pages. Persumably this new feature represents expanded OS X support for OpenType font features. My tests indicate that Windows Devanagari and other Indic script fonts are still not supported however. Also Windows Arabic fonts do not work in Pages.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Main FAQ Page Switched to Leopard

The main Multilingual Mac FAQ Page has now been redone for OS X 10.5 Leopard. As I am still learning all the features of the new system, some parts may not be totally accurate, and they will be updated as soon as possible.

The Tiger page is still available here. It will not be updated further, but may be useful for people running that OS and for OS 9. Because Leopard no longer supports OS 9, the main FAQ page will no longer cover it.

OS X 10.5 Leopard: Languages Preference Pane Expanded

The presence and order of the names in OS X's System Preferences > International > Languages pane determines things like system and application localization, font priority, list sorting, and the Mail encoding menu. Normally by default it contains the available system localizations (18 in Leopard), but you can easily add to this by using the Edit button.

The total number of languages you can select depends to some extent on whether you have installed any extra fonts, but even with those provided by Apple it is remarkable, well over 100. I had 110 on Tiger and in Leopard this has increased to 138. A few of the more unusual entries are Klingon, Latin, Navajo, and Sanskrit. If you have a look for yourself, you will see that the languages appear in their own script, but mousing over a name gives you the English translation. You can see a full list here.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

OS X 10.5 Leopard: Asian Script IM Help Finally in English

One very nice new feature of Leopard is that the Help for the Japanese, Korean, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese Input Methods is finally available in English. Previously the only English resources available from Apple regarding these complex systems were old manuals for OS 9. I don't think there is any way to print out all the Help at once, but you can find the files at System > Library > Input Methods ( do Control + Click > Show Package Contents on the IM you want) Contents > Resources > English.lproj.

Unfortunately there is no Help of any sort provided by Apple for the Tamil and Tibetan keyboards, which would also be useful for those not already familiar with the standard ways to input these scripts.

Friday, October 26, 2007

OS X 10.5 Leopard: New Fonts and Scripts

Tibetan: This is the primary new script included with Leopard, covered by the fonts KaiLasa and Kokonor, with 3 input methods provided.

Georgian: Included in the newly-added (but actually old) Windows Arial Unicode font. (This also contains Bengali, Oriya, Telugu, Kannada, Malayam, and Lao, but Leopard has been programmed to ignore them, perhaps because they would not display correctly.)

Shavian: Apple Symbols now has this in addition to Deseret.

No keyboard layout has been provided for Georgian, Shavian, or Deseret.

Reflecting the new Russian and Polish OS localizations, the number of fonts which include Cyrillic and the Latin characters needed for Polish has been significantly increased, and includes Marker Felt and Hoefler text among others.

Scripts included in Unicode 5.0 but for which users will still have to download fonts from other sources are N'ko, Phoenician, Balinese, Phags-Pa, Sumero-Akkadian Cuneiform, Buginese, Glagolitic, Coptic, Tifinagh, Syloti Nagri, Old Persian, Kharoshthi, New Tai Lue, Limbu, Tai Le, Linear B, Cypriot, Ugaritic, Osmanya, Tagalog, Hanunoo, Buhid, Tagbanwa, Old Italic, Gothic, Syriac, Thaana, Sinhala, Myanmar, Ethiopic, Ogham, Runic, Khmer, Mongolian, Bengali, Oriya, Telugu, Kannada, Malayam, Lao.

Here is some info on script support in Windows, which does include a number of those still missing from OS X.

Fixing Leopard's Latvian Keyboard

In the Apple forums some users have reported that Leopard's Latvian keyboard layout has a non-functioning ' deadkey for making the special characters which that language requires. It was OK in Tiger. For a replacement, try downloading and installing LatvianT.keylayout from my iDisk.

OS X 10.5 Leopard: New Keyboards and IM's

After installing Leopard, I found the following totally new keyboards: Tibetan (3 options), Jawi, Kazakh, and Uighur. There is no Kurdish layout, although this language is mentioned as being supported in Apple's Leopard "new features" page.

Other new keyboards which add options to what was already available in Tiger are: Traditional Chinese Zhuyin, Vietnamese Unikey (4 options), Arabic PC, Russian PC, Persian QWERTY, Sami PC, Norwegian Sami PC, and Swedish Sami PC . Traditional Chinese Pinyin is reportedly a totally new version of what went by the same name in 10.4.

Here is the total list for Leopard (an asterix indicates multiple options): Arabic*, Azeri, Armenian*, Belgian, Brazilian, British, Bulgarian*, Byelorussian, Canadian French, Cherokee*, Chinese (simplified and traditional)*, Croatian, Czech*, Danish, Dari, Devanagari*, Dutch, English, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish*, French*, German, Greek (regular and polytonic), Gujarati*, Gurmurkhi (Punjabi)*, Hawaiian, Hebrew*, Hungarian, Icelandic, Inuktitut*, Irish*, Italian*, Japanese*, Jawi, Kazakh, Korean*, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Maori, Nepali, Norwegian*, Pashto, Persian*, Polish*, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian*, Sami*, Serbian*, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish*, Swedish*, Swiss (French and German), Tamil*, Thai*, Tibetan*, Turkish*, Uighur, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Vietnamese*, and Welsh. Plus Character Palette, Japanese Kana Palette, Keyboard Viewer, Dvorak*, US Extended, and Unicode Hex.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Typing Linear B

Linear B was used to write an early form of Greek called Mycenaean. Although there is a keyboard for this script on my iDisk, the layout is arbitrary and not of much practical use. Thanks to Alessandro Vatri there is now a much more professional version, based on phonetic input, available from this page:

Fonts that cover Linear B include Aegean, ALPHABETUM Unicode, Code2001, MPH 2B Damase, and Penuturesu.

OS X Leopard Adds 3 Localizations and 15 Keyboard Layouts

OS X 10.5 Leopard was made available for preorder today, and Apple also published its tech specs and new features.

Tech Specs


These indicate that 3 new localizations -- Russian, Polish, and Portuguese (Portugal) -- have been added to the previous 15. The full list is now English, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Traditional Chinese, SimplifiedChinese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Polish.

New languages mentioned as supported via keyboards/fonts are Tibetan, Kazakh, Uyghur, Kurdish, and Jawi (Malay in Arabic script).

New spell checkers are Russian and Danish. now includes Japanese (with a translation facility) in addition to English.

Here is a list of the language-related items from Apple's page describing Leopard's features.