Unicode and Windows Vista (repost)

Devin Asay devin_asay at byu.edu
Mon May 3 14:04:31 EDT 2010

On May 3, 2010, at 11:27 AM, Richmond Mathewson wrote:

>  On 03/05/2010 19:51, Devin Asay wrote:


>> Do you know if any other of your Devawriter users are on SnoLeo, Vista or Win 7. If so, are they seeing the same issues?
> I do know that various versions of Devawriter have been downloaded at 
> least 7000 times; how many of those
> are repeats I have no way of knowing; but considering at one time I was 
> popping out upgrades every 2 days
> probably quite a few. I am absolutely sure the vast majority of those 
> downloads were by people who were
> curious to see a 'funny' Indian writing system rather than having an 
> interest in Sanskrit as such (let's face
> it, it is not everybody's cup of tea).
> Feedback has been thin; a few nice notes from Profs of Sanskrit who, 
> while being experts at Sanskrit are
> probably not well-versed in computers.
> The chap using Vista is the first corresponding critic I have had, and 
> he has proven most informative and
> helpful (especially as he is encoding a fairly large collection of his 
> grandfather's Sanskrit poems, so knows
> what he is doing with the language as well as feeling reasonably 
> comfortable with a PC).
> Initially there was some odd feedback on versiontracker:


> they are both from Snow Leopard users; whether they got as far as the 
> Vista chap I don't know: I offered
> off-line correspondence to these 2 and have had nothing back.

Interesting. I only recently switched to Snow Leopard. Out of curiosity I just downloaded Devawriter. (Beautifully done, by the way.) Unfortunately my knowledge of Sanskrit is nil, so I don't really know what I'm doing. 

However, I can report that Devawriter launched without a hitch. And I had no problem at all with the font; the Devanagari characters appear just as they are on the virtual keyboard. In addition, the vowel markings on the Vowels keyboard seem to insert themselves properly above or beneath the previous character. If you know exactly what problem your Vista user was, I'd like to try to duplicate it in SnoLeo. At the very least it might be possible to isolate it to Vista.

Incidentally, what method are you using to "type" the unicode characters into the composition field? In my (much more static and rudimentary) Russian vocab tutor app, I resorted to using html unicode entities to "switch" accented characters off and on. Essentially I stored the original Cyrillic word lists as UTF8, with discrete acute accent chars as "place markers" for accented syllables. Something like this (hope the unicode comes through in email:)


Then I would convert them to Unicode UTF 16 and store them in a field and grab the htmlText. After that I would do a straight replace of a ´ or a ´ with a ́, a unicode char that's supposed to overtype the preceding character. My code to switch accents on and off looks like this:

 put the HTMLText of fld pFldName into htmlholder
  replace "Lucida Grande" with "Geneva CY" in htmlholder
  if the hilite of btn "showstress" of cd "main" then
    replace "</font>´" with "́</font>" in htmlholder ## Could be conditionally deleted if want to turn accents off
    replace "´" with "́" in htmlholder
    replace "´" with "" in htmlholder ## Could be conditionally deleted if want to turn accents off
    replace "´" with "" in htmlholder
    replace "́" with "" in htmlholder
  end if

Clunky-looking, I know. But until Snow Leopard it has worked perfectly, overtyping the preceding Cyrillic char with the acute accent. In SnoLeo it instead places the accent over the following char. When I saw your post I wondered if both your and my issues have the same root cause.

Anyway, hope this might jog something in your brain or mine that could lead to a fix.



Devin Asay
Humanities Technology and Research Support Center
Brigham Young University

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