Mixing Languages and Mac OSX

cowhead cowhead at ztv.ne.jp
Mon Jun 10 15:49:01 EDT 2002

Manuel writes:
>Are you not confusing macOS X vs macOS and Unicode vs conventional
>With the conventional 1 byte coding you have 256 spots (only 128 in DOS
>Windows) which leaves more than 200 hundred possible chars.

>UNICODE uses TWO bits per char which extends the possibility to over
No, as I understand it, 2 byte fonts (note: not bits, but bytes) were
around long before Unicode.  Unicode just tries to conventionalize it.
But all or most of the Apple 2 byte font 'language kits' are now bundled
(and free!) in OSX.  Actually, the OSX applications that use Unicode
(Mail, TextEdit etc) do not work (yet) nearly as well as the apps
specialized for these languages.  For example, if you send Japanese with
Apple's new Unicode Mail,  it often comes out garbled on the other side,
whereas sending the same message in, say, Jpanese Netscape, is no
problem.  And Jpnese Claris works/appleworks works far better for
Jpanese than does unicode savvy TextEdit.  The important point is, you
can buy just ONE OSX anywhere in the world and run all of these
excellent language specific applications (forget unicode!) perfectly,
without having to pay for, install, or hassle with any 'language kits'.
It's a real marvel.
We are pretty happy that the Phenicians came up with the alphabet!*
It's efficient for languages with complex syllable structures (like
English) but it makes learning how to read hell.  It's practically
impossible to say, for example /b/ (or any other plossive/stop) without
adding a vowel at the end.  This confuses the heck out of kids. BUH EE
....RHA. ????? Oh, BEER!

mark mitchell

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