Apple Indian Language Kit

JR Gardner jgardner at
Thu Apr 24 16:35:38 UTC 1997

Indian Languages on the Apple are truly computer savvy with the new kit.
Apple's ILk uses the "f" key for the virama/halant.  It is a fairly
accessible and convenient key.  They did this--to my understanding--in
order to maintain compliance with both ISO 8859 (the Indian equivalent in
8-bit coding is ISCII) and Unicode/10646 (16 bit) and allow the software
to generate the conjunct characters.  As has been noted many times on this
list, the conjuncts are not characters unto themselves and thus should not
be Hex-code points.  The "f" key functions as a hot key to invoke the
worldscript software to generate an appropriate glyph combining the
respective consonants.  Thus, leaving each code point as a specific
complete consonant in its glyph form, typing "str" instead of s/f/t/f/r
gives satara, not str.

Considering the future of mac OS-- to run on multi-platforms via the PPCP
(formally called Chirp) chip, this ILK solution is well-worth
investigating.  In addition, the folks at Cupertino tell me that a
transliterator is also in the works which will facillitate conversion of
the ITRANS databases of e-texts into ILK-- another very attractive issue.

In short, this ILK is intuitive (one can choose from a QWERTY or standard
Indian keyboard layout) and easy to use, it's gentle on memory and, above
all, it makes Indian languages an actual TEXT-- not simply a font.  It
means that anything you currently do--on the web, wherever--with text, you
can now do with these Indian languages.  They are also quite attractive
with no disintegration at any point size.

It has been noted that the Vedic accent is missing. I am looking to
program these for Apple as a third-party developer (once I get done with
dissertation work!).

Inquiries welcome,
John Robert Gardner                      Obermann Center
School of Religion                         for Advanced Studies
University of Iowa                       University of Iowa
319-335-2164                             319-335-4034

It is ludicrous to consider language as anything other 
than that of which it is the transformation.

On Thu, 24 Apr 1997, Ralph Bunker wrote:

> Check out this website for info on the Apple Indian Language Kit:
> It seems that you HAVE to type a virama to make a consonent appear in its
> partial form. Wouldn't it be better just to type a conjunct consonent and
> have the computer figure out which consonents appear in partial form and
> which do not? So instead of typing 's(v)t(v)r' where (v) is whatever
> character Apple uses to type a virama (or halant as they call it), just type
> 'str'. Is there some cultural reason why viramas must be typed?
> --ralph

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