moyogo's little blog

Blogging about Open Source, fonts, language technology, maps and random stuff happening wherever I am.


Linux geek wishlist

One thing that has been on my geek wishlist for a while is the ability to switch the language of a desktop environmnent of a computer without having to log out. I know it's not possible with Gnome... Maybe one day. The problem in itself should be to hard. But I guess you'd end up restart all the currently running applications to have the change come into effect. hmmm sounds like logging out and back in. I guess programs should behave differently too, instead of loading the language variable once, a call could force them to update.

2005-03-22, public bookmarks, tags and social software

I've finally signed up for (or however is it spelled), after only reading good things about it. It seems these social software sites where you can share whatever you find on the web a getting more hype by the minute. For me it all started with social network sites, like orkut and Friendster. Then, this blogging thing, blogger and the likes. Then I tried more folksonomy sites like 43 things, and Flickr which is all about sharing tagged pictures.

About, all I have to say is that it's a great concept. I see how useful it can be. Having your bookmarks accessible from anywhere (with web access), seeing who else shares those bookmarks or has similar ones, and finally but not least, a good way to organized your bookmarks. The tag paradigm is much better than the tree structure. Instead of having a site somewhere as a leaf in a branch of your bookmarks' tree it's found in many place according to how you tag it. This tag paradigmn is much closer to how one thinks. Hmmm should dig deeper in that thought...

Anyhow... let's get back on topic. is great, but since it's pre-pre-alpha it's lacking on a couple of things. For example it's not handling normaization of Unicode perfectly. Basically it is not normalizing string of characters that should be equivalent to one single form. So if you use a character like LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH ACUTE in your tag and then type the same tag but with LATIN SMALL LETTER A followed by MODIFIER LETTER ACUTE ACCENT, they will be two different tags. does not normalizes yet as the W3 Character Model suggests.

Rant of the day: I'm sick and spring isn't here yet!


Lingála, Unicode, A12N, and keyboard layouts

The are very few Lingala Language resources available on the web. Yet the ones that are available are not consistent with one another, i.e. they have different orthographies and spellings. After searching and asking questions here (fr) and there. I seems the correct orthography is with ɛ and ɔ (open e and open o) and with some accents to mark intonations to remove ambiguities. Most written linguistic litterature uses these characters. It seems only regular users don't, most probably because they don't have any way of input. This is why is tentatively made a few Lingala and African (Subsaharian) keyboard layouts (feel free to use, test, modify and email suggestions or questions).

A great references for Lingala characters and more African writings is the A12N (Africanisation) website as well as the linked Unicode notation for African languages. It is unfortunate but true that Unicode does not yet support all African characters (mostly capital equivalent of already supported small letters). For those interested in Lingala, there is a Lingala Wikipedia and a great Lingala dictionnary (fr-ln) by Pascal Grouselle (en-,de-,fr-ln with ɛ's and ɔ's are on their way).