Andrew Clifford wrote:
I've recently been re-acquainting myself with the
Techno Maori CDROM
and just discovered that the printable texts use the font
HelveticaMaori, which is interesting. Unfortunately, the font
doesn't seem to be on the disk for installing and the link for
downloading the font no longer works.
Can anyone recommend a site for locating this - or similar - fonts,
or know of similar projects? Just curious.
There are two main approaches that can be taken when a language with
unusual characters first meets computers. Users of the language can
adapt an existing character set, by changing less wanted characters to
suit, or they can use an expanded character set that fits everything
in. The former method has historically been the easiest, due to the
limited space in character sets.
So when people started using Maori with computers, they invented a new
character code set by replacing all the vowels with diereses (aka
umlauts) with vowels with macrons. This code set was never formalised
or named as such, but fonts encoding it were called "Maori fonts".
This worked for the people who had Maori fonts, so long as they didn't
want to mix Maori with European languages that used diereses, or to
share their documents in electronic form with people without Maori
fonts (pre-web, this was less of an issue). It was also difficult to
share documents with other people who used macrons, such as Hawai`ians
and Latvians, because everyone had their own more or less informal
encoding system. For example, Hawai`i replaced the vowels with acutes
instead of vowels with diereses.
In recent years a character set, Unicode, has been developed that has
room for every character that has ever been used, and even some that
have not. It allows Hawaiians, Latvians, and Maori to share documents
containing properly formed French and German words, and works with
So, "HelveticaMaori" fits the Maori font character set. It is useful
for documents so encoded, but not for much else. Most of these would
have been produced in the 90s.
Anyone done any research on the inbuilt dictionaries
that come with
cellphones for predictive texting?
A while ago there were just two systems in use -- it might be still so.
So almost whatever model of phone you use, you get the same dictionary
and predictions. I suspect it remains like this only because people
come to rely on their phone's predictions -- a change would be disruptive.
Another thing I've just noticed is that, whenever
I try to type kapa
haka into Microserf Word, it auto-'corrects' it to 'kappa
haka'. Cultural overlays or what?
If you try writing Brian Eno, my
phone gives me Asian Don. John Cage becomes loin acid. I'm sure
there's some fascinating cultural misnomers out there too. Wonder
how hard it would be for Vodafone to add some Maori to the phone's
default dictionary or if this has been discussed/tried?
Maori, with 10 vowels and 10 consonants and regular rules about
fitting them together, would be close to the perfect SMS language.
With a properly designed key mapping you could input almost every
letter with a single keypress, so that texting in Maori would be as
quick as typing (or quicker, when compared to using a macronless en-NZ
Mind you, English SMS input could be almost that fast if the mapping
wasn't so moronic in its design (a single press on the home key should
give you "e" not "j" -- it is as if information theory never