We need a fundamental change …

… in the way we input text into computers.

Just watched a Youtube video of a Japanese explaining how they input sentences on an English keyboard, to construct Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji glyphs. That sucks, but it is SO weird that they don’t use a dedicated keyboard. Even stranger, other languages such as French (see the first comment) can’t even input their own characters such as diacritical capital letters, so they are re-inventing the AZERTY keyboard.

Years back I reprogrammed a keyboard controller on a mainframe so that I could learn Dvorak keyboards. To my real surprise I found that within a couple of days I could type reasonably fast using the new layout. The real challenge? Doing technical things (I was a programmer) that occasionally required me to find things on the actual keyboard.

There’s the rub.

ASCII and the extended EBCDIC are pretty reasonable, IF you are an English speaker. That’s the whole reason for the invention of Unicode: expand the code space so that other languages can have space! Before that it was DBCS attempting the same. Now along come emojis and we all get funky. But there is a fundamental disconnect between our spoken and written languages AND our text input methods that requires us to learn no less than three or four ways of using it for communication.

Take the swipe type keyboards. These work great for you if you have learned by heart how to type fast on a QWERTY keyboard. I type really really fast on them an it is only autocorrect that gets in the way. But, I am going through three stages of conversion

  • I compose a sentence in my hear
  • I visualise this in QWERTY layout
  • I swipe through the glyph that represents the keypresses
  • The word appears on the screen.

Essentially, I have reinvented a chinese or japanese way of writing, but for English.

That’s pretty amazing, and someone somewhere should write a book about it.

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