Input Method API Makes
Tatsuo L. Kobayashi
Digital Culture Research Center
- A Fable -- Pre-history of IM (Input Method)
- Confusions between hand-writing and type-writing, which make contradiction between keystroke and internal representation
- Brief History of IM in Japan
- Our Project
Associating Keystroke with Internal Code -- Contradiction
- Sorting result varies according to the coding system.
- In some countries sorting order is influenced by the language priority.
(which should be regarded as another problem other than IM)
- At present, these various Coding schemes have many effects on IMs/ keyboards.
- Moreover, IMs/keyboards have effects on internal processing of OS and applications.
- We want to choose our convenient IMs/keyboards independent of internal representation and processing.
You can get Human Friendliness and
- Separation of IM from application brings about independent optimization for IM and applications.
IM c for human friendliness
applications c for machine
- It also makes it easy to port applications to the other languages and to multilingualize.
- Japanese IM is a successful illustration.
Brief History of IM in Japan (1)
- Early word processing software for personal computers had Kana-Kanji transfer system inside application itself in Japan as well.
- When Microsoft started to supply a function of FEP (Front End Processor) by MS-DOS in 1983, Justsystem promptly adopt this function and separated Kana-Kanji transfer system as FEP
- There were many similar cases regardless OS: Wnn on Unix in 1987 and Kotoeri on Mac in 1992 took the concept of FEP.
Brief History of IM in Japan (2)
- FEP mechanism realized free use of Kana-Kanji Transfer on various applications.
You can input Japanese even on English applications by using FEP with a few exception.
(In the beginning, there was some confusion between 8bit and 16bit.)
- Introduction of FEP greatly lighten the burden of application vendors.
- FEP function becomes plentiful.
- Now IM itself supplies various functions, such as high level natural language processing.
- It increased Justsystemfs competitive power and produced many business chances.
ATOK / The most famous IM in
- Advanced Technology of Kana-Kanji Transfer
- One of the oldest Japanese IM for PC (Since 1983)
- Together with Ichitaro, a Japanese Word Processor, ATOK was sold more than 10 Million sets
Input Methods offered by ATOK
- Direct Readings-Input from Keyboard
- Other input methods
- Search by Parts of Kanji
- Search by number of strokes
- Search by character codes
Character Pallet of ATOK (1)
Character Pallet of ATOK (2)
IM in the near Future
- Recognition of Hand-writing
(MS-IME97 by Microsoft)
- Recognition of Human Voice
iVoice ATOK by JUSTSYSTEM and IBMj
- Machine Translation
(Japanese to English:WX? by AI Soft)
- Multi-lingual IM
(Chinese, Korean:Wnn by Omron)
Our Project (Present State)
- Find out necessary conditions of Japanese FEP
- Verify adaptability of this interface to the other Asian characters and cultures other than Kanji
Your wisdom and cooperation would be much appreciated
- Develop new API independent of Coded Character Set
Make clear the problems of each Coded Character Sets
Our Project (Mission)
- Cultural factors should be determined freely by themselves of the culture.
- human factors (such as keyboard)
- computer factors (such as OS)
- should be separated from each other.