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Some interesting differences between the Japanese and English version of Windows

I was following a discussion on the Squeak Mailing List and found this
interesting discussion regarding the differences in text encoding of keyboard
input and the clipboard for the Japanese and English version of Windows:

J.S. posts his initial problem

… thank you for replying. Perhaps I should have just asked if there was a
Japanse IME for Squeak.

Your page said that you were using the operating system IME, but I couldn’t
get the Windows 2000 Japanese IME to input into Squeak.

Perhaps the problem is that I’m using the English version of Window 2000
with the “Microsoft IME 2000 (Japanese)”.

Y.O. responds

Precisely speaking, the problem is that the Squeak doesn’t know
about this configuration (i.e., English Windows with Japanese IME).

On the Japanese Windows, the clipboard and keyboard input uses
Shift-JIS, but apparently it is not the case for this configuration.

If you can figure out what kind of keyboard input encoding the VM is
receiving, some 10 lines or so of Squeak code should fix the

J.S. responds

Microsoft Word is putting Japanese text into the clipboard in unicode format
in English environment Windows instead of using Shift-JIS.

Probably the IME is entering unicode too.

This is a very subtle but really intrusive annoyance when trying to use
Squeak in a multi-lingual environment. It doesn’t affect most programs
normally however in a program like Squeak that takes over the environment
a little bit more than other types of Windows programs this difference
is really exasperating.

Multilingual computing has made lots of progress since I first having
headaches just trying to input and read Japanese on a computer on
an English-based operating system. But there’s still lots of these
very small but very important differences. I wonder how many people
know what’s happening underneath when it comes to multilingualization.
I’m not sure I really do most of the time. But it’s posts like these
that really clear up what’s happening underneath the scenes.
Just because Windows 2000 and above supposedly went to
processing all text as Unicode underneath the hood does not mean that
all versions of Windows are doing the ‘same’ thing when it comes to
handling it on the clipboard and keyboard input. Makes you wonder
what the Chinese or Arabic version of Windows does.

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