Why Isn't Foreign Language Input Support System Wide?

in macOS edited January 2014
Simply for my own edification, I'm wondering if anyone can explain why only certain OS X applications support certain language input; why aren't all supported input types available to all text applications universally? As an example, I'm concerned with Hebrew input. It is supported in TextEdit, and it was formerly supported in Safari. The 1.0 release of Safari removed that support. (I should be thankful, though, that web page Hebrew rendering still works.) It's not as if the key mappings change from application to application. Why can't the applications gain support on an application wide basis? If it works in one app, why not the others? I suppose the language scripts aren't sufficiently abstracted from one application to another, but why is this the case?


  • Reply 1 of 4
    frawgzfrawgz Posts: 547member
    I would think any application that fully supports Unicode, particularly those that use Cocoa text, wouldn't have a problem with this. OS X doesn't have a concept of language scripts the way OS 9 did. It's all undifferentiated Unicode.

    That said, I didn't lose any language input in Safari 1.0. Does anybody have a similar experience? I just tried typing Hebrew into the Google bar, and that worked too.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    OS X's text handling capabilities aren't quite finished yet, and some laggard/standalone applications still don't use native text handling at all (AppleWorks, MS apps, possibly Adobe apps) so the experience right now is pretty inconsistent. On top of that, some applications that need more power than OS X currently provides have built in the functionality themselves (Mellel, Nisus Writer).

    I expect this to change in Panther, not least because Nisus' president has said that their engineers have been working very closely with Apple on text handling, and Nisus Writer's text handling has always been peerless.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    naghanagha Posts: 71member
    it's not that developers aren't doing there job, it's actually the opposite. developers (such as Nisus) have been waiting for apple to finish the APIs and text engine to support right to left languages (such as farsi and hebrew).

    furthermore, for all of their hype, apple has been behind in fully implementing Unicode in their famed ATSUI text engine. it's kind of pathetic that apple has fallen so far behind. when they were totally rewriting the OS, you'd think that this would have been the kind of forward thinking that would have enabled them to be fully multilingual from the start.

  • Reply 4 of 4
    big macbig mac Posts: 480member
    Well, somehow frawgz logged into my machine and fixed my installation -- that's the only way I can explain the fact that my Hebrew input was gone from Safari and OmniWeb and now it's back. I know I'm sane; I wasn't dreaming that it was dimmed out in the menu when I updated Safari. (Plus, OmniGroup said explicitly that right to left languages wouldn't be supported in OW 4.5, yet it works anyway.) Go figure. . .

    Edit: Okay I figured it out. I must have been trying to switch languages without being in a text box; you can't switch input unless you are. Feeling pretty dumb now. . . \
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