View Full Version : how to develop a new language for Ubuntu?

October 9th, 2007, 05:02 PM
I am learning Chinuk Wawa in Oregon, USA. It's a very fun language, but very few people speak it. Like many other Native American languages, a writing system has only recently been developed and standardized, CW's migration to the computer world is important but needs to be gradual and must be done with respect and foresight.

CW is being used in databases, word processing, and email, but those of us who are using it are kind of bending over backwards with work-arounds and shortcuts.

The writing system is Latin-based with a few phonetic symbols added to service the phonemes that don't exist in standard American English. UTF-8 encoding includes all the symbols CW needs. Gentium and Doulos SIL are fonts that are often used.

I want to develop a system that could streamline CW's use in technology. A few of the applications I envision are a standard keyboard layout, spell checker for word processing, default font settings.

I've been playing around with this stuff in Feisty, and have found documentation for stuff like Hunspell and custom keyboard creating, font switching.

But it seems like everywhere I go to customize my stuff, I do it at a lower level than everyone else. If I were customizing to Tagalog, I would have presets for everything, and I would probably have no snags. As it is, I function basically in default English and have problems with character encoding, keyboard input, and spell checkers tell me every word is misspelled. If I could do an install from the get-go and commit to having CW settings as a default (keyboard, font, dictionary), then I wouldn't have to change settings in OO or email or Firefox. That option isn't there yet because no one has developed it.

So my question, how does one go about developing a "language" that would format the computer to have the default settings Chinuk Wawa needs? Is this something that I could create and distribute to the handful of us that might use it, or does this need to be submitted to Ubuntu for the next release?

I realize this might be a rather large undertaking, but it would definitely help the revitalization efforts and save everyone else a lot of time/just make it work.

thank you for any thoughts