Chinese on Linux sucks

This is a rant but at the same time can serve as a future reference on this topic:

Using Chinese input methods (IME) for writing Chinese on Linux sucks. For years now keys would be suddenly swallowed so no input was possible for any application requiring a restart of the window session. This is very embarrassing and not reasonable in 2008.

This problem is well know. As the Debian package states:

"However, in XIM mode, this setting causes problems for some GTK+ programs,
most notable nautilus. Sometimes, the keyboard input in the program will
completely freeze, and nothing you type will show up. As a temporary
workaround, you can choose a different input method other than "X Input
Method" in the "Input Methods" list from the right-click menu ("Default"
should usually work)."

Needless to say that there is a bunch of programms that provide input frameworks, input methods, input briges for each other and input switches, let alone the documentation one needs to read before starting off with SCIM which spans more than 20 screens.

I meet an open source contributor this week and he himself being Chinese told me he doesn't even install a character input method on Linux but use his Apple for all his actuall work.

On a personal note, I reinstalled the whole load of packages for SCIM again in the hope that this problem vanishes. Of course there is no one to blame on this problem as everybody is contributing voluntarily. One should just not wonder why Linux doesn't do that well in this areas as it lacks basic infrastructure.

chinese script writing

i just found your comments on chinese input (keyboard) for linux. i'm interested in the topic because yesterday i bought my girlfriend a laptop with windows for her to use in writing chinese. when i say writing, i mean actually writing script - not using a pinyin input method. windows can handle this - and the laptop we bought has windows xp installed - but because we're in china, and because the laptop didn't come pre-installed with windows, the version on there is pirated, filled with viruses, and almost useless.

i'd like to install linux (ubuntu) on the machine (free, easy to use, etc) - but i'm concerned about her being able to write chinese. so far i cannot find any information on handwriting recognition (direct, via writing pad) functionality under linux.

can you tell me - does such a thing exist? if so, where do i find it? is it functional?

thank you for any advice you can offer. please email me directly if possible.

Handwriting recognition via writing pad

I myself would be interested in such an input device with existing linux drivers. Until now though I don't know of any that would have guaranteed support. So, no, sorry, I can't help you on that.

Writing Pad

Hi I just found your Blog
I am currently trying to get the PenPower Junior Writing Pad Working with Linux. According to the EeePC Documentation it is supported by the ppenjr application preinstalled on the EeePc however so far it does not recognize the pad. If I will get it working I'll tell it.

Concerning SCIM on linux I am quite happy about the usability, however I also have this keyboard freezes from time to time and so far couldn't find any explanation about it. So I am very thankful to read the reason here.

nice Blog!

IME problems

The writing pad sounds interesting. Maybe you can write about it once you get it working.

For the IME part: I used FCITX for some time and switched to IBUS recently. I didn't have any freezes with the former, while I think I had it with IBUS once in the last week. I switched away from FCITX as I couldn't use copy&paste once I made use of the IME. This bug only started two or some months ago, but was very annoying.