[b-hebrew] Hebrew keyboard & font size

Herman Meester crazymulgogi at gmail.com
Thu Jan 19 11:25:18 EST 2006

2006/1/19, Peter Kirk <peter at qaya.org>:

> Yes, in principle anyone can optimise Linux for Hebrew. But it requires
> a very special set of skills to be able to do this properly, and if you
> go ahead and make such changes on your own you will get no support at
> all. Free software can come at a huge time cost if you have to fix every
> problem yourself. You can of course rely on what others have already
> done, but for Hebrew support that is not yet as far ahead as it is for
> Windows.

That's right, for example I can't properly type Hebrew vowel signs yet
with Linux/OpenOffice, using only the keyboard. For Arabic, however,
all that works perfect. I guess it would be very easy to make it work
for Hebrew too, as the Hebrew and the Arabic writing system work the
same way, basically.
I can't do it (yet), I am trying to learn a bit about it, though. The
Linux "funny languages" input program SCIM is quite extensive, and it
is being expanded all the time.

There is something you said I disagree with, if I read you well
between the lines, at least. Free software is hardly ever *for* free,
and I paid about €50 for the Linux I use, because it was ready to
install and contains a lot of licensed software, and a manual. If it
were for the money, I could have followed the thousands of people that
have illegally copied MSWindows installed. Most Linux users end up
paying almost as much money as Windows users for their OS, because
they always try something new.

Then, you don't have to invest any time at all, if you just want to
have a Linux system that works. Unlike Windows, Linux hardly ever
crashes and it's almost as simple to use (and install) as Mac (unlike,
say, five years ago). The amount of time I have seen people using
Windows investing in their PC can be very large, too. I don't have to
install any virus scanners, for example.
(Compare the "getting used to"-process to a car with an automatic, or
one with a manual gear-box. Both are just as easy to use, it just
takes a few minutes to get used to either way).
If I have any problem with Linux, which hardly ever happens btw, I
just ask a mailing list full of specialists and they're always happy
to help you out; things I could later on pass on to others in turn.
The time I did invest in "exploring" the system was well-spent,
because it taught me things about software that belongs to all of us,
instead of to a monopolist corporation.

However, as I said I haven't been able to arrange a Hebrew vowel signs
input method yet. Give me a few months and I'll take care of that. But
it's also the reason I encouraged all of you to start using Linux, so
we could all work on that (I'm joking) ;)


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