Technology For Society

Focus on technology trends that create an impact on larger part of Society.

When will we have Inscript Mobile?

CDAC has released Inscript 5.1 proposal (requires user details form submission at the site) arrived after discussions with Microsoft IBM and Redhat. The new proposal enhances the Inscript to latest Unicode standard 5.1, by providing backward compatibility with mappings for for ZWJ, ZWNJ and an extended layer to encode the new character codes. The toggle key for basic to extended layers is not defined. Another proposal is to make the mapping language specific rather than script. For the Telugu language, my feedback is that Indo-Arabic numerals need to be retained as default rather than Telugu numerals.

However smart mobiles will become commonplace than PCs in 21st century, this standard is inadequate as most mobiles have keypads with about 35 keys for typing. As the computers are powerful, what is needed is a clever way to accommodate the most practically used letters of the language on this keyboard. As most users are bilingual, phonetic approaches make it convenient for new users to easily switch between the languages. Phonetic based schemes with dictionary support for word hinting from Microsoft and Google are now available for PC. Alternative statistical based input method approaches are becoming available with mobile phones targeting basic 12 keys models. Tirumalakrishna Desikachary has defined one Phonetic keyboard (released along with a font called Pothana) for Telugu language 10 years back. In this short and long forms of vowel are assigned to the same key. Vowel keys are treated as independent vowels if they appear first in the word and as dependent vowels (or matras of the preceding consonant) if they appear after the first letter of the word. This avoids wasting of keys for representing matra forms of vowels. This still uses 2 keys beyond the basic alphabet to accommodate 4 Telugu letters. Out of that only one (letter au) is in popular use and that when it is interchanged with chandrabindu, all the letters that are in popular use are accommodated on the English alphabet keys. Similar arrangement can be worked out for Hindi and other languages based on the initial proposals of Desikachary.
Pothana Mobile Compared to other phonetic methods like Itrans and RTS, Pothana keeps the mapping simple one to one except for the overloading of vowel keys based on the context. It is desirable to have standard for Phonetic input on mobiles to enable the IT revolution to benefit the masses.


Arjun October 24, 2010 at 2:48:00 AM PDT  

Nokia C3 sports 4 language support with a modified Inscript keymap. Just the thing to happen when our government standardization bodies are not proactive. See for photos

Popular Posts


FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map

About this blog:

Thoughts on making technology work for everyone


Creative Commons License
Technology For Society- Blog by Arjuna Rao Chavala is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.