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Old 16th September 2014
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sacerdos_daemonis sacerdos_daemonis is offline
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Default Ibus has no Chinese input methods.

Linux user attempting to use BSD, so please forgive me if my question is a little ignorant.

I have installed Ibus from Packages, but have a problem.
- There are no Chinese input methods, but everything else is present, including Japanese and Korean.
- OpenBSD only has three Ibus packages: ibus, ibus-anthy and ibus-skk. I know I do not need anthy. I do not know what ssk is, but I installed it anyway after I could not get Ibus to work. There is no ibus-pinyin package, which is distressing, since I am accustoned to using it.
- Chinese founts are installed.
Code:
# ls -d /usr/X11R6/share/X11/locale/zh*
/usr/X11R6/share/X11/locale/zh_CN
/usr/X11R6/share/X11/locale/zh_CN.UTF-8
/usr/X11R6/share/X11/locale/zh_CN.gb18030
/usr/X11R6/share/X11/locale/zh_CN.gbk
/usr/X11R6/share/X11/locale/zh_HK.UTF-8
/usr/X11R6/share/X11/locale/zh_HK.big5
/usr/X11R6/share/X11/locale/zh_HK.big5hkscs
/usr/X11R6/share/X11/locale/zh_TW
/usr/X11R6/share/X11/locale/zh_TW.UTF-8
/usr/X11R6/share/X11/locale/zh_TW.big5
Perhaps I should say they are available. If they need to be "activated" before being usable, I shall find out as I read more of the manual. This may be the case, since Chinese characters in files are not currently being displayed. However, that issue should have no bearing on Ibus' input methods.
- At the bottom of the OpenBSD package list are several fount packages and what appear to be input packages. However, since I do not know the specifics of those packages and because founts are already installed, I am leerly of blindly installing more packages.
- The Ibus man page has nothing helpful.

What puzzles me is that Japanese and Korean input methods are available, but not Chinese. The versions of Ibus on the Linux systems I have used had no input methods available, until they were installed separately. The OpenBSD version comes with a plethora of input methods, but not the (for me) useful ones. Any ideas before I start randomly installing what appear to be various Chinese input methods. And yes, links to documentation are most welcome. I am not afraid to RTFM, if I can find it.
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Old 16th September 2014
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Hello, and welcome!

The ibus ports (which are available as installable packages) are:

ibus: the intelligent input bus framework
ibus-anthy: Japanese input engine
ibus-skk: Japanese skk input engine

All three of these are mantained by Federico G. Schwindt <fgsch () openbsd ! org>. You may reach out to him via Email, to ask if Chinese input methods for ibus are planned or in progress.

The Chewing inputmethod is available in both the scim and uim frameworks, as can be seen from this conveninet list of the OpenBSD inputmethods branch of the ports tree. Kevin Lo <kevlo () openbsd ! org> is the maintainer of these two ports.

I don't use any of these inputmethods, frameworks, or applications, or languages.... so I do not have any specific advice other than to contact Federico and Kevin for their guidance. I'm sure they would be happy to help.
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Old 16th September 2014
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Thanks for the link. That is the kind of thing I have been looking for.
Quote:
You may reach out to him via Email, to ask if Chinese input methods for ibus are planned or in progress.
I shall do that, but I find it odd that there would not be support for Chinese when there is for Japanese and Korean. There are actually more Chinese input methods than Japanese. SCIM especially has many more, but I would prefer to use Ibus if possible, because it is much better than SCIM. Let's see what Federico has to say.
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Old 17th September 2014
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It probably has to do with the individual maintainer's interests. (I have no idea how much more work it is to add the other libraries).
Scim and uim are considered very dated, I don't know how well they work these days.

I should add that these days, I'm not using OpenBSD, and only have use for Japanese input. In the days when I did use OpenBSD, there was no Asian input available.
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Old 17th September 2014
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It just seems strange to put in the effort to maintain everything from Japanese to Serbo-Croatian, but not Chinese. And Ibus is not a new application. It has replaced SCIM in most places, because it is better, and as far as I know, SCIM is either no longer maintained upstream or maintenance level is very low. Of course, there is the possibility that Chinese is not well supported by OpenBSD. I have not been tinkering with the system long enough to know how nicely it plays with that language. Time will tell.
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Old 18th September 2014
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Did you happen to hear back from Federico?

Kevin Lo is apparently no longer an active OpenBSD developer, at least according to the font he's chosen for OpenBSD at kevlo.org. If so, then the munged Email address I provided above may not work for him.

----

OpenBSD is a small community. With approximately 100 developers at any given time and 9,000 third party ports .. not everything everyone desires may be available, if we depend on the developers alone. The general cultural impetus for the community is for end users to attempt to patch any gaps we discover, if we're capable of doing so. This effort can include porting applications that are not already available.

If you are technically inclined, you may be able to add the SCIM inputmethods you need to your system. If so, you might then be interested in developing ports of them to share with the community at large. If you're interested in pursuing this path, along with FAQ 15 on ports and packages, the FAQ includes both a Porter's Handbook and a Port Testing Guide.
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Old 18th September 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
Did you happen to hear back from Federico?
My e-mail service could not connect and I did not get around to trying again, because I have been side-tracked trying to fix a USB mounting problem. It will be another day or two before I get back to this issue. I am learning as I go, so things are taking a while.

Quote:
OpenBSD is a small community. With approximately 100 developers at any given time and 9,000 third party ports .. not everything everyone desires may be available, if we depend on the developers alone.
I realise that and am not complaining at all. Just searching for options. I am hoping OpenBSD can meet the few needs I have, because it is a fantastic system. Eventually I need to get something working for Chinese input, because it is a must for me. If I had to give up OpenBSD because of such an issue, I would probably be dejected enough to cry.

I also tried SCIM, but it did not want to work. Not a surprise. It was not working with Slackware either. It truly is a piece of crap compared to Ibus.

Quote:
If you are technically inclined
The opposite actually, but if I can find a way to contribute, I shall.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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I believe I have found one potential solution. Since the packages are not in the ports collection, the daring can get them and the source code here: ttps://code.google.com/p/ibus/downloads/. It is not a solution for me, since:
1) Ibus is hosted on google.code, which is blocked where I live. Surprisingly, I was able to access the site by using a Japanese proxy service, but the file I need is too large to download using the service.
2) I have not yet started using ports, so making my own is well beyond my current level of expertise, which is zero.

I am posting this in case it may be useful to others. (Those who have the same need and know what they are doing.)
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Yes, that was my advice in post #6 above. Unfortunately, I can't port this, and my excuse is I lack understanding of both traditional and simplified Chinese characters. But that's only an excuse. The real reason is I have no knowledge of ibus, and I have worked with few of its required dependencies.

Looking at the three key files -- inputmethods/ibus*/Makefile -- for the ports we already have, there are significant differences in the dependency chains and in installation complexities of these ports. Ports are not the application -- they are scaffolding. But that scaffolding defines the environment and the instructions needed to permit 3rd party applications to be compiled, installed, provisioned, and executed.
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I hope I do not make a nuisance of myself or violate the board's etiquette by posting this, but I feel it may be helpful in the future for people with language input needs and are new to OpenBSD, especially those migrating from Linux. Depending on how complex one's needs are, some users can avoid input problems with SCIM and Ibus by using an alternative.

With Linux systems, UIM is stuffed into the background and left unseen as a backend, while applications like SCIM and Ibus are used for input. UIM does not appear as an application in menus. WIth OpenBSD, UIM is a stand-alone application that can input Chinese, if Chinese founts are installed. Although it does not have the convenient features of more advanced applications, it is usable on its own. Although not an ideal solution, it is a viable replacement for most users.

(Now on to the next step. Figuring out how to convince the file manager to display Chinese.)
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacerdos_daemonis View Post
I hope I do not make a nuisance of myself or violate the board's etiquette by posting this...
You aren't...
Quote:
...but I feel it may be helpful in the future for people with language input needs and are new to OpenBSD, especially those migrating from Linux. Depending on how complex one's needs are, some users can avoid input problems with...
Unfortunately, this site has not attracted a significant number of those needing Chinese support such that clear-cut answers are known. Searching through the archives of this site will bear this out. Even searching through the archives of the project's mailing lists will not provide such answers.

As opposed to larger Open Source projects such as Linux, the OpenBSD project is quite small. Roughly a hundred developers are involved, & given that the target audience of development is the developers themselves, an established infrastructure which will address Chinese support don't really exist at this time. While multi-lingual support would be nice, & I'm sure that the developers freely agree, the work takes time & effort, and no one has made the work seamless to date.

As has already been mentioned, if you want to help in the development effort, others will benefit. Contacting the port maintainers is a solid first step. If the members on this site can help answer some of the questions, we will try, but to date, most here are English bound, & thus ignorant of the detail involved.

Does this mean you will need to forage for answers on your own doing a lot of research? Most likely, yes.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
Does this mean you will need to forage for answers on your own doing a lot of research? Most likely, yes.
I thought that is one of the attractions of OpenBSD.
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Straying off topic. Ocicat, you may want to break this discussion into a separate thread.

--

s_d., there are two factors that lead to the need for OpenBSD users to have either an appropriate-to-needs level of self-sufficiency or a third party commercial support agreement. One is operational, the other, cultural.

  1. The size of the OpenBSD community of users is relatively small, and there is an even smaller community of OpenBSD developers (Project members).
  2. The goals of the Project, which are to satisfy the needs of its own members -- the developers. We users get to go along for the ride, if we like what is offered.
From which, I see these results. What follows is all my own opinion, of course.

  • Hand-holding, by the Project, is effectively non-existent. Instead, the members spend a significant amount of energy on official documentation (man pages, the FAQ), and some also publish their own blogs or are editors for submissions to the OpenBSD Journal, which while unofficial is a juried resource.
  • The Project directs new users to the OpenBSD-newbies mailing list, a low volume third party resource managed through SFOBUG.
  • We are newbie-focused here, and another third party resource, but as you have already seen the number of questions posted and the number of us who answer them are both very small.
  • Users are not members, and have no say in Project direction except through electing whether or not to fund the Project through its various channels: CD purchases, direct donations, or donation to the OpenBSD Foundation.
  • Whenever users find gaps in capabilities, features, or functionality, their submissions of software to address these gaps are welcome. However, suggestions to the Project that it should address these gaps -- without any user-developed software submitted -- are always unwelcome. Reviled, actually.
  • User submissions to the Project may or may not be adopted, and if adopted may be with some degree of change. Or, interested Project members may recommend further development. User submissions were the first steps along the path by which most of the developers on the project became developers.
With that as background, end-user submissions of new ports and upgraded ports of third party applications are a vital component of the OpenBSD ecosystem. The project has three FAQ documents to assist with ports tree operation, port testing, and port development, and it operates the ports@ mailing list, which is dedicated to port submissions, testing, and evaluation.

New and upgraded port testing can be done by any user who has obtained sufficient skill to install a -current snapshot and can build ports. They do not need to be application designers or developers. Testing of ports is required before they are committed to the tree, and this is one of the easier ways to donate to the community.

Last edited by jggimi; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:54 PM. Reason: typos, clarity
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