3:41 pm - Sunday June 25, 2017

Open Letter to Data Concepts Systems (DCS) P.L.C. [BefeQadu Z. Hailu]

(Developer of leading Amharic Typing Software, Power Geez /PG/)

Subject:- Request for upgrade of PG’s Amharic Keyboard Layout

Dear Sirs/Madams,

I am writing this in English because the browser I am using do not allow me to type in Amharic. I am using the example to make one of the points I am about to raise.

Amharic-geezPower Geez software is the most used Amharic typing software in local Ethiopia. However, it showed only little improvements since the earlier versions especially in regard to Amharic keyboard layout (hereafter: AKL) and some related challenges. And the developer company has little presence on the internet that I thought writing an ‘open letter’ is the only option I got to reach it out. Saying this, let me just jot down the challenges as follows:

–> Most frequently used symbols in Amharic such as ‘።’ and ‘?’ are not there at all where as least used symbols for the language, such as ‘.’ and ‘;’ are made easily accessible in PG’s AKL. In addition, some keys, such as the ‘quotation symbol key’ and ‘blocked braces keys’ are either left blank or made to type symbols mapped with other keys redundantly.
–> However, Keyman AKL has its own shortcomings, it is advantageous in requesting to press relatively less number of keys to type a word as compared to PG’s AKL. This happened because a default phonetic key of PG is mapped with relatively less frequently used first letter (AKA ‘geez’) in the Amharic alphabet where Keyman used the most used letter, which is the sixth (AKA ‘sadis’) letter.
–>Typing Geez numbers using PG’s AKL is almost impossible.
–> Typing on most application software including internet browsers using PG’s AKL is impossible; simply saying, the software is made friendly only to the ‘Microsoft Office Packages’.
–> However it has been almost 10 (?) years since Amharic alphabets have gotten UNICODE standards, PG still maintained the one’s that were created to picturize the alphabets (in ‘Geez 1’ and ‘Geez 2’ fonts), which is creating a problem since those fonts do not function in, websites for example, where standard codes are needed.

To address this challenges is a must for two basic reasons: one, it keeps PG leading Amharic software as it is now and two, it helps the standardization of AKL and its usage in any application software as well.

Therefore, I kindly request DCS developers to upgrade PG’s AKL so as to alleviate the little aforementioned challenges that we, your product users, are facing. I also want to recommend consideration of ‘Multiling AKL’ which is used for Android applications in your re-creation of better functioning AKL.

P.S. Please also follow the link I’m putting here to look at a few more details of the problems I’ve sorted out in a mini-research 5 years ago: https://t.co/2is63o8VE5

Kindly yours,

Befekadu H.

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