Moving a Large Scale University to Unicode Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D. Teaching and Learning with Technology Penn State University [email protected] Outline • About the Penn State Audience • Just-in-Time vs. Full Unicode Training • Working with the Computer Labs • Penn State Web Resources • Some i18n Tech Cases • Discussion Penn State • Land-grant, state-supported • Twenty plus campuses • University Park: 40,000+ Students • Majority of students from Pennsylvania (many from rural Pennsylvania) • Strong in many disciplines, particularly sciences and engineering Multiple Audiences • Students & Staff from Pennsylvania & U.S. • Students & Staff from outside U.S. • Technology Support (many monolingual) • Instructors (foreign language, science) Audience Needs Ideal US Non-US Tech Unicode Instruct. Student Student Support r 2nd Lang √ Tech Skills √ Blank = wide variation √ √ √ How this Started... • Linguistics Ph.D. working as instructional technologist • Assigned to Spanish online course project in 2000 • Assigned to Penn State Technology in Language Learning project in 2001 Year 2000 Approach • Explain principles of Unicode • Give details for • Accents (Western Europe) • East Asian Languages • Provide Links for other cases • Web Site & Seminar Problems • Low attendance of all Unicode seminars • Most users cannot connect Unicode principles with implementation • “Each language has its own story” • Each software application also has its own story Modified Approach: Web • Explain each language set up individually • Links to general resources on accent codes, keyboard setup, etc. • Links to Web development tips (including original encoding tutorial) • Adding software specific pages (e.g. Adobe Connect) • http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/internati onal Modified Approach: Other • Maintain contact with foreign language instructors • Document foreign language utilities for tools as needed (e.g. course management system) • Informal group acts as clearing house for many foreign language tech issues Computer Lab Utilities • Fonts • • TITUS Cyberbit (covers many scripts) Doulos SIL (phonetic symbols) • Special Keyboards • • Russian Phonetic Keyboards ASDF (Win) / Northwestern (Mac) Phonetic Symbol Keyboards UCL (Win) / SIL (Mac) More Lab Utilities • Global Writer (Win) Recommended by Comp. Lit. • East Asian Utilities (Win) Students must activate the Windows East Asian Utilities in Start Menu in their Penn State Windows Profile in order to access them in Control Panel • Others - Need to allow one semester to install and test utilities Profiles in Lab • Windows users need to activate utilities once in their profile and they remain active each time they log in. • Macintosh users need to activate utilities each time they log in to lab (no roaming profiles), but all languages visible. International Web http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international Site • One main editor • Updated at least once per year • New browsers • New operating systems • New languages • Actual testing whenever possible Web Site Usage: On Campus • Windows Alt Codes (280+ hits in Sep 07) • Spanish (280+ hits in Sep 07) Spanish/Accent Codes often top TLT search • French/German/Chinese/Arabic • Hits for ca. 8-10 non-PSU taught languages Some may be learning Web development Web Site Usage: Non-PSU • Off campus & non-Penn State visitors • Popular Topics • • • • • • • • Windows Alt Codes (120,000+ hits/ month) HTML Entity Codes French, Spanish, Old English, German, Phonetics Chinese, Japanese, Korean Math Symbols Windows Keyboard Setup Mac Extended Keyboard Accent Codes Firefox Setup HTML Entity Codes, Metatags, RTL Alignment, CSS, i18n Tech: French PHP Quiz Lessons Learned •PHP Standard tool for Penn State, but UTF support weak until recent versions. •Programmer had glitches with œ (O+E) because it is technically outside Latin-1. •Had to resolve Mac vs. Windows text entry. Creating Indic Language Web Pages Problem •Students from India taking courses in Web development at Penn State •Instructor wanted resources to allow development of native language sites Solution •Addition of Indic script pages to Web site i18n Tech: Math Symbols in Flash Quiz Lessons Learned •No entity codes allowed in XML or text files •Need text editor which recognizes UTF files •Byte Order may matter in older versions of Flash •CSS should specify Arial Unicode for Windows Teaching Students to Type Arabic • Global Writer preferred to other word processors because of usability. • Limited licenses for Global Writers (5 concurrent uses) made demo a challenge. • Instructor felt students should learn handwriting, so was not sure how she would implement in the future. Chinese Course in Adobe Acrobat Connect • Adobe Connect (formerly Macromedia Breeze) a synchronous collaboration tool. • Includes “Note Pod” for messages & “Chat Pod” • Instructor will need to activate keyboard to use Chinese. • Mac users need to cut and paste from Text Edit into pods in Acrobat Connect. Spanish Quiz in Course Managment System • Many vendors still use ISO-8859-1 as a Web page encoding (without the meta tag) Problematic for browsers set to UTF-8. • Mac input not always recognized. • Quizzes in non Western European languages may not work as expected General Lessons Learned • Just-in-time is the key. • Don’t forget the math symbols...or the em-dash (—). • Every project has its own kinks. The key is to document them somewhere. • People are excited to learn this...once they realize they need it.