SCIM

Revision 7 as of 2005-12-07 03:09:24

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NOTE: This is a page describing the packaging and development of SCIM packages in Ubuntu. It's NOT a user's guide for SCIM.

Overview

[http://www.scim-im.org/ SCIM] (smart common input method) is a platform for input methods. Input methods are essential for CJK (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) users. The input method program accepts the input from keyboard, and transform it (sometimes with extra help from the user) to the language user what to input.

Obviously, there are many different input methods for different languages. SCIM aims to provide a common framework for different input methods so that they can have consistent GUI and central preference setting. This is very desirable for users of multiple input methods.

SCIM has a base platform which supports a plugin system, and input methods can be provided as plugin modules. There are usually two types of plugin modules, one type being exclusive for scim, consisting of both the input method data and the interface to SCIM (e.g. scim-pinyin, scim-tables); while another type consisting of only the interface code for communication with SCIM, and rely on some general input method library (e.g. scim-m17n, scim-chewing) or existing input method program (e.g. scim-anthy, scim-uim) to do the coversion. The second type of module is usually called a bridge module, it's very useful to expand the input method coverage and help users of other input methods transition to SCIM.

SCIM also features supports for modern input method frameworks. The traditional framework for input method support in X Window environment is XIM, but it has quite some disadvantages. GTK+ 2 introduces their own input method framework, usually known as GTK IM module. Qt 4 also has its own framework, similarly known as Qt IM module, and there are also patches to Qt 3. These two input method frameworks integrate better with the underlying system, and give more consistent look'n'feel for input methods with the applications. The main package for SCIM, called scim (this is kind of confusing), supports both XIM and GTK IM module. There is a separate package, skim, provides Qt IM module support and adds more KDE integration.

Currently Supported Input Methods

SCIM has been under development for quite some time, and there are currenly quite a large number of input methods supported by SCIM, categoried by language:

Simplified Chinese (zh_CN)

Package Name

Input Method(s) Supported

Module Type

scim-pinyin

Pinyin

native

scim-fcitx

Wubi, Pinyin

bridge

scim-ccinput

Pinyin

native

Traditional Chinese (zh_TW)

Package Name

Input Method(s) Supported

Module Type

scim-chewing

Chewing

bridge

Japanese

Package Name

Input Method(s) Supported

Module Type

scim-anthy

Anthy

bridge

scim-prime

PRIME

bridge

scim-skk

-

native

scim-canna

Canna

bridge

Korean

Package Name

Input Method(s) Supported

Module Type

scim-hangul

(not sure)

native

Other languages / Multi-langugaes

Package Name

Module Type

scim-uim

bridge

scim-tables

native

scim-m17n

bridge

scim-openvanilla

bridge

Debian packaging

Currently Debian unstable (a.k.a. sid) has the following packages: scim, scim-pinyin, scim-chewing, scim-anthy, scim-prime, scim-skk, scim-canna, scim-uim. These packages are using the ABI for SCIM 1.4 series. The packages scim-tables, scim-m17n, scim-hangul also exists for Debian stable (a.k.a. sarge), which uses the SCIM 1.0 series ABI, but they are broken in unstable right now, and needs more work.

There are known unoffical packages of skim, scim-fcitx, scim-ccinput, and scim-openvanilla floating around.

Ubuntu packaging

Both hoary and breezy ship the SCIM 1.0 series, the same as Debian sarge. The only packages available are scim, scim-pinyin (known as scim-chinese for 1.0 series), scim-uim, scim-tables, scim-hangul, scim-chewing and scim-m17n.

SCIM, scim-anthy, and other packages for breezy are available from: deb http://archive.ubuntulinux.jp/ubuntu-ja breezy/

In dapper all the debian unstable packages are imported, but not enough testing (to see if it even works) has been done yet.