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David @ Tokyo

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More Debian (lenny) setup notes - Japanese notes

So what use is a computer without Japanese input?

I was using UIM before, but apparently SCIM is pretty good too so I'm giving it a shot. These input method setups seem to be changing quite a lot so probably the next time I come back to read this again it will probably all be different, but hey you never know.
$ sudo aptitude install scim scim-anthy
This gets a bunch of other package dependencies including im-switch. This package was apparently introduced so that users wouldn't need to futz around with their .xsession file or whatever to get their CJK input methods working.

I forget exactly what I did after this to get things working, but I believe it was something like this...
1) make sure you have your UTF-8 locale set up. This is one way.
$ echo $LANG
Yeah, en_US is fine, you don't need to use ja_JP.UTF-8 to get your Japanese working. UTF-8 is good.

2) fiddle with im-switch.
$ im-switch -c

There are 5 candidates which provide IM for /home/david/.xinput.d/en_US:

Selection Alternative
+ 1 default
2 none
3 scim
4 scim-immodule
5 th-xim
System wide default for en_US (or all_ALL) locale is marked with [+].
Press enter to keep the current selection[*], or type selection number:
Well it seems like we get a menu like this. Typing "3" here to select scim seems to do the trick.

Now shut out of your X session, and login again. When X starts up it appears to read the config files stored under /etc/X11/Xsession.d/, and included in here is now a file called 80im-switch. This script will go looking for a configuration file in your home directory at ~/.xinput.d.
Here's mine:
$ ls -lg
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 david 28 2007-12-06 23:32 en_US -> /etc/X11/xinit/xinput.d/scim
Wow, going round in circles aren't we, but if we take a look inside the file that this sym-link points to, it contains env vars like this:
If you look at the bottom of the /etc/X11/Xsession.d/80im-switch that picked up this config file, it shows that the value specified in XIM_PROGRAM is executed. All this happens when X is starting up. Passing -d to scim makes it run as a daemon apparently, and sure enough:
$ ps -ef | grep scim
... well, you get the picture, scim has been started up for us by X. Yay.

Finally, rather than use the default CTRL-Space combination to pull up the Japanese input method, you can configure scim to use the Hankaku/Zenkaku key (on a jp106 keyboard) to be the trigger instead. Other configurable stuff too:
$ scim-setup
This seems just fine for everyday use now.

Almost back to normal - just video playback / sound etc to fix now...

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