2008 m. rugsėjo 6 d., šeštadienis

Guidelines for Adapting Apple Products for Lithuanian Market


Mac OS X should come with an up-to-date Lithuanian keyboard layouts.

Currently, Mac OS X only comes with just one Lithuanian keyboard layout (usually it's called “Lithuanian (Baltic)”), which is old and outdated, and doesn't support comfortable entering all characters that are needed in Lithuanian. This layout should be replaced with two other layouts that have already gained popularity in Windows and Linux systems. These are called “Lithuanian (Numeric)” and “Lithuanian (Standard)” (the former is a de facto standard in Lithuania, and the latter is an official standard, and is described in detail on http://ims.mii.lt/klav/lithkeyb4.html).

Both layouts have already been implemented for Mac OS X, and are freely downloadable from http://www.obuoliai.lt/lt-klaviaturos (preview images for both layouts are also on the website). Apple could use these files as a base for the final layout files.

Apple computers that are designated for import into Lithuania should have their physical keyboards appropriately marked. Additionally, Mac OS X could come with a keyboard layout allowing to enter accents above characters (a Windows driver implementing this is can be downloaded from the website of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language (download is listed on the homepage of font “Palemonas”: http://www.vlkk.lt/palemonas.html, direct link to file: http://www.vlkk.lt/files/acc.zip).


Apple Mail software that comes with Mac OS X currently defaults to ISO-8859-4 character set for Lithuanian e-mails. This character set has been officially deprecated for Lithuanian ever since year 2000. Apple Mail should default to Windows-1257, or ISO-8859-13 instead.

Spell Checking & Hyphenation

Mac OS X should include data that is necessary to spell check and hyphenate Lithuanian texts.

Time zone chooser

Time zone chooser should list the capital cities of Baltic States (Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn).

Character set names

Baltic character sets (ISO 8859-13 and Windows-1257) should be named “Baltic” instead of “Baltic Rim”.

OS Localization

Mac OS X should be localized into Lithuanian.


Mac OS X could optionally come pre-packaged with the free font Palemonas (http://www.vlkk.lt/palemonas-font.htm; http://www.vlkk.lt/palemonas.html). This font comes in four variations and already covers Central European, Cyrillic, Western European, Greek, Turkish and Baltic characters, and includes all accented Lithuanian characters.

by Rytis Umbrasas
(english translation Rimas Kudelis)
Thanks Tomas Palšis for providing a MacBook for testing purposes.

4 komentarai:

Darius rašė...

Also worth noting is that Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac doesn't use the Mac OS X Dictionary, so Lithuanian language support in the Microsoft Proofing Tools would also be helpful. Otherwise, for example, Microsoft Word 2008 would not benefit from adding Lithuanian to the Mac OS X Dictionary. Minimally, that would support both Speller and Hyphenation. After that, most other European languages include a Thesaurus. Ideally, it could also include Grammer and WordForms.

R.U. ĄŽ rašė...

Ačiū, Dariau,

Tos gairės buvo šiek tiek sudominę Apple atstovus Lietuvoje.

Parodžiau jiems ir tamstos komentarą.

Dabar jau man atrodo, kad Apple lokalizavimo nėra ne dėl to, kad neaišku ką lokalizuoti, bet greičiau dėl to, kad naudotojai nelabai patys prašo lokalizuotų produktų. Apple pardavėjai ir nejaučia diskomforto siūlydami nepritaikytą lietuvių kalbai produkciją..

Darius rašė...

Frankly, if there was just usable Lithuanian keyboard support along with basic Lithuanian (speller/hyphenation) Microsoft Office 2008 Proofing Tools, I'd think that'd be enough to start to make the Mac viable for the Lithuanian market. It's just clear that right now, Macs aren't usable at all in Lithuanian, and that's keeping back adoption.

Everything else is a "nice to have" that would make an incremental difference, but the basics missing in Lithuanian are clearly stopping adoption to purely English-centric users in Lithuania. Apple in Lithuania only sells Macs to Americans, Brits, or handcore enthusiasts and is missing the consumer PC market completely with embarrassingly poor Lithuanian support. I mean, come on, the keyboard isn't even right.

I'd suggest after that the next market-driven step after usable keyboard and spellcheck in Word would be localization of Mac OS X, followed by Microsoft Office 2008.

R.U. ĄŽ rašė...


I agree with Your: "Apple in Lithuania only sells Macs to Americans, Brits, or handcore enthusiasts and is missing the consumer PC market completely with embarrassingly poor Lithuanian support"

We are going to test MS Windows 7 (beta) localization on these days.. Maybe some day will be occasion to test MAC OS localization too.

Thank You for the comment.

Apie mane

skype pseudonimas: rytumb