Sometimes I wonder how come some journalists fail to do their research. There was a news item tonight on PBS about the “FIRST” Maltese language spellcheck available from Mr Karistu Abela. He made a lot of fuss about the Akkademja tal-Malti – what he said could be misunderstood that gh and ie are now single characters in fonts because they were important from the start, which is far from the truth. The ISO standard for Maltese fonts – as well as UTF8 – does not specify them as a single character! What’s more important, Windows fonts do not have gh or ie as single characters.
A press release by Ramon Casha chairman of the Malta Linux Group said “Kieku l-ministru Gatt staqsa ‘ll-impjegati tieghu stess kienu jghiidulu li fil-fatt spell-checker bil-Malti jezisti ghax huma juzawh il-hin kollu. Sfortunatament jidher li jekk ma jkollhomx “Microsoft” fuqhom l-affarijiet qishom ma jezistux.” (If Minister Gatt had asked his employees they would have told him a Maltese spellchecker existed because they use it all the time. Unfortunately it seems that if something doesn’t have “Microsoft” written on it it is as if it doesn’t exist.)
The online Maltese Linux spellchecker can be found here.