What irks me the most, is the lack of server-side language support for cloud offerings, on-premise Enterprise products, etc. If Microsoft can support Klingon for translation purposes, then just maybe they could support Inuktitut a little better.
Food security is a challenge for people who do live here, due to the general high-costs. Interesting fact - at one point in time, Amazon Prime shipping to Iqaluit was 2-3 times the national average for Canada (and that probably increased with their purchase of Whole Foods - items, which may be most expensive through Amazon for the rest of Canada can often be cheaper than purchased 'locally') - https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/iqaluit-amazon-prime-1....
The landscape is beautiful (personally, I am a sucker for mountainous/rocky terrain and ocean) - it is above the Arctic circle, so - no trees! The weather is currently really nice - a little rainy today, but no snow - the big freeze hasn't happened yet. Myself, I find that even during winter months, the cold is not unworkable - as technically the local climate is considered a polar desert zone, so the reduced humidity helps.
Myself, I don't live here - but I do come up every 2-3 months, primarily working on Microsoft-stack products and technologies.
Most often, one gets here from a flight from Ottawa - almost 3-hours in duration. (And hey... you still get a hot meal in-flight!) However, it is possible that you might fly in from another territory or community - during the summer there are some flights to/from Greenland.
All data/communications connectivity currently occurs over satellite connections (your flight lands, your phone connects to a local "LTE" network, but that is then bridged back over satellite automatically - no extra charges ;-)) - this can be challenging during weather events, heavy rain, snow or fog can often interfere.
There are plans for undersea fiber, but that will take a few years - the upcoming newer LEO satellite networks will bridge the gap until that arrives.
Just fyi wikipedia says "the city is well south of the Arctic Circle" and ".. has a tundra climate, featuring long, cold winters, and brief summers that are too cool to permit the growth of large trees."
One of the reasons I have a curiosity about learning Inuktitut was its different writing system, so the Inuit officially moving away from it saddens me.
Watch out for airfares, they’re crazy high, $1200-1600 usually round trip on Canadian North out of Ottawa, but they partner with Aeroplan and with enough advance planning Aeroplan only charges 7500mi + $30 each way, and you can transfer from AMEX Membership Rewards. 
Oh - and the art is amazing - and yes, when at the Frobisher, local artists will always be showing their work for you to buy directly, but there are stores as well.
Also - make sure you tour the Legislative Assembly (when open) - https://www.assembly.nu.ca/faq
Come in the Winter if you like snow - come in July/August if you want to get out on the water or like rocky hiking.
Get some coffee at the Black Heart Cafe - https://www.facebook.com/BlackHeartCafe/
There are about 4-5 good restaurants, 2 attached to the current hotels, but I also recommend "Yummy Shawarma" and "Big Racks BBQ".
Something interesting for the HN crowd - a new hotel is going up, built from modular shipping-container sized units - https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/iqaluit-hotel-rooms-bui...
I've noticed that in terms of language support in general. Of course, languages with Western and/or wealthy populations seem to have better support. In Elasticsearch, I can set up a field for Irish or Latvian or Basque analysis out of the box (each with ~1 million speakers or fewer). But Zulu or Uzbek or Malay (each with 10 million+ speakers), and sorry, no support.
The custom keycap business is booming. It shouldn't be too hard to make a batch of physical keyboards and then a software map to support it. There was just a story last month about some guys standardizing the writing for an African language, including getting its own Unicode set finally, and the Microsoft guys helping to to support it.
If you have any links related to this I would love to read more!
Some random examples:
Maybe give these guys a ring and see if they can recommend who they work with for non-Latin caps: https://mechanicalkeyboards.com
And also hang out on https://www.reddit.com/r/keyboards and /mechanicalkeyboards.
I love languages Canada is amazing there are so many languages here it should be a priority to support their use. That's a very good point you made about Klingon being supported but not actual languages. I was talking to a friend of mine who is Mi'kmaq about Linux. I said maybe it supported his language but I guess it's more of a
ADLaM is another language that has had a rough history but eventually recognition. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20702404
This whole thing fascinates me. I studied a small amount of linguistics in university and have long been in love with Inuit artwork so several years back I started work on a typeface that loosely emulated the syllabic glyphs for the Roman alphabet.
If it’s of any worth to anyone I might be able to dig up the source. Not sure.
The Inuit are one of the few indigenous groups in Canada that managed to keep their culture relatively intact - most other groups have lost much of it through centuries of colonial rule and ultimately with residential schools, while the Inuit were comparatively neglected - both in positive and negative terms.
Good to hear steps being taken to protect the language.
Because they aren't wealthy enough to be worth a lot as taxable income and didn't control an area with dense/lucrative enough natural resources to be worth subjugating. Without money or something that could be converted to money there was no reason for the city slickers to go out of their way to impose/integrate (word choice depends on which side you're on) their culture. You can see this pattern more or less worldwide. On every continent there are people who live in the remote parts, nominally under some government but are mostly left to do their own thing because they have little to take and take little from the government. If you want to be left alone it's best to be someone not worth bothering.
I agree that it's nice to see them become more of a defined culture (language and all) since being obviously delineated from the rest will help them maintain their own autonomy and culture.
Yes, although a mix of incentives and force has moved nearly all of the people into towns and cities at this point, and in fairly recent memory. I remember when Atanarjuat came out twenty years ago the talk was that the timing was good—there still were many people who personally remembered living in the traditional way, well enough to recreate it vividly and accurately on camera, but they had to be brought out from the towns to do so.
Unicode can handle a zillion characters, and I don't remember having problems with missing fonts in any of my devices for at least half a decade. If the problem is people talking in English on their cellphones because of lack of input support, couldn't the government of Nunavut work in making iOS/Android keyboards with a good syllabic input method?
I don’t think developing a keyboard for it is too difficult. Actually I could try to do it myself. The problem is probably more about making users install it when it’s not preinstalled on the device and thus requires downloading an application. Heck, even languages such as Chinese or Japanese requires a (first party) download on Android. I found iOS handles better multilingual input and is less confusing to get started with new keyboards.
Is there a keyboard HID for USB/Bluetooth that allows for Unicode characters to be sent rather than key codes?
Android has a pretty good keyboard API (e.g. Chrome on Android can't get passed keycodes because of how IME are designed). However I'm guessing Windows apps need key codes, so maybe not possible.
I've made IBus input methods for conlangs before and it's literally as simple as making a plaintext table of physical keys and corresponding characters. I can't imagine it'd be any more difficult on IOS or Android. Despite this I can't find any Inuktitut keyboards on the Play Store.
On mobile OS, at least on iOS, developing a keyboard means also creating the layout keyboard and managing its state, so it’s a bit more work than a single mapping text file.
> I can’t find any Inuktitut keyboards on the play Store
I found my next side project haha. I need one for another app I planned to do.
You might want to base it on https://anysoftkeyboard.github.io/
There are a lot of converters (I'm making another one, granted it's for Ojibwe / Cree), but no ways to natively type them on an actual computer easily, as far as I know
How is this supposed to help anyone? That anglophone guess isn't going to be close to correct -- in the general case, it's unlikely to even be recognizable.
Ideally people would use Shavian or some other system that kinda matches 1:1 with the language.
> No trouble with physical keyboards
I've seen comments on HN before about how certain characters used for programming aren't on keyboards with European layouts, supposedly creating a barrier for beginner programmers. In contrast, somebody using a keyboard for one of the CJK languages only needs to press shift to type all the characters in Basic Latin because the physical layouts are the same.
> lot of older computer technology predates modern unicode and nobody seems to be in a rush to replace it.
There are probably way more computers that only support Shift JIS than computers that only use ASCII. I heard that apparently lack of support for Unicode is still a problem in certain Japanese offices.
I think the most dangerous position to be in is when your writing system is similar to but not exactly the same as English, in which case people begin to adopt a "close enough" attitude and accept the status quo, choosing instead to change their orthography in counterproductive ways to fit ephemeral technical requirements.
The keyboards you buy in China (the C in CJK) are the same ones you'd buy in the US. They don't have their own.
This makes sense, since character input is done in software; there is no way to map physical keys to the much much larger inventory of characters.
In any case, Syllabics are a very interesting writing system. I'm planning on doing an in-depth video about them at some point, but Tom Scott's introduction is great .
There are some major advantages to using Syllabics.
Consider that the languages that use them are polysynthetic, meaning that the 'words' are quite large and encompass a lot of information, and that they mostly use a Consonant-Vowel syllable structure that is perfect for a syllabary, where one character represents both a consonant and its vowel , or an abugida, where the consonant is the important part of the character, and the vowel markings are secondary . An alphabet creates large, unruly words. Qaliujaaqpait and Ojibwe also double their vowels to lengthen them, making romanized text very long.
Look at this Ojibwe word for coffee: "makade-mashkiikiiwaaboo", in syllabics, it's the much less unruly "ᒪᑲᑌᒪᔥᑮᑮᐙᐴ".
And Syllabics themselves are amazing, there are different shapes for the consonants, and their rotation determines the vowel sound . Just awesome, and very easy to learn
However, sadly, there are many disadvantages to the awesome system. For one, roman letters are everywhere, there's good software support, there's always going to be a need to know them as the new generation learns English and French. Not to mention rotation-based characters are no good for, say, someone with dyslexia. I'm not shocked at this decision, it was the right call.
First Nations and Inuit languages need standardization, and more importantly, as much literature as possible, to compete. That's hard to do when everyone is writing in a different way.
I'm writing syllabic converter software that should hopefully be more accurate than the current ones online today, if you're interested in helping or learning about it, feel free to send me an email
Latin has pairs of rotated characters (depending on the font): un, pd
1. I love the logo of the ITK. So joyful! (See https://www.itk.ca/itk-board-of-directors-adopts-inuktut-qal...)
2. The comments section of https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/national-inuit-org-app... and https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/inuit-qaliujaaqpait-th... contains considerable toxicity. I was expecting general upvoting among a people here but I guess I expected too much from a comments section of a newspaper.