Unable to use 8bit characters resulting in typing only uppercase in non-latin

RESOLVED WONTFIX

Status

RESOLVED WONTFIX
3 years ago
2 years ago

People

(Reporter: nikos, Unassigned)

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

3 years ago
On the SMS app if I switch to non-latin layout (Greek) the keyboard is forcing me to type only in uppercase. There is no option in the settings to change to 8bit messages.

I'm on Sony Xperia Z3 Compact on 2.5.0.0-prerelease.
Thanks for filing this!

It looks like how keyboard works with "x-inputmode="-moz-sms"" for the Greek language [1], but I don't know the story behind that.

Tim, Julien do you know why we can't have lower case letters in SMS in Greek?

[1] https://github.com/mozilla-b2g/gaia/blob/2d437caf5c2431cdb504cf1359a6c1b97fb750a2/apps/keyboard/js/layouts/el.js#L48
Flags: needinfo?(timdream)
Flags: needinfo?(felash)
Yes ! See bug 914454 for the full story, but I'll try to summarize.

So first of all, there is no such thing as 8-bit encoding in SMS. You need to switch to UCS-2 when you move out of the 7-bit alphabet, which reduces the size of a message part. That means that you need to send more parts to send the same message, and so it's more expensive if you pay your messages.

And it turns out that the greek uppercase alphabet fits in the 7-bit alphabet. See [1] for a lot more information. Additionally the full greek alphabet doesn't have a 7-bit national alphabet (See bug 914454 comment 3).

So that's why it works that way now.

The idea at the time was that most phones (including iOS and Android) were working like this.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM_03.38#GSM_7-bit_default_alphabet_and_extension_table_of_3GPP_TS_23.038_.2F_GSM_03.38


We discussed in that bug that we wanted to come back at the issue to give a way to the user to choose between this behavior and using UCS-2. But we never did ;) Maybe now is a good time.

Also cc Panos if he wants to give more information.
Flags: needinfo?(felash)
Julien beat me to it! I have a comment typed out...

Anyway, it came from a product request from a specific partner from a specific release. Should ask UX if they want to revisit the feature and maybe remove it from the OS.
Flags: needinfo?(timdream)
(In reply to Julien Wajsberg [:julienw] from comment #2)
> We discussed in that bug that we wanted to come back at the issue to give a
> way to the user to choose between this behavior and using UCS-2. But we
> never did ;) Maybe now is a good time.

I would avoid yet another switch in Settings app....
This behavior is pretty standard in any device I've used in Greece. Even those that allow you to type in mixed case (e.g. iOS) end up sending the SMS in all caps to fit into 7 bits. The funny thing is that some services used by Greek companies to notify me aren't that smart and yesterday I ended up receiving 3 SMS messages for a single (short!) communication.

The not so funny thing is that Firefox OS can't autocomplete/predict in this weird mode, while iOS and Android can, so I end up spending more time to type in Firefox OS. This is bug 1026309, which I've been trying to find some time to work on forever. If someone could work on that, he would be my hero!
(Reporter)

Comment 6

3 years ago
> The idea at the time was that most phones (including iOS and Android) were
> working like this.

That's not entirely true. On my Android device I can write and send lowercase sms messages. In older versions of android there was an option at sms settings to choose which mode you want with a warning text about extra costs (since lowercase sms indeed split into more messages). This option still exists in many sms apps in google play.

I filed this as a bug in terms of UX, since I receive sms messages in lowercase Greek (probably from android phones) and I have to reply in capital letters (like I'm shouting :P). There should be at least an option to choose.
(In reply to Tim Guan-tin Chien [:timdream] (OOO Nov 16-26; please needinfo) from comment #4)
> (In reply to Julien Wajsberg [:julienw] from comment #2)
> > We discussed in that bug that we wanted to come back at the issue to give a
> > way to the user to choose between this behavior and using UCS-2. But we
> > never did ;) Maybe now is a good time.
> 
> I would avoid yet another switch in Settings app....

No, I was more thinking of moving this feature to a 3rd party app...
(Reporter)

Comment 8

3 years ago
So, I read all comments on bug 914454. It seems that this has already been discussed in depth, so I don't want to open again the same discussion. Probably the best solution could be an Add-on that modifies the SMS app not to use this special layout, for people who don't mind sending 70char messages.

One more question. I see the PR made back then, but the code has changed a lot since the in the keyboard app. There is a code part for selecting this specific layout, but I can't find any similar piece of code on the master branch.
https://github.com/mozilla-b2g/gaia/pull/12518/files#diff-dc0c62addec9eb302ba0b292ac718a8cL593
It's names -moz-sms now, look in apps/keyboard/js/keyboard/layout_manager.js.
Mass closing of Gaia::SMS bugs. End of an era :(
Status: NEW → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 2 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
Mass closing of Gaia::SMS bugs. End of an era :(
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