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On Bridging The Gap Between Far Eastern Cultures and The User Interface
Chinese characters cement Far Eastern cultures: they can be found for example in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese writing systems. Digital computer systems originate from the Occident, during or shortly after the second world war. Their usage has thus been centred on horizontal, left-to-right layouts, typesetting and I/O, which has created a gap between these systems and, for instance, Far Eastern cultures whose writing systems are traditionally vertical right-to-left (RTL). Although some improvements have been made in this field over time, there are still several major issues. In this paper, we conduct an experiment, which is a proof of concept, to investigate the feasibility and usability of a user interface that abides by the vertical RTL typesetting rules. The results obtained show that while some of these gaps could be filled, there remain several technological challenges.