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All things Russian. Душа моя Павел,
Держись моих правил:
Люби то-то то-то,
Не делай того-то.
Кажись, это ясно?
Прощай, мой прекрасный.
Пушкин - Вяземскому.

Ok, I finally gave up. I want to write in Russian too. The the koi-8 creator's own notes, as well as a portion of cyrillic charset soup, plus a bit of common sense, plus usage of right tools, are more than enough to do things in a proper way.

The only remaining question is how to type these weird characters. You see, long years of emigration do not pass without leaving a trace, and at least one virtue is definitely lost - the ability to type at reasonable speed in your mother tongue. Besides, russian keyboards are rare in the context of meditteranean-oriental culture and those which I saw - suck.

So the only solution is to type in translit (also called воляпюк by ones not without intellectual demands). Though translit is more than enough for communication purposes, it is not visually appealing. Hence the only (corrected) solution - to type in translit and convert it to koi-8. (The question why koi-8 and not other encodings, some of which are used in a family of exotic operating systems-wannabies, is almost senseless and out of scope here).

As for almost everything in the universe, there are already existent efforts and solutions. The most decent of them are:

  • appropriate CPAN modules (please look to CPAN yourself for exact references);
  • something called "cifirica" (exact link is lost);
  • to use only those russian letters whose transcription is identical to the latin ones (see here for really inspiring examples),

but neither was usable to me - be it for technical, cultural or another selfish reason.

So I invented my own, mostly no-brain quick-and-dirty-hack. This is merely not a program, but a (so-to-say) project, as it will constantly evolve and mutate to fit my changing needs in producing russian texts.

And here - mainly for my personal occasional usage (but nobody will beat you for (ab)using it as well) - the cgi version of this thingy.

Rememeber, that as any reasonable program, it acts according to the principle "garbage in - garbage out" (you should write correctly even in translit after all). So the following rules should be obeyed:

j or zhжzз
i'йkh or hх

"э" should be converted in most of the cases from "e" correctly according to the context, but as the last resort one may use e_oborotnoe for that. Also, it copes with a reasonable mix of low- and upper-case (such as chuchmek, Chuchmek and CHUCHMEK), but not with the CrAZy CoOl EliTE style. The soft sign is capitalized automatically.

Update Dec 30, 2010: there is seemingly a much more superior thingy from our Bulgarian cyrillic friends which has been around for years. Still, I am keeing this loosy page for nostalgic reasons.


created Oct 27 2000
last modified Tue Dec 3 01:08:38 BRST 2013