Google Japan Makes Comic Of Japanese Input Method Development

Google Japan publicized their “Google Japanese Imput Method (Beta) Comic” online, following to its paper version, which was presented to their developer’s event recently.

This 42 pages comic by Yutanpo Shirane features some star developers in Google Japan.

There are 8 chapters and each chapter has the following topic;

  1. Why Google developed and released its own Japanese input method system
  2. Design concept: multi-platform, speed, security and stability
  3. Architecture: zero-based design, modular design, dictionary data compression, seamless software update
  4. Security: sandbox process
  5. Dictionary: made from their search index
  6. Conversion Engine Tuning: rank possible words choice by popularity on the web
  7. Suggestion: algorithm and interface for better word suggestion
  8. Misc: key bind customization, quality assurance, feedback system

Overall, the comic is for engineers, or at least people who do not dislike technical talk. It often emphasizes that Google Japan does not collect information over the internet to identify which user typed what text.

When Google released a comic to introduce Google Chrome, Google Japan made a different Japanese version with the same cartoonist as this time.

Probably Google Japan thought the original U.S. cartoon would not be accepted well in this comic country, however, this Yutanpo Shirane’s tone and the comic going from left-to-right (opposite direction of most Japanese manga) look not a typical Japanese manga but rather close to American comics for me.


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@akky is one of the first Japanese pro-bloggers [J]. He also leads Asiajin, writes a tech column on The Japan Times, consults for some foreign companies interested in Japanese web market. (please inquire to akimoto on gmail.com).
  • http://www.seanohagan.com Sean OHagan

    Does Google have any plans for an English (or other) translation of the comic? As a non-Japanese user of IMEs, I would be very interested in reading the details.

  • http://akimoto.jp/blog/ Akky Akimoto

    I don’t think they will translate those Japanese comics to English because its purpose (I guess) is to show what Google Japan development team does to potential employees in Japan, and to motivate their current Japanese engineers. There are many known and unknown GJ’s engineers appear on the comic and proudly explain their works in the project.

  • http://www.seanohagan.com Sean OHagan

    Understood, thanks!