Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Malfunctioning of IME due to Dropbox

Just recently, I experienced a little rare trouble about the IME on my Macbook.

To input Japanese language, we have to use an IME system which can transfer each word in alphabet into Japanese letter (Katakana, Hiragana, and Kanji). For example, when I input "k-i-n," IME suggests "金 [gold]." If it is not what I expected, I hit the space bar, to change it into "禁 [forbid]," "近 [near]," or "菌 [bacteria]," and so forth. It is hard for English users to imagine the toughness of the task I guess.

Recently, there are some excellent IME systems developed by Microsoft Japan, Justsystems, and Google. Apple also offers "Kotoeri," as its own IME. We can choose one installed in our PC. I like ATOK by Justsystems.

However, IME sometimes causes trouble. Malfunctioning of IME is critical for our business because creating documents is essential for most PC users. If IME is completely crippled, we cannot fix it, as IME is required for inputting any Japanese letters. Without an IME, we cannot use even Google search.

And just recently, it occurred.

The phenomena was a little strange. When I inputted some letters, they were automatically changed into Kanji, or Hiragana, without my direction. In another typing, the letters were doubled, like a copy and paste. First, I suspected I had touched the trackpad unintentionally. But it was not. I felt as if someone behind the screen manipulated the keyboard.

To be honest, this kind of error occurred in Windows PC. It was due to an erroneous update module of the Windows OS. Discovering it through seeing the Microsoft forum, I made a rollback of the Windows system. Then the malfunction vanished.

I did an update of Mac OS. But the trouble was not fixed.

Interestingly, it occurred on an MS Word file. Writing an email in Japanese, I never suffered from this strange movement.

I searched someone having experienced similar phenomena. I found an interesting description in Japanese The author reported a phenomenon very similar to mine. And the cause of the trouble was identified to the error of Dropbox, according to the author.

Dropbox offers an option called as "Dropbox badge." It looks a small banner appeared to the right of the MS Word document. When you rewrite a document which is shared with your colleagues, the badge provides you some option about reflecting the changes you have done. However, this function is no use to me, as I seldom manage documents at the same time of my colleagues. When the author disabled the Dropbox Badge, the malfunction of the IME was completely fixed. And so did I.

I guess Dropbox Badge attempted to save the file frequently. Whenever checking the file, it found some inconsistency between the saved file and the current one. Inappropriate unionizing of the files might cause serious trouble on the IME. Thus, the person I felt behind the screen was Dropbox itself.

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