Finally got around to trying to set up Japanese-language support on my Ubuntu laptop (running 5.04, "Hoary Hedgehog"), which is the machine I've been using day-to-day since starting work at OSAF.
With each new Linux distro I've used, the process for setting up Japanese has always been a completely different and totally excruciating process. And once it was set up, it using the Japanese language in a specific app required setting up a bunch of screwy environment variables in a terminal like this:
LANG=ja_JP.ujis LC_ALL=ja_JP.ujis LINGUAS="ja_JP.ujis" LESSCHARSET=japanese export LANG LC_ALL LINGUAS LESSCHARSET
The other alternative was using an entirely Japanese-language environment, which is pretty unappealing for a someone like me who speaks it as second language.
So imagine my shock, surprise, and delight when simply following the instructions in this page on Ubuntu CJK provided me with seamless Japanese support that just frigging works.
This is huge. Using Japanese on this machine now is as easy and trouble-free as it is on my wife's Mac. I cannot say enough in praise of the good people at Ubuntu and the SCIM Project who have obviously done piles of work to make using multiple languages under *nix this easy. I can actually copy-paste Japanese text between apps -- something I haven't been able to do since back in my Mac OS 9 days.
This is more exciting than when printing from Ubuntu "just worked" last week in the OSAF office, when Windows couldn't find a single printer on the network. Strange times we're living in, my friends.