I'm trying to key in this text in Cherokee. It's in the syllabary, which I don't know at all well. My current keyboard entry mechanism assumes that I do know the syllabary well -- it requires you to type the romanization in, and hit the key to turn it into the syllabary. But since I don't know the romanization for some of the glyphs yet, it's hard.
So I whipped up something in Perl/Tk, which just uses some basic widgets and Win32::Clipboard. Simple interface: click the glyph, and it gets appended to the top window, which is also what's on the clipboard. And just for my edification, the romanization appears under it, and the layout of the glyph buttons also doubles as a reference chart.
Now if I could actually make sense of the language itself better! I'm half-convinced that the function (if not purpose) of the Cherokee syllabary is to obscure the fact that the Cherokee language itself is actually extremely hard to learn. It reminds me of that poor American student in Nabokov's Pnin, who started off taking Russian classes because someone told him that once you learned the Cyrillic alphabet, you were mostway to being able to read Tolstoy in the original.