platform support for Unicode fonts (Win32)

From: Paul Rohr (
Date: Sat Apr 27 2002 - 03:10:04 EDT

  • Next message: Paul Rohr: "Re: random differences (was Re: selections and combining characters)"

    Even without using the Bidi build, I'd say the results are quite promising.
    Some preliminary conclusions:

    1. Content in over 20 languages Just Works. Those languages have ispell
    dictionaries, and given a good enough font (in this case, the Times New
    Roman that ships with NT 4.0) they render cleanly.

    2. Content in another 8 languages also renders cleanly. It might be worth
    doing some evangelizing to recruit folks to create ispell dictionaries for
    those languages so they Just Work too.

    3. I was unable to test another 7 languages that do have ispell
    dictionaries, because I couldn't find a UTF-8 translation of the Unicode
    motto. However, given the encoding limitations of ispell, I'd be willing to
    bet that most of them Just Work too.

    4. Likewise, I was unable to test another 2 languages that we currently
    have translators for -- Indonesian (id-ID) and Welsh (cy-GB). Neither
    appeared on other Unicode test pages.

    bottom line
    If you're keeping track at home, that's a total of approximately 35 (!!)
    languages that already work, out of the box, on our stock build.

    I'm incredibly thrilled about this, because it means that the primary
    remaining obstacles for users of those languages are:

      - finishing the UI (and help) localizations,
      - finding or creating suitable fonts,
      - finding or creating suitable dictionaries,
      - mastering the input mechanisms for that language, and
      - confirming that printing works.

    Note that three of these are "data issues". The main coding obstacles would
    be any remaining glitches in the I/O stuff (typing and printing) ... and
    that's what Bugzilla is for!

    Kudos to all the i18n coders -- Henrik, Vlad, HJ, Tomas, Yaacov, Andrew, et
    al -- whose excellent work to date is now paying off!


    PS: Remember, I made zero effort to:

      - locate other fonts, or
      - try the BiDi build,

    so our "real" levels of support are probably even higher. Anyone interested
    in extending the Win32 test? If so, please update the document

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