One of the founding principles of Unicode is that it encodes characters, not glyphs. Thus in order to render Unicode text, it is first necessary to transform it to a sequence of glyphs. While a straightforward transformation is sufficient for many scripts, the process is much more complex for Middle Eastern or Indic scripts. Since the ability to display text is fundamental to most of today's software, any international framework must address the issue of complex text rendering.

The Java Development Kit release 1.2 introduces a new framework for rendering complex text. This framework is designed around the notion of characters and glyphs as separate entities. It supports not only the rendering of complex text but its editing as well. Using this framework, JDK 1.2 is able to handle bidirectional scripts such as Hebrew and Arabic and work is underway to add support for Indic scripts. This talk will introduce Java's complex text rendering framework and will show how you can use it to create World Ready Java apps.

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24 January 1999, Webmaster