Target Audience: Manager, Software Engineer

Level of Session: Intermediate

To display multilingual data correctly using the right font is one of the most common problems that developers encounter when writing international applications.

Ultimately, displaying Unicode data becomes a problem of dynamically selecting the best matching font available on the system. TrueType and OpenType fonts cover only a subset of Unicode ranges in which they are able to display the appropriate glyphs. It is essential then to set the right charset font flag (i.e matching the data being displayed) when creating the Graphical Font object.

Unfortunately, data often originates from unknown sources and unknown languages and even if the text is encoded in Unicode, it is difficult to identify in which charset / Unicode target range the content has been encoded . Once the charset is identified, it is mapped to the corresponding font flag used to create the logical font (for example : text that can be encoded as Code page 874 would be mapped to THAI_CHARSET in Windows).

This paper explains how Lotus solved the problem of charset guessing and font selection and how it is used in Domino Global WorkBench?. DGW is a key development tool used for the localization of Notes databases and is leading edge WEB technology.

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14 Jun 1999, Webmaster