Java and Unicode: Making It Work

Mark Leisher - Computing Research Lab / New Mexico State University

Intended Audience: Software Engineer
Session Level: Intermediate

The latest versions of Java provide at least minimal support for display of some Unicode text, expecting the operating system to eventually provide the necessary text layout and rendering services to complete the support. Operating system vendors are making concerted efforts to provide these services, but the broader coverage of Unicode needed by scholars and scripts with small user communities will probably not be available for some time. The nature of projects at CRL/NMSU require wider coverage of Unicode than is currently available in Java and on various operating systems, so a project was started in September 1999 to port the basics of our Unix-based Unicode toolkit to Java. The three primary goals of this project are to provide platform independence, Web-based presentation of Unicode text, and Unicode support for editors derived from the Swing toolkit. This paper discusses some of the choices made and developments that resulted during the port to Java.

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31 October 1999, Webmaster