Illuminator: a free Unicode editor for Motif and Unix

From: Tom Fruchterman (
Date: Mon Jun 03 1996 - 17:27:00 EDT

   I would like to annouce a Unicode text editor that is available for
free via ftp:

   It is available as C and C++ source and also has precompiled linux
and Sparc binaries.

   Here is the good news:

1. It works.
2. It has keyboards for Western European languages plus Russian
(Cyrillic) and Greek.
3. It uses the Canna(Iroha) Japanese input server.
4. It has an Arabic keyboard and tries to do bidi.
5. It is free -- Berkeley style copyright.
6. It can read and write UTF/FSS or Unicode text files.

   Here is the bad news:

1. It was designed primarily for binary OCR documents and only
incidentally can read and write Unicode docs.

2. It has poor editing features -- not even cut copy and paste.

3. My method of implementing the fonts is extremely weird and you
would need to modify the fonts for other applications. It's a long
   1. I couldn't figure out how to do it right -- which I suspected
   involved writing locale files.
   2. I needed to fool Motif's XmStrings into displaying Unicode
   and the method I used involves a fixed table of Unicode range
   mapping to little bdf files of 128 or less characters.
   Thus the fontlist is fixed -- point size and style
   are not adjustable. But you should be able to pull out the
   relevant 2 libraries and get to using it. There are a bunch of
   functions that are basically the equivalent for Unicode of these


4. The fonts themselves are ugly and patched together from of a
variety of sources.

5. Korean is implemented, but with the old mapping and with no
efficient input method.

   I hope that some find this useful. There are a lot of other peoples'
Berkeley-copyrighted code that found its way into the project, but
they get credit in the distribution. The project was sponsored by
ARPA. The distribution emphasizes the OCR specific features and you'll
have to wade through a lot to get to the Unicode editor stuff.

Tom Fruchterman
RAF Technology

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