Re: FW: MS-Windows and Unicode Support

From: Yung-Fong Tang (
Date: Tue Jan 21 1997 - 14:51:44 EST

Murray Sargent wrote:
> The Apple language packs seem to be pretty cool, but unfortunately their
> OSs don't support Unicode very well. This has been a problem for us.
> Is it a problem for you?
> Thanks
> Murray

Well, Apple's Unicode story is you can use Unicode with QuickDraw GX
APIs, unfortuntely, not many people using QuickDraw GX API, even
internally in Apple.
Microsoft claim they have Unicode support on Win32 API, unfortunately it
do it badly on Windows 95:

> unfortunately their OSs don't support Unicode very well.
Is there any OS SUPPORT UNICODE VERY WELL ???? I don't think so.
( Maybe Xerox Star station, Taligent, or NextStep support Unicode very
well, I don't know. I only know UNIX/PC/MAC, neither one of these tree
could be count as an OS support Unicode VERY WELL. I am not asking
anyone to support Unicode better here. I just want to state the

Don't tell me how good the Unicode support in Window NT or 95. Look at
the list below:

1). If you call SendMessagesW and some other xxxW APIs on Windows 95,
you can compile, you can link , you can run, but it won't do anything
for you. It may return you some error code but it won't do the right job
which you expect an API usually will do. So you cannot write an Unicode
Win32 application which work both on NT and 95. I won't count Windows 95
is a OS which support Unicode VERY WELL.

2). Although some of the Unicode text drawing APIs is working on Windows
95, they are buggy and limited. For example, you can call TextOutW() on
Windows95 but not DrawTextW() or DrawTextExW(). And if you call
TextOutW() with a CJK fonts with underline, it won't draw underline
correctly. It is not a font problem but an implemenation problme. I
won't count Windows 95 is a OS which support Unicode VERY WELL.

3). You cannot use Unicode with BUTTON/LISTBOX/COMBOBOX/EDIT control on
Windows 95, simply because the problem stated in 1). I won't count
Windows 95 is a OS which support Unicode VERY WELL.

4). Even the native OS do some stupid job on Windows 95. For example, if
you create a font on Chinese/Korean Windows 95 with charset =
ANSI_CHARSET and want to draw European characters, it sometime work
sometime don't, depend on the context. Which prevent drawing European
characters (or even simply Copyright sign) on Chinese/Korean Windows
through TextOutA() API. Look at for details

I think what the origional email asking is Language Packs. But not
Unicode support.

With Apple's language kit, I can easily put CJK text into Menu, Button,
Checkbox, Radiobox, TextEdit, List, by specifing fonts to those control.
On Windows 95, even with that SO-CALLED Language Pack. you cannot do the
same thing without overloading the display function of those control. An
Japanese application could easily run on the US MacOS with Japanese
Langauge Kit without rewrite. There are no Japanese application could
run on US Windows 95 with those so-called langauge pack without rewrite.


Frank Tang Internationaliztion Engineer (415) 937-2913 Netscape Communication Corp about:ftang 685-1 E. Middlefield Rd Mountain View, CA 94043

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