Re: Unicode on Mac (was: Re: NBSP & Mac text editor

From: Ronald S. Wood (
Date: Mon Feb 10 1997 - 06:23:05 EST

On Sun, 9 Feb 1997 David Goldsmith wrote:

> I'll leave it to Merle's talk to lay out the whole thing, but we will be
> releasing our Text Encoding Converter SDK very soon. This will support
> conversion between Unicode, Mac, and industry standard character sets. It
> also allows for some display of Unicode by converting it into runs of Mac
> character sets which can be displayed using Apple's WorldScript
> technology. Quickdraw GX also supports display of Unicode. This is just a
> first step.

Two questions: is the API the same or very similar to the one that I
saw (on a friend's developer disc) for the alpha 15 version of the Unicode
converter? And will Apple provide fonts (as Microsoft is apparently doing)
for the display of a broader Unicode range (i.e. Lucida Sans on NT and the
free language packs for Internet Explorer)?

Although I know that Apple sells language packs, wouldn't it be possible
to provide fonts for display only (i.e. no fancy input methods) so that we
can view Unicode data both in (future) editors and in Java? If not, this
puts Apple's Unicode support at a competitive disadvantage (and aren't we
all aware of Apple's other competitive disadvantages (viz. size)?). I
might point out that there are presumably Unicode ranges that are not
covered by current fonts that nevertheless would be immediately useful to
English speakers (e.g. General Punctuation, Subscripts and Superscripts,
Currency Symbols, Letterlike forms, etc. in the 0x2000 to 27FF range). I
myself am interested in ancient languages, but I don't see major vendors
supporting ancient Greek or Coptic any time soon.

As I see it, supporting Unicode display capabilities will be important for
the Mac as an internet platform, since Java and the browsers will have
expanded Unicode UTF-8 capabilities, shortly.

> Our Rhapsody OS, which will have its first developer release this year,
> is based on Unicode strings as a fundamental data type, and has excellent
> support for display and editing.

I looked at the OpenStep API and liked a lot of it, including the Unicode

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