Unicode on Unix

From: Mark Leisher (mleisher@crl.nmsu.edu)
Date: Thu Dec 04 1997 - 21:31:21 EST

Since the number of Unix related questions seems to be rising, I thought I
would throw this in to tease everyone. There is a good possibility I will be
allowed to release a version of MUTT (Multilingual Unicode Text Toolkit, our
X11/Motif Unicode toolkit) to the net at large for free in the near future.

The free version may or may not have all of the things I mention below, but
should have many of them.

Some details:

  o Aside from OSF Motif, built entirely from resources freely available on
    the net and lots of elbow grease.

  o Known to run on most versions of Linux, SunOS, Solaris, and AIX4. If I
    had access to other platforms (i.e. HP/UX), it would run on those as

  o Supports Motif 1.1.4, 1.2.*, 2.0.1, and soon with 2.1. Rumor has it that
    it also works with Lesstif, but I have not officially ported it yet.

  o Does not depend on any Unicode, character set conversion, or input method
    support from the OS or windowing system.

  o Converts between Unicode and around 90 different character sets and
    transliterations including many rarely seen. Character set conversion is
    embedded in the API, so it is always available for importing/exporting
    text in non-Unicode character sets.

  o Supports much of Unicode 2.0 with the glaring exception of the Indic
    scripts and Tibetan which are under way at the moment. It even renders
    mixed direction text pretty darn well.

  o Real crowd pleasers: it supports Ethiopic and Klingon!

  o Has around 80 different input methods for various scripts.

  o No artificial limitations on mixing scripts together. You want to mix all
    supported scripts in one document? No problem.

  o Provides text, label, push button, and list widgets as well as a few other
    custom widgets we use for various things.

  o A simple text editor which demonstrates many of MUTT's capabilities.

  o Numerous other handy features.

Some of the things MUTT can't do yet and other flaws:

  o No culturally correct sorting.

  o No access to locale data like numeric and money formats.

  o No PushButton and Cascade buttons in menus (Motif is picky about what
    classes of widgets can appear in menus).

  o As mentioned before, no Indic scripts or Tibetan yet.

  o No vertical support for Mongolian, Han, and other vertically oriented

  o It is fairly slow on older boxes (i.e. Sparc IPC).

  o It is pretty big (around 3M for source code alone).

  o Font handling is limited to fonts already arranged in Unicode 2.0 order.

  o Documentation is lousy.

  o Various other things I'm sure people will find annoying.

The (soon to be, I hope) freely available version of MUTT will be a little
crude in some respects, but hey, you get what you pay for :-) I suspect once
it is loose on the net, it will rapidly improve in quality.

I won't be notifying anyone personally, so please don't ask. Stay tuned, this
list is the first place NetMUTT will be announced.
Mark Leisher "A designer knows he has achieved perfection
Computing Research Lab not when there is nothing left to add, but
New Mexico State University when there is nothing left to take away."
Box 30001, Dept. 3CRL -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Las Cruces, NM 88003

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:38 EDT