Re: Linux & Unicode

From: Mark Liberman (
Date: Thu Dec 03 1998 - 06:25:53 EST

>I am a bit sad about the responses Glen on his request about
>Unicode in Linux.

While the general level of awareness and activity may be lower than it
should be, the overall situation does not seem so bleak to me.

From my (worm's eye) view:

Arnt's earlier answer suggests that Qt and KDE will soon have reasonable
basic support for Unicode, making it much easier for interested people
to use Unicode in applications built on top of them.

There is (very) basic support for Unicode in tcl/tk 8.1: tk

Unicode support (including in regex matching and so on) seems to be a
priority for perl, as is clear from the many references to Unicode in
Larry Wall's talk at the last perl conference:

It appears that emacs may be moving in the direction of using
Unicode internally.

Again, all of this suggests to me that events on several fronts are
lowering the (now rather high) barriers to writing applications that
enter, manipulate, and display Unicode strings on open-source systems,
and you can count on lots of people around the world taking rapid
advantage of the new opportunities.

I don't mean that everything is about to be fixed -- for instance,
tcl/tk 8.1a does not seem to do anything helpful about entry methods,
or rendering combining characters, etc. -- but given that the basic
facts that internal strings are now all Unicode, and that the source
is open, the door is open for some smart kids -- say in India -- to
add what their languages need, and perhaps to devise good general
frameworks for such additions.


-Mark Liberman

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