On 09/23/2000 10:45:13 AM "Carl W. Brown" wrote:
>Microsoft has chosen not to create and new code pages for new languages.
>Unfortunately for you these languages are the Indian languages. They
>these language to Windows 2000 in Unicode only. They are not available on
>Windows 98 or Windows Me.
>Part of the reason for doing this only on Windows
>2000 is also that they added Uniscribe and Open Type to handle more
>scripts properly this is a Unicode API that would have been difficult to
>port to the Win 98 platform.
Not true. Windows 9x has always supported APIs for drawing text using
Unicode-encoded strings. Uniscribe and OpenType are available on Win9x/Me,
and if you had OT Devanagari fonts and the appropriate version of
Uniscribe, you should be able to display Devanagari text on Win9x/Me using
an appropriate (i.e. Unicode-enabled app) such as IE 5.5 or WordPad. (Word
2000 may also work, but I know it has certain problems with Thai when
running on non-Thai versions of Win9x; I don't know for certain that it
would handle Devanagari.)
What Win9x/Me has *not* had are all the other APIs that it takes to provide
full Unicode support. Most other APIs require a codepage, and without any
codepage for Devanagari, etc. there is no way on Win9x to provide complete
support for scripts of India.
For some purposes, support for input and output are all that's needed. As
mentioned, there is no obstacle to rendering Indic scripts (at least as
used for major languages) on Win9x that can't be solved. Input is one of
those things for which Win9x didn't provide Unicode support. I won't go
into the technical details of what the obstacle is. There is now an API
that gets around that obstacle, however: WM_UNICHAR can be used as an
alternative to WM_CHAR. While WM_CHAR may or may not carry a Unicode
character (depending on other factors - but it never does so on Win9x,
hence the obstacle), WM_UNICHAR always carries a Unicode character,
expressed as UTF-32. This API can be used on Win9x, but it does require
specific support by applications and by keyboard drivers to work.
I am aware of some software that is in development that will use the API as
a client (i.e. recipient); version 5 of the Tavultesoft Keyboard Manager
("Keyman") also makes use of this API, so it provides a fairly easy way to
create keyboards that can be used on Win9x/Me that can generate Unicode
characters from any range without requiring a codepage.
Keyman 5 is currently in beta, and has been running quite well, at least on
Win2000 and Win98. You can check it out at http://www.tavultesoft.com/.
Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
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