RE: query

Date: Thu Oct 19 2000 - 13:33:43 EDT

Carl W. Brown wrote:
> Double byte enabling DOS is no minor feat. It is not a
> driver but a new
> operating system. If you are tight on memory your
> applications may not run
> because the DBCS support adds overhead. About 5 years ago we
> gave up on
> DBCS DOS projects because they were too much grief. Hardware
> is not that
> expensive any more. The excuse no longer holds up.
> Considering that a good
> Chinese font is 3-10Mb, using DOS just does not make sense.

Carl, a lot of special devices and embedded stuff are still in DOS, and
there is little one can do (although I would expect that solutions based on
newer palmtop OS's also exist on the market).

I think I know the kind of hardware Joshua is talking about, as we use them
a lot in retail systems: they are not PC's, but rather special hand held
devices, used for making inventories in shops. They have an integrated
barcode reader and a small keyboard (sometimes only numeric; sometimes with
also QWERTY... or ABCDE... alphanumeric keys).

I don't understand why you say that double-byte enabling DOS is such a
nightmare. Before Windows 3.x became the standard, there used to be lots of
Chinese and Japanese software for DOS. There are editors, word processors,
libraries, and add-ons (well, TSR's) to make the whole operationg system

Of course, these solutions did not use Unicode or TrueType fonts, but rather
GB or JIS and monospaced bitmapped fonts. But if the solution has to be
Unicode, it is not such a big deal to bang out a minimal Unicode library
implementing, say:

1) UTF-8 handling, and maybe also UTF-16;

2) Unicode to DBCS (GB or JIS) conversion for the display.

The only problem I see is that this old software is not on shops shelves
anymore, so getting all the needed pieces requires some digging on Internet
or bargain shops.

_ Marco

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