Re: Mac support of UCAS in Unicode 3.0

From: Deborah Goldsmith (
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 20:18:02 EDT

on 10/26/00 3:55 PM, Nesbitt, Gavin <GNesbitt@GOV.NU.CA> wrote:

> To focus this advice, perhaps I can ask whether Unicode syllabic encoded web
> pages would be technically viewable on Macs? If so, what would be required
> to do so and if not, what might be required to get it supported...?

All currently available Mac web browsers, to the best of my knowledge,
render web pages using Mac OS character sets. If they receive Unicode
characters, they convert them to Mac OS encodings first, then display the
results of that conversion. The only exception I am aware of to this rule is
the OmniWeb application which runs only on Mac OS X.

Some web browsers use the Mac OS Text Encoding Converter to convert from
Unicode to Mac OS encodings. Theoretically, you could write a TEC plugin to
handle UCAS. However, I don't know if these browsers will recognize
additional encodings provided via a plugin and make them available, since I
haven't tried it.

There has been an API (ATSUI) in Mac OS since Mac OS 8.5 which can render
all of Unicode. No web browser that runs on Mac OS 8.x/9.x uses this API, to
the best of my knowledge. I think that Mozilla did at one point, but I don't
know if that support is still enabled. Developers are starting to adopt
ATSUI and the text editing API based on it (MLTE), but not any browser
vendors I'm aware of.

Basically, there is not a lot of software on OS 8 and 9 that supports
Unicode directly (i.e., all of Unicode, not just the subset Mac OS could
already handle). Mac OS X has lots of applications that use Unicode
directly, including the Finder and the built-in mail program and text

If you want web browsers to support UCAS on Mac OS 8.x/9.x you will need to
talk to the browser vendors: Microsoft, Netscape, and iCab being the most

Feel free to contact me directly for more information.

Deborah Goldsmith
Manager, International Toolbox Group
Apple Computer, Inc.

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