Re: Macintosh OS8.6, OS9

From: Sebastian Hagedorn (
Date: Mon Feb 05 2001 - 17:02:36 EST

-- "P. T. Rourke" <> is rumored to have mumbled on Montag, 5. Februar 2001 8:47 Uhr -0800 regarding Macintosh OS8.6, OS9:

> A communication with someone offlist (though I think he is on the list)
> suggested that Unicode is not supported at all in Macintosh OS8.6 or OS9,

It's not as simple as that.

> not even to the degree that it is supported in Windows 9x, except by means
> of Windows emulation (if I'm characterizing the message correctly; it is
> on another computer at the moment). Is this true? (Obviously I don't use
> Mac OS much).

To some extent. See below.

> I question this statement because the last time I used a
> Mac with OS8.6 (I don't have many opportunities, I'm afraid), Netscape 4
> did include the UTF-8 encoding among the permitted encodings; but as it
> wasn't my computer, I didn't install a Unicode font to test it.

A Unicode font wouldn't have helped you there. The "old" way to provide UTF-8 compatibility requires Apple's Text Encoding Converter, which maps characters to *different* fonts. So you cannot use just one Unicode font, but instead you need to install all kinds of fonts, and even then you won't
be able to view all Unicode characters, because some blocks don't have a corresponding representation in Apple's old script system. One example for this is the Extended Greek block. AFAIK you cannot get that with the TEC.

However, 8.5 and above actually contain ATSUI, the Apple Typography Services for Unicode Imaging. Those can read all kinds of font formats, including fonts like Microsoft's Arial Unicode. But that's only one half of
the equation. This fine API doesn't do you any good without applications that support it. Unfortunately the only mainstream application that seems to do so (I don't know for sure) is Adobe InDesign 1.5

Mac OS 9.1 comes with a small word processor called WorldText that supports
ATSUI... it's a first step. Here's hoping for the Carbon (or Cocoa?) release of Microsoft Office...

Cheers, Sebastian

Sebastian Hagedorn
Ehrenfeldgürtel 156, 50823 Köln, Germany

taz muss sein.

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