Re: Chinese Windows and unicode

Date: Tue Jun 11 2002 - 12:40:06 EDT

On 06/11/2002 10:09:36 AM "Michael \(michka\) Kaplan" wrote:

>Sorry, but no version of Windows 95, 98, or Me really supports Unicode in
>any real sense -- the APIs that support it are minimal.
>Conversion is usually possible (via the WideCharToMultiByte and
>MultiByteToWideChar APIs) but the number of code pages on the machine are
>usually more limited than they are on WinNT/2000/XP/.Net and its unclear
>what you would do with the information you have converted to Unicode once
>you have accomplished the conversion?

Well, one could do something useful, like display it and edit it -- note
that Win9x/Me does support (Ext)TextOutW. Recall that Word 97 and Word 2000
use Unicode to represent data and successfully run on Win9x/Me. In other
words, Michael's grim assessment is a bit overstated.

Of course, there's no question that Win2K or WinXP are much better
platforms for working with Unicode. It should also be pointed out that far
east versions of Win9x/Me are not able to support Uniscribe / OpenType
rendering -- it does not work at all on those platforms. So, if you want to
do e.g. Arabic, Chinese Win9x/Me is a lost cause; you need to switch to
Win2K/XP. Also, you'll have more obstacles (notably input -- possible, but
not out of the box) working with characters that are not all supported in a
single codepage; so, if you want to do e.g. Georgian, you'll be able to
display it, but you'll need to find a way to enter data, and that won't be
at all possible in most apps.

But if all you want to do is something like Chinese but encoded in Unicode
rather than a legacy encoding, Win9x/Me can support that.

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <>

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