Summary of Unicode/language features in Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar"

From: Deborah Goldsmith (
Date: Sat Aug 24 2002 - 13:18:08 EDT

As promised, here is a very quick summary of the high points (as best I
can remember without my reference materials at hand):

1. Keyboard Layouts

- Keyboards may be installed by dragging in the Finder to
/Library/Keyboard Layouts/, ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts/, or
/Network/Library/Keyboard Layouts/, then logging out and logging back

- Formats supported include plain resource files with KCHR and uchr
resources, bundled packages with KCHR and uchr resources that allow
keyboard names to be multi-localized, a new XML text file keyboard
format (equivalent to the uchr) which can be edited with any XML or
text editor, and a bundle version of the XML format.

Documentation on both the above points will be in a forthcoming tech
note; unfortunately, it's not posted yet, as our developer support
staff is very busy getting all the 10.2 tech notes ready for posting.
Until then, if you have 10.2 you can look at /System/Library/Keyboard
Layouts/ for examples of how the new support works.

- A large number of new Unicode keyboard layouts are included, among
which are Arabic, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Devanagari, Greek, Turkish,
Icelandic, and several others.

2. Fonts

New fonts include:

- A new Roman font family, Cochin
- A collection of five new, high-quality TrueType fonts to support the
Chinese GB 18030 standard, each of which has over 31,000 glyphs
(including all of UniHan on plane 0, Yi, and partial support for
Tibetan and Mongolian)
- Fonts to support Arabic, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Devanagari, Gujarati,
Gurmukhi, Polytonic Greek, and Thai (some of these are optional

The Central European versions of Times, Helvetica, etc. have been
merged into their Roman counterparts and support both script systems.
These fonts appear as a single unified font to Unicode applications
(e.g., Times) and as two fonts to QuickDraw applications (e.g., Times
and Times CE).

Note that the only scripts supported via WorldScript and QuickDraw are
MacRoman, MacJapanese, MacSimplifiedChinese, MacTraditionalChinese,
MacKorean, MacCentralEuropean, and MacCyrillic. All other scripts are
supported via Unicode only.

Many other fonts were updated as well.

3. Unicode

Support for text in bidirectional and complex writing systems (e.g.
reordering) is now available in all Unicode applications, including
Cocoa applications. You can now send and receive mail in Arabic,
Devanagari, etc. using Apple's Mail application.

Since both keyboards and fonts can be dropped in, and shaping behavior
can be supported via a "morx" table in a font, it's now possible to
drop in the ability to support Unicode text in a new language by adding
a keyboard and a font.

On the other hand, the system will now support the most common shaping
behaviors (e.g., support for Latin combining accents or combining
Japanese voice marks) without requiring the addition of tables to a

Collation, word break, and so on has been updated to Unicode 3.2 data.
The Mac OS Extended (HFS+) file system now follows Unicode 3.2
decomposition behavior (in previous systems it was frozen at Unicode

Both Cocoa and Carbon APIs now support the creation of fully composed
Unicode as well as fully decomposed Unicode (the canonical normalized

4. Character Palette

There is a new character palette which provides easy access to
characters from any part of Unicode. It's available to both Unicode and
non-Unicode applications, though of course only a subset of characters
can be entered in non-Unicode applications. The palette is available
independent of which keyboard or input method is selected.

5. Updated Japanese input method

Apple's input method, Koteri, has new features and improved conversion

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but these are most of the high
points. I believe all these statements are accurate, but it's Saturday
morning and I've been on vacation for a week. :-)

Deborah Goldsmith
Manager, Fonts & Unicode
Apple Computer, Inc.

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