Re: New MS Mac Office and Unicode?

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Wed Jan 14 2004 - 16:45:00 EST

  • Next message: John Hudson: "Re: New MS Mac Office and Unicode?"

    On 14/01/2004 12:44, John Delacour wrote:

    > At 11:44 am -0800 14/1/04, Peter Kirk wrote:
    >> ....But there is no sign or suggestion of major changes to the
    >> rendering engine. All I see suggested is some minor changes around
    >> the edges, perhaps to squeeze a few extra characters into the
    >> existing charater sets, perhaps to include a few extra character sets.
    > At 11:02 am -0800 12/1/04, Deborah Goldsmith wrote:
    >> I can now tell you that Mac Office 2004 does offer enhanced support
    >> for Unicode, in that it can input, edit, and display Unicode
    >> characters that are not part of any Mac OS legacy character set.
    > I think you can take it that Deborah would not have written what she
    > did if she had not reliable information that the applications in
    > Office 2004 were _fully_ Unicode compatible. ...

    She didn't say "fully". No one has said "fully". She said "enhanced",
    which means that it can do more than the old version could. No one
    disputes that. She made it clear that she did not mean that Office 2004
    can display *all* Unicode characters in her next sentence, where she
    wrote that she does not know whether complex shaping or bidirectional
    scripts will be supported.

    > ... If you can input polytonic Greek and Lao from Unicode keyboard
    > layouts, as she suggests you now can, since if one Unicode input is
    > possible then so are all, then you can take it that your pessimism is
    > totally ill-founded.
    If it is possible to input all Unicode characters, which no one has
    actually said yet, that still doesn't mean that they can all be
    displayed. I think we can safely assume from Han-Yi's continuing silence
    on this issue, and Deborah's professed ignorance, that there will be no
    support for Hebrew, Arabic, Indic and SE Asian scripts. Presumably these
    code points can be entered, but the implication is that they cannot be
    rendered properly - or at least that Microsoft is not promising anything.

    But, if I understand Han-Yi correctly (and it agrees well with what
    Deborah said), the restriction to Mac OS legacy character sets is being
    lifted, which would imply that all LTR characters not requiring complex
    shaping are potentially supported. My speculations that they would not
    be seem to be unfounded. I apologise for any misunderstanding. I'm not
    sure that I apologise for wasting anyone's time, because it was
    necessary to ask these questions persistently to get clear answers.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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