Re: OpenType not for Open Communication?

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Thu Dec 09 2004 - 04:58:22 CST

  • Next message: Antoine Leca: "Re: Invalid UTF-8 sequences (was: Re: Nicest UTF)"

    Peter C. wrote:
    >> font vendors are creating fonts that use Unicode, platform vendors
    >> (at least Mac and Windows -- Linux is too fractured a scene to
    >> make a general statement)

    On Monday, December 6th, 2004 18:40Z Edward H. Trager va escriure:
    > The really big, important applications and code libraries on Linux
    > all use Unicode. Recent Linux distributions [...] Novell/SuSE ship
    > with UTF-8 locales enabled by default right out of the box.

    Also, smaller projects like Indlinux is using also UTF-8 as a base, even if
    other characters sets like ISCII would be more logical. And to put a
    counterpoint, nowadays an appreciable part of the Indic softwares available
    on Windows still are using proprietary encodings (but things are changing

    The real point of Peter is that Windows NT internally coerce any string to
    be Unicode (more exactly UTF-16, and sometimes UCS-2 or UTF-32), and I read
    that current versions of MacOS do the same. Linux, repectful of its Unix
    origins, does not do that, it is completely encoding-neutral (provided the /
    is used as path separator); by the way Linux does not handle fonts, so it
    does not have to get involved in this debate. X11, which stands atop of
    Linux (or *BSD, or the Windows kernel), might be a bit more picky, but I
    understand it still accepts about everything 8-bit-based, and does not
    convert internally.

    This is actually a difference in design: open systems (as they were named)
    were designed from day one to be independant of the operationnal charsets,
    and UTF-8 is about one of them, most used nowadays. Linux and X11 inherited
    from this state of affairs (slightly more recent, Plan 9 did not, and it
    sticks to UTF-8 internallly.) On the other hand, Windows inherited (I
    understand from IBM, evolving from DOS) an attachment to a designated
    operationnal charset; once upon a time it was a big problem (and it still is
    in a number of cases), but with the advent of Windows NT which allows
    Unicode as the designated charset things are getting better. Of course the
    transition was harsher than the one to UTF-8 with open systems.

    However, you can still publish an "ANSI" application in 2004 for Windows. It
    is essentially the same as publishing an application for *nix which
    _requires_ a iso-8859-x or EUC-XX locale: not a sensible thing to do, but it
    may happen.


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