Re: Unicode in embedded systems

From: Radovan Garabik (
Date: Thu Feb 17 2005 - 13:09:17 CST

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    On Thu, Feb 17, 2005 at 10:26:06AM -0800, Markus Scherer wrote:
    > Ted Kenney wrote:
    > >--The prevalence of Unicode support in embedded
    > >systems software tools, real-time operating systems
    > >and the like;
    > Unicode is the primary text processing encoding in Symbian,
    > PocketPC/Windows CE, and Java.
    > >--Whether there is a trend toward greater Unicode
    > >support in this area; and
    > Yes, as in every area.
    > >--Product categories within embedded systems that
    > >stand out for their lack of Unicode support.
    > PalmOS 5 and lower, and Linux.

    PalmOS support for unicode is indeed non-existant. There is something in the
    api supporting multibyte strings, but only as far as an OS in ROM allows
    (that is, support for Japanese and Chinese encoding, if you happen to
    buy Japanese and Chinese version). Most unicode support is
    proprietary-coded into the application, with the need to provide its own
    font renderer - e.g. I added unicode support to Plucker (only LTR, with some
    support for combining chars, but with max. about 6000 different possible glyphs,
    thanks to Plucker internal font format deficiencies)

    > (Linux APIs can be used with UTF-8, but the basic glibc/POSIX APIs don't do
    > much of anything for Unicode and globalization support.)

    Linux PDA market is fast evolving. E.g. my X11-based Yopy has non-existant
    internationalization support (though I could probably recompile glibc
    and provide locales, but I am just too lazy for it :-)), but with
    Qtopia installed, reading and entering LTR characters works out of the
    box (though fixed width font applications might have problem with doublewidth
    chars). Qtopia being the de-facto standard, the situation is not so bad.

    | Radovan Garabk |
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