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ah, memories

Joel's note on i18n is quite good and quite accurate. I wrote the code in java on OS/2 which tried to display unicode text (and we, unlike win9x, were still stuck in a world where we had to worry excessively about codepages - i.e. no graphics engine / font engine support for 16-bit characters; no non-latin characters in the base fonts, etc.)

I'll remember those 9 months for the rest of my life. Fuckin' backward compatibility. Should have just gone native 16-bit characters in OS/2 2.0 and screwed all the banks; but then again that would have been Microsoft, not IBM.

MD
Friday, October 10, 2003

I got a question:

I've wanted to write webpages to combine both Hindi (Devanagri) and English.  It's easy to do with Unicode and I can make my pages do everything I want.  Win2K and WinXP support for Indic languages has been superb from my viewpoint, and with OfficeXP, I'm sitting pretty.

BUT - many of my website users do not have Indic language support installed.  Will my webpages still show up correctly? Or is the easiest thing to do still to embed some old font on the page that uses the upper 128 bits and still make webpages that use those old encodings?

Ankur
Friday, October 10, 2003

The easiest thing to do is also the thing that got us into this mess in the first place ...

I say, author your webpage correctly, and if your users can't read it, then it's their problem, and they need to get with the 21st century.

Alyosha`
Friday, October 10, 2003

Whenever I browse to a site that doesn't have support for a particular character set installed, IE automatically asks me to install it.  If I accept, I get the page looking as it was intended. 

Almost Anonymous
Friday, October 10, 2003

http://www.microsoft.com/typography/web/embedding/default.htm

mb
Friday, October 10, 2003

Just remember to properly declare your character set and the browser should prompt the user if the proper character set isn't installed.

Lou
Friday, October 10, 2003

(a) WEFT is IE only, and Mozilla has no plans to implement it.

(b) In order to embed a font with WEFT, you have to be certain that the font you use is licensed to be embedded.

As for forcing users to get with the 21st century - I would love to do that, but a significant majority of my userbase is college students who may be sitting at Unix terminals without Indic support.  I would still like to be able to support them, if at all possible.

Ankur
Friday, October 10, 2003

as mentioned on the thread above this one, there are font issues and all sorts of other things well beyond what joel discussed.

your users can be told a) install an indic font or b) click here to see the server-side-rendered-bitmap of the site. there must be tools to do that. or maybe a pdf version or something. thankfully i've never had to really deal with that. only some win32 code ported to another platform where WCHAR was #defined to char. For good reason mind you, but it still made a mess of things.

mb
Friday, October 10, 2003

Flash MX is actually pretty good for allowing you to embed shared fonts with the unicode characters that you choose. Create a shared flash library with the font included, and use Flash MX to display any text with a reference to this shared library. Of course your users are going to need Flash .... if it's not one thing, it's another.

Knowledge Maker
Saturday, October 11, 2003

If your users are stuck on Unix terminals they're in a mess. I downloaded Sinhala and Tamil fonts for my computer and the download was a MB or so.

The best you can do is give them a link to where they can download and install the fonts.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, October 11, 2003

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