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Input and show Unicode in Delphi applications

Posted on 2000-04-13
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I and my group are planning to write a MIS applicaion which can input,read, store and show unicode characters(Because the application must handle several languages at the same time). I already have a good application with the same function but can only handle chinese characters wirtten in Delphi 3 (the database is Sybase11).
As I know, Delphi's support for Unicode is very limited. So, here is my headache:
1. Should I upgrade this Delphi applicaion and make it can handle unicode characters?
If I do, how can I make it handle unicode characters?
2. Should I rewrite the application in another language? Which language should I choose?
Which way is more quick and easy?
Could you give me some suggestions?
Thank you very much
Jenny

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Question by:shuier
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by:Lischke
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Hi Jenny,

this seems to be very important for judged from the many eMails you sent me :-) Well, I hope you have already receive my answer.

For the question here: You said you want to support different languages. This is only possible (with acceptable effort) when using Unicode. So my answer is to use this particular encoding scheme. Depending on the professionality of the final product it could become quite much work to do when supporting several languages, because their sorting order differ as well as many other important properties like word boundaries, letter writing depending on their place in a word etc. etc.

Together with a modern OS like W2K using Unicode is the best option, because the entire system works exclusively with Unicode (except for those parts which emulate a certain environment for old programs).

Ciao, Mike
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by:Lischke
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Jenny, have you come to a conclusion? What about this questin now?

Ciao, Mike
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Lischke earned 50 total points
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Hi Jenny,

you have shown no reaction so I answer your question here.

To 1) Upgrading is a good choice because Delphi 5 has many improvments and bug fixes, although it will not bring you Unicode support generally. You can download my Unicode library and my Unicode edit (www.lischke-online.de/Unicode.html), though, which will bring you much closer to a truly Unicode aware application.

To 2) Rewrite your application to use stuff like my Unicode lib but don't bother with different languages if you can have them all with Unicode. Keep in mind, the first effort is quite high to get Unicode support but once you have implemented the core you increased the value of your products remarkably and future implementations will never be that hard again.

Ciao, Mike
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by:shuier
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  Thank you Mike. Yes,I will try to Use Delphi 5 to rewrite my application. Thank you for your unicode lib. I am  studyding it these days and I have many questions. Should I ask you questions about it?

  ^-^  Jenny
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by:Lischke
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Of course you can ask. Contact me at public@lischke-online.de. But keep in mind also my time is limited so I may not be able to answer you all of your questions if they are too many. But I'll do my best :-)

Ciao, Mike
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by:shuier
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  Thank you Mike. Yes,I will try to Use Delphi 5 to rewrite my application. Thank you for your unicode lib. I am  studyding it these days and I have many questions. Should I ask you questions about it?

  ^-^  Jenny
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by:Lischke
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Jenny, don't use your browser refresh button/command if your last image was one with input data. This will resend the formular data and lead to those multiple postings. Use instead the link labeled "Reload question" in the upper right corner.

Ciao, Mike
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