Unicode Rendering engine on Linux (Uniscribe on Win Platform)


What is the status of unicode support in linux in general and specific support of urdu langauge.

In MS Windows, support is built in the OS itself; there is a uniscribe rendering engine and OpenType font and OTLS library that handles the rendering of unicode characters into appropriate glyphs.

Is there anything similiar available in linux platform. can it be developed?

what should be the overall picture or steps that one should take while getting it developed.

any help or insight will be greatly appreciated.

thanks in advance

best regards,
Who is Participating?
Karl Heinz KremerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This page should tell you all you want to know about Linux and Unicode: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/unicode.html
Use the ICU framework http://oss.software.ibm.com/icu/

It's the best one around.
I've used it before. Even ported it to BCB/Kylix.
Misread your question. Sorry about that.
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TabassumAuthor Commented:
hello khkremer,

Thanks for the reply. i have read the document at the URL you sent.

How the Unicode encoded characters/text get displayed on screen in Linux?. In MS platform, there are three technologies or tools that handles the above task.

Uniscribe........... rendering engine
Open Type Fonts........... that have glyphs for a particular character
OTLS (Open Type Library Service).............uniscribe engine talks to OTLS and OTLS get the proper glyph from the OT font.

Is there a similiar arragement available on linux platform?.

if there are rendering engine for Englisha and other languages, how they work? and using which technologies we can built rendering engine for Arabic script langauge.

Thanks and regards,

Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
You need e.g. a terminal program that supports Unicode (e.g. the xterms that come with XFeee86 v4), and you need to set the LC_TYPES variable as described in the document. Once you select the correct font, you should see your Unicode characters. You don't have to worry about a rendering engine (but the same goes for Windows).
Linux uses the rendering engines in X11 to display any glyphs. YOu can actually look at the source code when you install the XFree86 sources. If your fonts are T1 or TT, you don't need to do anything special, that's already covered by the base functionality of XFree86.
All java applications take unicode as their character set. Thus use any java based application available for the linux platform that can read character files. Use xterm to run the java application. Hope this solves your problem.
You can of course venture to develop an application that does the job. In case you do, DO USE JAVA to create the app. Then it is more likely to work.
TabassumAuthor Commented:
Thanks alot for your comments.

Let me summarize what I have understood from your answers.

There is a support of rendering engine in Linux that can display Unicode characters.
Rendering engine Xft comes with X-Windows.
Any Java application can use Unicode as their character set
Java applicaion should be launched fom xterm or other supported terminal.

that means, i can write arabic or urdu characters in xterm emulator.
that also means i could wite urdu or arabic characters in StarOffice. Am I right. or it is not yet Unicode compliant.

best regards
Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
You don't have to start your application from an xterm. Once your system is setup correctly, it does not matter how you start your program.

Because StarOffice uses the same code base as OpenOffice.org, you should be able to do this (as long as you have the correct fonts installed). OpenOffice.org does even come in an Arabic native language version (meaning that all the menus and messages are translated).
TabassumAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your email..

Once your system is set up correctly...........meanings??.
Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
Meaning: The required fonts are installed, and your LC_xxx variables are set correctly. Go back to my very first comment and look at the document that I suggested. This has all the information you need.
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