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IMUG Events 1998

Microsoft Windows NT 5.0 Multilingual Capabilities

Jim Turley (XA International)

December 17, 1998

Jim Turley of XA International will discuss the international features of Microsoft Windows NT 5.0, now in Beta. A detailed technical overview of the new multilingual features will be presented. Construction of a single international development platform to develop for and test any international locale (including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese) will be described. This presentation will be very techincal and will be most useful to software developers, quality assurance personnel, project managers, and anyone interested in the technical challenges of multilingual computing. An online demo showing multilingual text processing will be presented.

Jim Turley manages the Silicon Valley office of XA International, a software engineering company that specializes in software engineering for interesting and obscure Far East languages. You can always reach him by email at [...], even when he's wandering around somewhere in remote Western China. To find out about his current exploits, check out [...].

The Tibetan Macintosh - Adventures in Himalayan Computing

Ken Krugler (TransPac Software, Inc.)

November 19, 1998

Tibetan is an ancient writing system used to record sacred Buddhist texts. The image is one of monks in isolated monastaries, patiently copying text by the flickering light of a butter lamp. So why has the computerization of Tibetan generated such controversy? Why don't applications work with Tibetan? And why does the power go out every day in Ladakh? The answers to these questions are all related; the common theme is that technical solutions to problems frequently take a back seat to economic and political realities.

Ken Krugler worked at Apple from 1983 to 1987 on the Lisa Filer, MacWorks, Macsbug, the MacPlus ROMs, KanjiTalk, the Script Manager, and ChineseTalk.

He then started TransPac Software in 1987. Since then, this company has done script system projects (Japanese, Korean, Tibetan), input methods (Japanese and Chinese), outliner and word processor applications (Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Tibetan), online dictionaries (Japanese and Chinese), training, code reviews, many and varied consulting projects, and health club "expert trainer" computer systems.

Internet/Intranet Input Method Protocol (IIIMP)

Hideki Hiura (Sun Microsystems, Inc.)

October 15, 1998

On most software platforms, the platform operating system provides an input method service to applications through a platform specific input method interface. By using these interfaces, applications can take advantage of the underlying platform's input method capabilities.

However, in a networked computing environment, a network computer may not have its own 'built-in' operating system containing support for input methods, or it may not be able to support input methods natively, depending on its available hardware resources. In either case, users still would like to have full access to their preferred input methods. In this environment, a network-based, platform independent, multilingual/multiscript-capable, distributed input method service is an ideal solution.

One of the basic requirements of distributed input method service is to supply existing platform input methods to the networked client computer. In order to achieve this requirement, it is essential that existing input methods can be utilized without requiring extensive modifications.

IIIMP (Internet/Intranet Input Method Protocol) is a key component of distributed input method service. IIIMP is an extensible, platform independent, window system independent, and language independent input method protocol, which is specially designed for distributed input method service on the heterogeneous network.

This technical presentation will provide an overview of the IIIMP technology.

Hideki Hiura is a software architect/sr. staff engineer for Sun Microsystems Inc.

Multilingual Mozilla - Mozilla Language Enabling Project

Frank Yung-Fong Tang (Netscape Communications Corp.)

September 17, 1998

On March 31, 1998, Netscape changed the future of web development by publishing the source code for "Mozilla", its web browser, with its open source development project. Now, not only the content of the web can be built by people around the world, the features of the web itself will also be developed by all the experts who join the Mozilla development project.

Enabling more writing systems is essential for the long-term success of the web. It became easier to achieve in the open source environment. Therefore, we formed the Mozilla Language Enabling Project to enable more writing systems on different platforms as well as improve our existing internationalization features. Different from the past, we now do this not only by working hard, studying more, and sleeping less, but also by solving issues on the net, asking for help from the net, and integrating source code from the net. Progress is very fast and exciting in this net working model. For example, we finished the Armenian writing system enabling in a couple of days, added suggested Cyrillic font selection enhancement in hours, and verified X Window FORM BUTTON/SELECT code changes in the Latin-2 charset within 8420 seconds.

This talk presents some particular topics that are currently being specified, designed, and implemented in the Mozilla Language Enabling Project. It focusses on the details of enabling additional writing systems in the Mozilla HTML layout engine by addressing the cross- platform requirements for Armenian, Georgian, Thai, Hebrew, Arabic, and Indic scripts. It also addresses their platform-specific issues and solutions for the X Windows, MacOS, and Windows platforms. Studies of some famous public domain sources for these scripts will also be revealed.

Frank Yung-Fong Tang is an internationalization engineer at Netscape Communications Corporation.

Multilingual Computing and Unicode

Kamal Mansour (Monotype)

August 20, 1998

Over the past decade, multilingual computing has made great strides. It is now easier than ever to handle a variety of languages and scripts by computer. However, no one would claim that the process couldn't be improved. As language processing becomes more and more intertwined with Unicode, many are wondering where it will all lead.

Kamal will discuss these and other questions in order to put Unicode in perspective.

Demystifying Unicode: An overview of the Unicode Standard

Andrea Vine

July 16, 1998

When you hear the term "Unicode", what do you think of? A double-byte character set? A character set which includes all of the characters in all languages of the world? Nothing at all?

This lecture is designed to clarify exactly what Unicode is, who created it, who enhances it, and what forms it takes. Currently the Unicode Standard is at version 2.1 - differences between 1.1, 2.0, and 2.1 will be discussed.

Andrea Vine is a software internationalization consultant, currently working on Sun Microsystems' Internet Mail Server.

RichWin Chinese Support Software

Michael Zhao (Alestron)

June 18, 1998

The RichWin Chinese support software is a new generation of Asian language software. The RichWin series contains RichWin for Windows 95, RichWin for Windows NT 4.0, RichWin Viewer, RichSight Java Set, OS/Warp version, WinFrame version. We are currently developing a Chinese system for Windows CE.

RichWin is an add-on software that fits between Non-Chinese Windows and other Windows applications, enabling users to process the two-byte languages Chinese, Japanese and Korean on non-Chinese Windows and on other platforms. The RichWin software is equipped with the most advanced "Automatic Encoding Recognition" technology, which can automatically recognize various Chinese encodings on Web pages. It also allows input of Japanese and the display of Japanese and Korean text on Web pages.

Other technical features include:

Upcoming Unicode Technologies for the Mac OS

John H. Jenkins (Apple Computer, Inc.)

May 21, 1998

Apple has been heavily involved with the development of the Unicode character set from its inception and has maintained a commitment to provide Unicode support in its products. One area where this support has been conspicuously lacking is within QuickDraw, the Macintosh's imaging system.

Apple has a number of new technologies targeted for inclusion in Mac OS 8.5 which help address this. One of the most important is Apple Type Services for Unicode Imaging, which allows the direct drawing of Unicode text within QuickDraw and also provides support for advanced typography within a QuickDraw drawing environment. Other technologies include enhancements to the Text Services Manager and the Text Encoding Converter.

These new technologies and their potentials will be discussed, as will their relationship to other Apple technologies and their implications for the future of Unicode text on the Macintosh.

John H. Jenkins is an engineer in Apple's International and Text Group.

Java Input Method Framework

Norbert Lindenberg (Sun Microsystems, Inc)

April 16, 1998

The Input Method Framework adds a set of interfaces to the Java Development Kit, which allow Java text components and input methods to cooperate in entering text in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. These languages have larger character sets than can be supported on regular keyboards, so special software components called "input methods" are used to allow composition of text using the full character set from text input using only a small subset.

Components can actively use the framework's interfaces to support the on-the-spot (or inline) input style; otherwise the framework provides a separate composition window as a fallback. The framework provides communication to pure Java input methods, input methods integrated into the host operating system, and, through the Internet-Intranet Input Method Framework, network-based input methods.

Norbert Lindenberg is an internationalization engineer at JavaSoft, currently focussing on input method support in the Java Development Kit. Before joining JavaSoft, he worked on a variety of internationalization projects at General Magic and Apple Computer. He holds an M.S. degree in Computer Science from University of Karlsruhe, Germany.

Software Localization for PhotoVista: A Case Study

Aaron Huang (2-Byte Culture Systems, Inc)

March 19, 1998

Software localization is a must-do task for a software company. Most major software developing companies are in the US, and the US is the biggest software market in the world. But there is no reason to ignore overseas software markets. For some countries, English software is suitable for their daily use, but for most countries, localized software is required.

Aaron will share his experience in localizing PhotoVista, a product of Live Picture, Inc. PhotoVista is a photo stitching software which connects photos to create panorama photos for the Internet and other use. He will focus his discussion on localization processes instead of the product functions.

PhotoVista is a small size retail software product, but it is a very good sample for explaining software localization, because the PhotoVista project includes all necessary components in the package. They are: Mac/PC applications with standard installer, Mac/PC MacroMedia tutorial file, html files, pdf on-line manual, hybrid CD, printed manual, and product package. The detailed process of localization for each component will be discussed in the meeting.

Internationalization and Localization in Rhapsody

Ali Ozer (Apple Computer, Inc.)

January 15, 1998

Rhapsody, Apple's new operating system, provides powerful internationalization and localization features: Applications developed with Rhapsody's Yellow Box application programming interfaces use the Unicode character set (making them work with multi-lingual documents), are easily localizable (freeing developers from worrying about localization issues), and support multiple localizations simultaneously (enabling multi-user, multi-lingual installations).

In this talk, Ali Ozer will give a quick overview of Rhapsody, demo some of the international features, and show how an application is packaged and localized. In addition, he will provide a quick look into some of the developer APIs, including the text system, which is a central component of the Yellow Box.

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