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H-ASIA **************************************************** From: Jens Oestergaard Petersen <email@example.com> Subject: Re: H-ASIA Mac and Asian Scripts ---- From: Jens Oestergaard Petersen <firstname.lastname@example.org> Dan Lusthaus & Claudia Grimm fear that Apple will abandon support for Asian languages in the OS following the newly released Mac OS 8.5 - - - there must be some sort of misunderstanding here. The OS to follow Mac OS 8.5 late next year will be called Mac OS X ("X" for "ten") and it breaks on several points with the principles behind previous OS's. One major break lies in the full introduction of Unicode (ISO 10646). This will provide even better support for East Asian languages than previous systems, since Unicode comprises 48.000+ Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters (plus graphs to write several South and South Asian languages, in fact all major languages). So far from abandoning Asian languages, Apple will provide better support for them. (The Windows platform provides much better support for Unicode, by the way, and Rhapsody (NextStep) also supports Unicode.) The specifics of how Unicode will be introduced in Mac OS X are unclear (there exists no CJK font for Unicode yet, for instance), and so are the specifics of how to convert text written with pre-OS X language kits. Presumably many users will chose to stay with Mac OS 8.5 until these problems have been fully solved and a full complement of Unicode-savvy applications have been introduced. WorldScript (controlling direction of text flow, flagging of text for dictionary checking and hyphenation, etc.) will probably become integral parts of Mac OS X, and there will probably still be something corresponding to the previous language kits (to provide input methods, dictionaries and Unicode font blocks). Much is unclear, but one thing is fairly certain: in a year or two, everyone will know the word "Unicode." Jens Oestergaard Petersen Department of Asian Studies University of Copenhagen ==================================================