RE: Major site in unicode?

From: Carl W. Brown (
Date: Mon Oct 02 2000 - 01:30:17 EDT


The issue is do you create support for multiple separate locale one at a
them or do you build a single Unicode code engine?

Microsoft learned it with Windows 3.1. Now finally with Windows 2000 and IE
5.5 it has a reasonable Unicode solution. Netscape is also moving the same
direction. They practically rewrote it and now Netscape 6.0 is Unicode

The problem is that we have to deal with things like Netscape 4.x in today's

The answer is that you develop a Unicode core.

If you do that then you can keep your database, common code, and libraries
in Unicode. You translate whatever the browser wants on input and output.

This also allows you to take advantage of i18n libraries such as ICU:

This gives you all the collation, data/time formatting, currency, etc.
functions that you need.

But to be practical we are not quite at the stage that we can actually
deploy HTML in Unicode. Therefore you have replicate HTML pages in the
various languages so they might as well be in the various code pages. I am
working on an upgrade to my Apache web server ICU module that changes Apache
locale support to a directory style support. The mod_xicu provides you with
the Unicode services and code translation calls wrapped in to a single API
when you are working in codepage.

Ultimately we need to forget HTML an develop content. The content
dynamically is links to the language text and locale specific style sheets
are used to transform it to XHTML on the fly.


-----Original Message-----
From: George Zeigler []
Sent: Saturday, September 30, 2000 5:46 AM
To: Unicode List
Subject: Major site in unicode?


   Anyone know of a major site out there that uses only unicode. Actually,
decent business site.

   My firm is attempting to build a major portal linked to other sites in 10
30 languages depending on the particular site. We had seriously considered
using unicode as the one character set. But upon closer
examination, it seemed that this would hurt us market wise. Unicode does
seem to be making inroads on the internet. No major site is using unicde or
minor sites for that matter. At least that I know of.

   Russians are used to cp1251 and koi-8. I work in Russia, and our
programmers were quite adimit, that if a site was only in Unicode, they
not use it. No Chinese sites are using unicode. Couldn't find any in
or Korean either. European sites are using the ISO standard.

   Then there was the problem with browsers. I can't remember if it was
netscape or explorer, but the font True Type was automatically chosen if
Unicode was chosen. Chinese hyroglyphs show poorly in TrueType. They have
their own fonts.

     Unicode seems useful only for those working with ancient or
non-major languages or for those working with multiple languages in the same


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