March 16, 2004

Alphabets, somewhat unscrambled

Pango-1.4.0 has been released, along with Glib-2.4.0 and GTK+-2.4.0. This is good news -- or at least a step towards good news -- for those who need or want to display, enter, edit, search or browse in a wide variety of orthographies, especially those that require complex rendering. See the links in this post for details on why the issues are far from trivial. Pango seemed to have been stalled for a long time, so I'm really happy to see forward motion.

This part is especially good news:

Bidirectional editing and interface flipping improvements

GTK+ now automatically determines the base direction for label and text-entry widgets based on their contents, rather than requiring it to be specified by the application; this gives a much better user experience when editing mixed right-to-left and left-to-right text. Support for user-interface mirroring in right-to-left locales has now been extended to cover virtually all widgets.

Unicode 4.0 is also now supported. There's still a ways to go before (for instance) the text widgets in standard scripting languages support entry and editing in arbitrary orthographies. But this looks like a step forward.

Posted by Mark Liberman at March 16, 2004 07:39 PM