[maemo-users] COMPLETE newbie with some questions.

From: Eero Tamminen eero.tamminen at nokia.com
Date: Tue Dec 2 15:46:48 EET 2008

ext Andre Klapper wrote:
> Am Dienstag, den 02.12.2008, 07:18 -0500 schrieb Screamin Ike:
>> One of my big pulls towards this particular device (which is the N810)
>> was that it runs linux, so I'm operating under the assumption that it
>> has a terminal emulator... 
> It definitely has by default (osso-x-term).
>> I'm also under the assumption
>> that said terminal would have full unicode support (finch through
>> screen, anyone?).
> Not in general for the device, see
> https://bugs.maemo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1263 .
> The terminal is based on an older Busybox version (1.6), don't know for
> sure - also see https://bugs.maemo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2918 .

Unicode has different aspects:

* Use of unicode character set
   + supported, everything in UI uses UTF-8.
     - Pre-installed Busybox shell doesn't have proper UTF-8 support,
       but one can install e.g. Bash from the SDK repository for
       interactive use (should work at least in Diablo).

* Support for the unicode fonts
   + supported:
     - fonts are "unicode fonts".
     - pango has support for using multiple fonts in case single
       font doesn't cover all required glyphs.

* Support for the Unicode layout
   + supported, pango can do complicated glyph layout (bi-directional,
     glyph composition etc) and this is plugin based so additional
     layout engines can be added later on by 3rd parties
     - Not sure whether this works in Browser, as Gecko does its
       own text layouting for speed&control reasons.
     - Gtk supports right-to-left layouts, but Hildon UI doesn't.
       Terminal might also have issues with right-to-left languages
       I assume.

* Fonts covering glyphs for the required unicode characters
   + This depends on what glyphs are required, it's not feasibly
     to provide all define 32-bit unicode glyphs or even the 16-bit
     subset (64 thousand different Glyphs) as the fonts would be huge
     i.e. take too much RAM and Flash.  There are a few free fonts which
     cover larger set of Glyphs than the Nokia fonts and fontconfig
     should handle their installation fine[1].

* String localization:
   + Device applications are translated only a to certain set
     of languages, but if one wants to use some other language,
     apps show so called "unique IDs" instead of english, which
     makes the pre-installed applications fairly unusable in other
     languages. I'm not sure what's the Nokia stand on 3rd party

I.e. pre-installed software has some understandable gaps in Unicode
coverage, but except for translations, it "should" be pretty easy for
the community to cover them if needed[1].

(All above is AFAIK.  Test to be sure. :-))

	- Eero

[1] I'm not commenting on the quality of the free unicode fonts with
larger Glyph coverage, but if really needed, I guess one could just buy
commercial TrueType fonts and put them into /home/user/.fonts/ &
(re-)run fc-cache.

More information about the maemo-users mailing list