Dochula Pass, Bhutan

>> See what it can do

>> Use it

Picture of the page in action.

Following hot on the heels of the last release come some further significant changes to UniView aimed at making it easier to use as Unicode grows.

The big change is that UniView now starts up in graphics mode by default. This means that pages load more slowly, but (especially with the continuing growth of Unicode) also means that you are more likely to be able to see the characters you are looking for. It’s easy to switch between modes at any point, using the “Use graphics” checkbox. (And if you preferred font glyphs as a default, you just need to change the URI in your bookmarked link slightly, and you can continue to work that way.)

To facilitate this change, I created my own graphics for a number of blocks which are not yet covered by decodeunicode, or which are no longer fully covered by decodeunicode. The blocks for which I provided graphics are Latin Extended-C, Latin Extended-D, Latin Extended Additional, Cyrillic Supplement, Cyrillic Extended-B, Modifier Tone Letters, Tibetan, Malayalam, Saurashtra, Ol Chiki, Myanmar, Kayah Li, Cham, Rejang, Vai, Supplemental Punctuation, and Miscellaneous Symbols and Arrows.

There are still many characters for which there are no graphics (especially the new characters in Unicode 5.2), but coverage is much better than it was. As I find more fonts, I will be able to create graphics for the remaining characters.

I also put a grey box around the characters in tables. This is particularly useful if there are no graphics or font glyphs for a block or range of characters, as it makes it easier to locate the character you are looking for.

I also fixed a bug that was preventing Chrome and Safari and IE from displaying the first two Latin blocks. I think the bug was actually in the Unicode data file.

>> See what it can do

>> Use it

Picture of the page in action.

With the family now in Japan, I had some extra time to spare this weekend, so I upgraded UniView to handle all the proposed characters for Unicode 5.2.

While the properties for new and modified characters are still in beta they are not officially stable, however the character allocations should be stable at this point. UniView therefore alerts you if you are looking at a new character.

If the Unicode database information has changed for a given character you are also warned, and provided with a link that points to the previous information for that character. These warnings will be removed from UniView when Unicode 5.2 is released.

Of course, you are unlikely to be able to actually see the new characters themselves, unless you are lucky enough to have a very new font to hand. The graphic alternatives are not available yet for these characters. I’m wondering whether it’s possible for me to do something about that, but that will take a little longer. In the meantime, you might find it more useful to view blocks in list view. (Click on ‘Show range as list’).

This release also fixes a few small bugs in the HTML and JavaScript code.

Berliner Dom, from the River Spree
Flickr photostream.

I was in Berlin for Localization World and then Potsdam to talk about Japanese Layout last month.

I didn’t get much time for photos in Berlin. These photos were mostly taken during the dinner cruise. And in Potsdam it poured with rain most of the day, so the photo look a little dark.

I also uploaded a bunch of photos from a trip to Berlin with the family in 2005.

There are 4 new sets of photos:

>> Try it

Picture of the page in action.

A new version of this very popular tool is now available, in a new location. Although it is currently labeled ‘beta’, I recommend that you use that instead, and change any links and bookmarks to the new location. There are a number of new features.

There is also a vastly improved code base. If you are one of the many people who have contacted me to ask how I coded the conversions, please take a look at the new javascript code. It is much cleaner and more compact.

New features include:

* New mixed input field and position of some fields changed.
* New field for conversion of 0x… notation hex escapes.
* Enabled invisible and ambiguous characters to be made visible in the XML output.
* Added support for all HTML entities in HTML/XML input.
* All code rewritten to use characters as the internal representation, rather than code points. Also, code is much smaller and cleaner, partly through use of regular expression matching.
* Various filters available for conversion, such as allowing ASCII or Latin1 characters to remain unconverted in NCR output.
* New icon to quickly select all contents of a field.

There is also a new demonstration feature.

If there are no issues raised/remaining in a couple of months, I’ll remove the beta tag.