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Communication and Information Activities

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Initiative B@bel

Giving access to information by promoting linguistic and cultural diversity in Cyberspace

Multilingual Web Browser

This project was carried out within Initiative B@bel in cooperation with SIL International to support efforts aimed at developing software/tools promoting multilingualism in cyberspace.
SIL International has developed Graphite engine which supports the display of complex and non-Roman scripts and is available for free download on the SIL International's website. The project will involve the incorporation of graphite’s unique functionalities in other software applications, thereby contributing to the creation and dissemination of content in many currently lesser-used languages. These products will also be freely disseminated with basic documentation facilitating the incorporation of Graphite by software developers in other products.

  • Multilingual web browser
    Web-page/site creation is one of the most common form of web publishing and information dissemination in cybersapce. By developing a beta version of a web browser that supports creation and viewing of web pages in Burmese the ability to create and disseminate multilingual information will be promoted. The open-source Mozilla browser has been used for this development.
    Documentation is also provided (programme architecture, installation and use of the programme, installation of necessary writing systems and resources) so as to facilitate the extension of this work to other languages/scripts by other software developers.

  • Modified version of WorldPad
    WorldPad is a basic text editor whose main distinction is the ability to display text in complex scripts using the Graphite engine.
    A beta version of WorldPad editing software for Windows 2000 or XP operating systems will be provided, capable of exporting data encoded according to the data exchange format for complex scripts.

  • Graphite Edit Control
    A beta version of a basic Graphite Edit Control for data input applications has been developed, and a software development kit will be also provided. This tool will be especially useful for persons working with text blocks that contain several scripts for example bibliographic entries containing the names of a book as it appears in various translated editions.

  • Sample script implementations
    While a system is technically capable of handling multiple languages/scripts it is necessary to provide the basic building blocks for entering and displaying data. Consequently sample script implementations have been provided, thereby allowing the functionality of the tools developed to be tested and demonstrated.
    These samples include:
  • Graphite enabled fonts (Burmese, Ife, Pan African)
  • corresponding keyboard mapping modules
  • sample data in the script for demonstration purposes
  • a jpg image of a page of properly rendered data for verification of the installation.

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    Contact First Name Davide
    Contact Last Name Storti
    Contact E-mail d.storti@unesco.org