[developers] Thai test items not displaying in [incr tsdb()]

Stephan Oepen oe at ifi.uio.no
Thu Jan 22 23:33:03 CET 2009

hi glenn and emily, apologies for my late follow-up on this query!

> > Is this a known problem?  Any work-arounds?


> Has anyone had to do something similar before?

no, i suspect you might well be the firsts to try Thai.  i believe that
Japanese and Korean have been confirmed functional, and of course also
Greek, German, and Norwegian.  some `funny' scripts at least work :-).

it has been a while i actually looked at this, but i too believe that
the problem resides in the Tk font management.  Tk is not a using GTK+
but actually has been doing something quite similar to Pango for about
a decade.  for all i remember, Tk font names like `Helvetica' are mere
abstractions of font qualities (sans serif, in this case) and not names
of actual system fonts.  it would of course be worth a shot editing the
font choices in `podium.tcl' (which is run as interpreted code, thus no
need to re-build [incr tsdb(0]), but i am a bit sceptical of that.

the [incr tsdb()] distribution actually includes its own Tk binary and
libraries.  and the last time i updated those was in 2003, i believe.
hence i suspect that, at the time, Thai support in Tk was lacking (or
maybe there has been some X11-internal re-organization which broke the
Thai font management of 2003).  and, accordingly, i think it might well
resolve your problems to upgrade the [incr tsdb()] Tcl/Tk versions.

unfortunately, this upgrade is not an easy task, even though i believe
all the necessary custom code is in SVN (below `tsdb/swish/').  i will
put this on my ToDO list, but it will be at least a week or so before i
can possible re-compile a fresh Tcl/Tk (plus add-on packages) and then
upgrade the [incr tsdb()] distribution.

                                                      all best  -  oe

+++ Universitetet i Oslo (IFI); Boks 1080 Blindern; 0316 Oslo; (+47) 2284 0125
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+++       --- oe at ifi.uio.no; oe at csli.stanford.edu; stephan at oepen.net ---

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