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Here in Part Two we will look at the Unicode-based infrastructure in Linux that has facilitated the rapid globalization of this Open Source platform.

We'll first take a look at message translation via GNU1 gettext(). We will explore how easy it for developers to use GNU gettext() as a first step in internationalizing their programs.

Next we will look at how X112, Xft, FreeType, and FontConfig are wired together to provide font services for modern applications on Linux.

An increasingly important area in today's global market is complex text layout (CTL) needed for scripts like Arabic and Devanagari. We will take a look at the various text layout technologies that are currently available in Linux.

Message translation and internationalized text display are only part of the entire localization equation. End users also expect computers to properly display sorted lists, monetary currencies, numbers, times and calendar dates using local conventions. We will wrap up our review of Linux Unicode technologies by taking a brief look at locale support in the GNU glibc C library3 and on the desktop. We will also look at one input method engine that has support not only for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK), but also for other scripts like Amharic.

1. “GNU's not Unix”,
2. The X Windowing system,,
3. GNU glibc: