What's New in the Solaris 9 9/04 Operating Environment

Language Support Enhancements

The Solaris 9 9/04 release introduces the locale administrator feature and new Solaris Unicode locales. Language support features from prior releases include the following:

Locale Administrator

This feature is new in the Solaris 9 9/04 release.

Locale administrator allows the user to query and configure the locales for a Solaris OS through a command-line interface. By using the localeadm tool, a user can display information about locale packages that are installed on the system or that reside on a particular device or directory. The user can add and remove locales on the current system on a per-region basis. For example, the user can add all locales in the Eastern European region to the current system. See the localeadm(1M) man page.

Prior to this feature's introduction, after a system was installed the user had to add or remove individual packages to change the locales on the machine. This process is prone to error because it is easy to miss or overlook packages. This tool is a supplement to the locale selection logic in the Solaris installer. The installer is still the primary application for the correct installation of Solaris locales.

New Solaris Unicode Locales

This feature is new in the Solaris 9 9/04 release.

The following new Unicode locales have been added to Solaris:

The new locales are available from system login.

Code Conversions for Internationalized Domain Name Support

This feature is new in the Solaris 9 4/04 release.

Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) enables the use of non-English native language names as host and domain names. To use such non-English host and domain names, application developers must convert the names into ASCII Compatible Encoding (ACE) names in their applications as specified in the RFC 3490. System administrators are also required to use ACE names in system files and applications where the system administration applications do not yet support the IDNs.

This feature aids in the conversion by providing the conversion API with various supported option arguments. Refer to the following man pages for more detail:

Standard Type Services Framework

This feature is new in the Solaris 9 4/04 release.

The Standard Type Services Framework (STSF) is a pluggable, object-based architecture that allows users to access typographically sophisticated text layout and rendering. The pluggable architecture of the framework gives users the ability to use different font rasterization engines and text layout processors to achieve the desired visual representation. The pluggable architecture also manages fonts and enables application-specific fonts to be created. STSF includes both a standalone API and an X server extension to handle rendering on the server side for improved efficiency. STSF is an open source project that is sponsored by Sun Microsystems.

For more information about the project and how to use the API, see http://stsf.sourceforge.net.

Common Transliteration-based Input Method for All Indian languages

This feature is new in the Solaris 9 12/03 release.

Users who operate within any Unicode (UTF-8) locale in the Solaris software can now easily and intuitively input characters from Indian regional languages. Users who interact with CDE applications, StarOffice, or Mozilla can more easily interact with Indian scripts. After selecting the transliteration-based input method (IM), users can type phonetic equivalents of Indian language scripts in English. These equivalents are then displayed in the script that is selected, and are correctly shaped and rendered with the help of an underlying layout and shaper module. As transliteration is the most commonly used input method to input Indian languages, this support can greatly enhance the usability of the eight Indian scripts that are provided in the Solaris software.

Unicode Version 3.2 Support

This feature is new in the Solaris 9 8/03 release.

Solaris Unicode locales now support the Unicode Version 3.2. The Unicode Version 3.2 introduces 1016 new characters. This version also includes both normative changes and informative changes, as described in the Unicode Standard Annex #28: UNICODE 3.2 at the following Web site:


The UTF-8 character representation has been changed to a more secure form as specified in the Unicode Version 3.2. This feature implements the more secure UTF-8 character representation, form, and byte sequences in UTF-8 related iconv code conversions. This feature also implements all OS-level multibyte and wide character functions, such as the following:

Additional Keyboard Support

This feature is new in the Solaris 9 4/03 release.

Software support for three additional keyboards has been added to the Solaris 9 4/03 release: Estonian keyboard Type 6, French-Canadian keyboard Type 6, and Polish programmer's keyboard Type 5. This software support gives users in Canada, Estonia, and Poland greater flexibility for keyboard input. The support modifies standard U.S. keyboard layouts to different language needs.

Refer to the Solaris 9 4/03 Release Notes for instructions.

Wubi Input Method

This feature is new in the Solaris 9 4/03 release.

The Wubi input method (IM) is widely used in China. The encoding rule for Wubi IM is based on the radical or stroke shape of Chinese characters. Users can rapidly type Chinese characters through a standard keyboard rather than through slower, phonetic-based input methods.

Input Method Support for Indic

This feature is new in the Solaris 9 4/03 release.

Input support for Indian regional language keyboards has been added to the Solaris software. Indic language users can type Indic language characters by using their preferred keyboard layouts in the Solaris software.

Seven Additional Indic Scripts for Support in Unicode Locales

This feature is new in the Solaris 9 4/03 release.

In addition to the current support for Hindi, the following Indic scripts are supported in this Solaris release:

Speakers of these Indian regional languages have language support in the Solaris software for any of the Unicode locale environments that Solaris supports.