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International M5 Status Page

by Katsuhiko Momoi
Last Update: 5/6/99

This page tracks the progress of M5 International features.  By the time M5 is completed, this page should have all the M5 features and testing hints. If you are interested in what has been completed in the prior Milestone. Visit the M4 international status and testing hints page.

M5 International features that have been completed:


  • Improving muilti-font rendering on Win:
    • Euro display on Win95/98 is now enabled. (This was a bug in M4.)
    • All printing used to be done in Arial only. This M4 bug was fixed. (See the menu; Debug | Viewer | Demo #0 page.)
    • Other bug fixes:
      • Win95-J crashing bugs
    • Additional converters are now in:
      • Single-byte/Unicode converters: Western (ISO-8859-15), Armenian (ARMISCII-8),  Baltic/North European (ISO-8859-4, Windows-1257) , Celtic (ISO-8859-14), Cyrillic (ISO-8859-5,Windows-1251, KOI8-R, MacCyrillic),  South European/Esperanto/Maltese (ISO-8859-3), Nordic/North European (ISO-8859-10 aka Latin6),  Arabic (ISO-8859-6) - (not in spec, might be removed later), Hebrew (ISO-8859-8) - (not in spec, might be removed later), Thai (TIS-620),  Ukrainian (KOI8-U, MacUkrainian), Vietnamese (VISCII, Windows-1258, VIET-VPS, VIET-TCVN5712), other Mac encodings (MacCroatian, MacIcelandic, MaRomanian)
      • Multi-byte/Unicode converters: ISO-2022-JP (for Japanese mail)
      • These converters in addition to the ones added in M4 make it possible for Mozilla to display pages written in these character sets. Note, however, that Mozilla has not implemented any bi-directional layout routines and therefore, Arabic and Hebrew display may be possible with these converters but whatever you get in this regard are accidental. In the final commercial binary product, we may remove these bi-di converters if the bi-di support is not completed. However, developers are welcome to make use of them and the converters will remain in the mozilla sources.
  • On Linux -- because we have not completed GFX Multi-font rendering part yet, display works only for Latin1 and Japanese at the moment. Not much change from M4 here.
  • On Mac: Multi-font rendering is being re-written and will not be ready until M6. It does work right now but the layout foundation will change dramatically by M6 and testers should wait until then for serious testing. What you find as faults at this point will have to be looked at again any way when the new layout code is in.
  • View | Character Set menu: is now working!  You can switch to different encoding when encountering a page which does not have a  meta charset tag.  You will not see a checkmark next to the menu item yet , however.
    • The list is currently too long and unwieldy. This issue will be dealt with in the future.
    • For pages which have meta charset tags, you may still need to reload the page to get correct display.
    • On Mac, some menu items are dimmed due to the limitation on the number a Mac menu can carry. This problem will be fixed in future. Though the menu items are dimmed, the converters for these charsets are working. So if you have a web page which has a meta tag indicating its charset, display should work. You can edit the file called "../res/samples/navigator.xul" to re-arrange the order of Character set menu items. Look for a section which begins: <menu name="Default Character Set"> and place the Character set names you want to the end of the list. You may have to play with the order a few times to get them the way you like.
    • On Linux/Unix, long menu items are currently not scrollable due to a bug. This affects the Character set menu also. The number of Character set items you see depends on your monitor size and resolution. If you would like to see your favorite charset toward the top of the list, you can edit a file called "../res/samples/navigator.xul". Look for a section which begins: <menu name="Default Character Set"> and place the Character set items you want to the top of the list.
    • On some NT4 machines, reloading may not work. If you have one of these machines, you need to switch the View | Character Set menu before you go to the next site. Hopefully you know ahead of time what charset the page is using.) If you experience the same problem of not being able to reload, please let us know and provide info on whether or not your problem is reproducible.


  • Input method - on Windows, we can now do very primitive Japanese input. There are several IME related bugs which make inputting Japanese very difficult.  These bugs are scheduled to be fixed in M6.


  • Some do-it-yourself localization is now possible.
    • XUL/XML/RDF files now assume the default charset to be in UTF-8. If you change UI strings to your favorite language, they should show OK as long as the localized files use UTF-8 charset. (You can change menus to Japanese, for example, in res/samples/navigator.xul file and then convert the file to UTF-8 charset.)
    • Limitation: you cannot specify other charsets yet since XML parser support of general entities in the external DTD files is yet to be done. Although it is possible to have resource files for Mozilla to be in charsets other than UTF-8, keep in mind that Mozilla will be standardizing on UTF-8 for  resource files.
Mail/News (Windows only):
  • Multi-lingual mail viewing is now working:  If you have a multilingual font or several fonts which together cover the Unicode ranges (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Korean fonts + Pan-European fonts), we use them in displaying mail messages and headers. We pay attention to the charset parameter in the Content-Type header and switch to an appropriate font. The Encoding menu is not needed to switch to different language views unless the message you're viewing is incorrectly labeled. If you would like a basic mono-weight multi-lingual font, you can get Bitstream Cyberbit font 2.0 here.
  • View Japanese mail body -- mostly working now. Occasionally where there is a line break, some unwanted characters will show up. This is scheduled to be fixed in M6.
  • View | Character Set menu for New Mail Compose window is now working fore sending mail. Switch to Latin 1 or ISO-2022-JP before sending a message. You will not see a checkmark next to the menu item yet , however.
  • Sending Latin 1 mail via POP3
    • Copy/paste accented characters into the headers and  body works
    • Keyboard input into headers (e.g. subject) also works for accented characters. Using the English keyboard, ALTGr + 0+Number Keypad method works, e.g. Right ALT key + 0232.
    • Make sure to switch the View | Character Set  to Latin 1 before you send out a message.
    • Basic MIME compliance is there: Header Q encoding, and Body QP encoding for accented characters.
  • Sending Japanese mail via POP3
    • Basic/primitive Japanese input now works. The mail composer body can retain Japanese input.  Japanese input into Subject header does not work yet, however.
    • Mail goes out in ISO-2022-JP. (The Kanji-in escape sequence is that of JISX0208-1976, however. This will be fixed by M6.)
    • Make sure to switch the View | Character Set  to Japanese (ISO-2022-JP) before you send out a message.
    • The Japanese content used to disappear upon sending. This bug was fixed recently.
  • Sending other charset mail -- has not been enabled yet. There also seem to be bugs with some international keyboards for input.
    • You can now play with View | Character Set  menu and add your favorite charset. Look for a file called msgcompose.xul in the directory, ..x86rel\res\mailnews\compose directory, search for a string "<menu name="Character Set">". When you find it, you will see how the 2 Character set menu items for Latin 1 and Japanese Mail send have been constructed. Just add your charset name basing the name on what you find in the Browser's View | Character Set menu.
    • Though the mail text body can sense what keyboard you have selected and will switch font accordingly, there may be mapping bugs with some international keyboards and so there is no guarantee that correct characters will be input. Copy/paste may work better. Let us know what you find if you try this.
  • prefs.js file for M4 can be re-used for but there have been slight changes for M5. First, the name is now prefs50.js. Second, there are some other changes which make some M4 prefs.js lines unnecessary. If you would like an M5 sample prefs50.js file, you can find it here. The location of the prefs50.js file has also changed. On Windows, this file now must be placed under a directory 2 levels up from the directory which contains the apprunner executable. For Unix, the directory is $HOME/.mozilla. If you have never run a Mozilla apprunner before on Windows, then look for a new directory called Users50. You'll find the prefs50.js file under the Default sub-directory. If you ran an earlier Mozilla version on Windows, find a file called mozregistry.dat in the top level directory of your Windows operating system directory. Delete this file before you start M5 build for the first time. This will force M5 to create Users50 directory. On Unix, you will find registry file under $HOME/.mozilla -- You might want to delete the old one before you start a new M5 build.

Features that are not supported in M5:

  • No CJK IME support on Mac and Linux.
  • Linux can only view Latin and Japanese.
  • No Japanese Auto-Detect.
  • No posting non-ASCII forms data.
  • No CJK printing on Linux.
  • HTTP charset won't be handled.
  • Viewing Latin 1 & Japanese newsgroups
  • Sorting in mail headers
  • Proper change of date/time format in headers

  • Sending/receiving IMAP mail
International features planned for M5 but are now planned in M6 or later:


  • Moved to M6: Improving multi-font rendering on Mac -- on Mac the underlying layout mechanism will be extensively re-written
  • The following converters schedule for M6 will complete the converter list for Mozilla.
    • Single Byte
                Baltic/North European (ISO-8859-13)
                Nordic/North European (ISO-8859-10 aka Latin6))
      Multi Byte
                Western (T61)
                Unicode (UCS-2)
                Korean (ISO-2022-KR)
                Unicode (UTF-7, IMAP4-modified-UTF7)
                Traditional Chinese (ISO-2022-CN)
                Simplified Chinese (HZ-GB-2312)
                Vietnamese (VIQR)
  • Moved to a later Milestone: Form submit w/ proper charset conversion


  • Many Input methods kinks need to be ironed out.


  • Moved to M6:
    • View Character Set Menu
    • Viewing attachments in Latin 1 & Japanese
    • Viewing Latin 1 & Japanese newsgroups
    • Sorting in mail headers
    • Proper change of date/time format in headers
    • Sending/receiving IMAP mail: but no folder management.