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International M7 Status Page

by Katsuhiko Momoi
Last Update: 7/1/99

This page tracks the progress of M7 International features.  By the time M7 is completed, this page should have all the M7 features and testing hints. If you are interested in what has been completed in the prior Milestone. Visit the M6 international status and testing hints page.

M7 International features that have been completed:


  • If you have used an earlier version of Mozilla 5.0, we recommend that you delete the file called mozregistry.dat (Win) or registry (Unix/Mac) before you run M7 apprunner. (Don't delete Netscape Registry file for Mac, which is for Communicator 4.x.)  This will avoid unnecessary problems/crashes in some cases. Read the section in the Release Notes called Files Used or Created to find out where you can find these files.
  • Also read the Installation instructions for your platform carefully in the Release Notes.
  • When you start M7 after having deleted mozregistry.dat or registry, you will be asked to create a new profile. If you name an existing profile, that profile will be used. Otherwise "Default" profile will be created. If this latter happens, you can replace the prefs50.js file in the Default folder with the one from an existing profile directory.
  • If you want to report international bugs, use the Bugzilla. If you have a question, post a news article to:
  • Unix charset support now on par with Win and Mac!:  In addition to the ones we have supported since M5 on Unix, i.e., iso-8859-1, jis_0212-1990,  we have enabled font display support for all the other languages/charsets for which there are converters except Armenian, Thai, and Vietnamese. The display for these charsets should also work for mail messages. The list of the supported charsets at M7 can be found below. Please download the binary and check out our support for these character sets. (Note: You need appropriate fonts to display these languages -- pcf.gz format on Linux. Visit this site for ISO and Cyrillic BDF fonts, and this site for multi-byte language fonts. For converting from BDF to PCF format fonts, use bdftopcf utility.)
  • New converters have been added to all platforms: Not all are shown in the Character Set menu but they can be enabled by simple modification of appropriate .xul files. See below the item named View | Character Set menu for details on how to modify these files. M7 additions are marked in red in the list appended below.
  • On Mac: At M6, multi-font rendering code was re-written to improve on display performance. We would like people to continue to evaluate performance for this feature, particularly performance/speed issues in loading. If you find performance problems, please file a bug.
  • View | Character Set menu:  You can switch to different Character coding upon 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 -- overall charset menu specs are under consideration.
      • On Unix, there is no scrollable menu yet in GTK. Thus the Character set menu items may not be all visible if your monitor screen size is 17 or 15 inches. For those people, we would like to offer temporary workaround with reorganized menus.  These modifications on navigator.xul,mailshell.xul, and msgcompose.xul can be found here.  They have been tested to work on a 15-inch monitor screen. Please use the ".txt" files which contain just the International menu modifications for each of the .xul files. The .xul files there were from the 5/21/99 Linux build and posted simply as an example of how the whole thing looks. (Cf. this image.) Do not use these files with the build you downloaded - just consult them for your own modification.
      • You can edit these files yourself to suit your needs using what you find at the above site as an example. Look for a section which begins: <menu name="Default Character Set"> or  <menu name="Character Set"> and place the Character set items you want to the top of the list. You will find the 3 files to modify in the locations below:
        • Starting at where the apprunner binary is located: ../res/samples/navigator.xul
        • Starting at where the apprunner binary is located: ../res/mailnews/messenger/mailshell.xul
        • Starting at where the apprunner binary is located: ../res/mailnews/compose/msgcompose.xul
    • On some NT4 machines, reloading may not work. This problem will be addressed when the new NetLib code becomes available.  As workarounds:
      • If you have one of these machines, 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. Another workaround is to delete all the files except the fat.db file in the cache directory which is in the same directory as the apprunner program. If you experience the same problem of not being able to reload, add your comments to Bug 5665.
  • Bug fixes include:
    • Mac HTML buttons now display non-ASCII text.
    • The parser no longer strips out Unicode U+xx00 from html attribute.
  • Mac Editor and Mail composer: (Note: Current editor widgets will soon be replaced by the new Ender/Editor widgets and many improvements are expected at that time, but the following international input methods and keyboards are working with the current widgets!) Try them out with your international keyboards on MacOS 8.5 or later.
    • CJK IMEs.
    • Keyboards for many one-byte languages: Roman Australian,  Brazilian, British, Canadian-CSA, Canadian-ISO, Canadian-French, Dutch, dv-Dvorak, dq-Dvorak-Qwerty, Finnish, Flemish, French, French-numerical, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Spanish-ISO, Swedish, Swiss French, Swiss German, Cyrillic Bulgarian, Cyrillic-Qwerty, Russian, Ukrainian.
  • On Win and Mac: there have been a number of international bug fixes for M7 to generally improve editing documents and mail. Try out the editors on these platforms, you will see improvement in cursor handling, CJK IME interactions, etc.


  • Some do-it-yourself localization is possible. Not much change in the following items from M5.
    • XUL/XML/RDF files 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.) The menu items generally cannot be in languages your system does not support, e.g.  no Japanese menu for US Windows is possible at the moment.
    • Limitation: you cannot use charsets other than UTF-8 yet since XML parser support for 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 (Testing done on Windows only):
  • Preferences file: prefs50.js
    • Important: Though this may not be documented elsewhere, if you want to display mail messages on Windows platforms, you must have an existing directory called "C:\Temp". It must be this exact name - "C:\Tmp", for example, will not do -  and it must exist on the C drive. If the directory with this name does not exist on your C drive, create one yourself because Mozilla at present cannot display a message unless it can create a temporary file in this directory. This requirement will go away once the new Netlib (Necko) gets incoporated into the source later.
    • Mail (POP & IMAP) and News viewing does not work unless you have a correct prefs50.js file in the correct location for your platform. Read this page and set up the correct preferences before you do any mail testing. For the location of the prefs50.js file, read the installation instructions for your platform on this page - see above.
    • In addition to the general preferences items, international users should also add the following 3 lines to the prefs50.js. The first controls HTML/Plain Text mail option, the second and the third are musts for sending out properly MIME-encoded mail body and headers, respectively. If you want to send HTML mail, set the first option's value to "true". For M7, our default is Plain Text since HTML mail has problems for some languages, e.g. Japanese.  HTML mail is working well for Latin 1 and probably other languages supported in the Character Set menu for Mail Composer.  Here are the relevant prefs50.js settings.
      • user_pref("mail.identity.id1.send_html", false);
      • user_pref("mail.strictly_mime", true);
      • user_pref("mail.strictly_mime_headers", true);      //No need to set this line unless you want a false value.
    • To get your POP mail working, it is best to have a small starter Inbox file in the Mail directory you specified in prefs50.js file. We have such a starter Inbox file for you here. Get this file called 5.0firstinbox and rename it to Inbox and put it in your Mail directory.
    • The POP option is for leaving mail behind on the server after the messages have been downloaded. We recommend that you use a test mail account for this purpose rather than using your regular mail account.
  • Japanese attachments auto-detection working in M7: There is no need to set Character Set menu for Japanese file attachments. We use auto-detection to display them correctly. Display of non-ASCII attachment names is working with the exception of the name used in the link.
  • International Sorting in Thread pane headers: is now working but there are some known problems. Sorting should be done according to the sort default for the language of your operating system. Please test this for your language/OS and see if sorting is satisfactory. Date/Time sorting is currently done alphabetically and will not be all that accurate.
  • International Date/Time format: is now working. It uses the default for your operating system's locale. The effect should be visible in the thread pane date/time headers and will follow your current system setting option.  Please check out this features for your language/OS!
  • Multi-lingual mail viewing: This is working on all platforms.
    • Multi-lingual viewing is now working on Linux.
    • View | Character Set menu is currently not working to override wrong MIME charset label, or view msgs which have no MIME charset (except for Latin 1) specified.
    • 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 for all the languages we support. We pay attention to the charset parameter in the Content-Type header and switch to an appropriate font. The Character Set 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.
    • Attachments should be viewable if they are of the same charset as the main body of the mail. Other charsets are not supported yet.
  • View | Character Set menu for New Mail Compose window is working for sending mail for many additional languages. Switch to the charset you want to compose a message in and then compose the message.  You will not see a checkmark next to the menu item yet, however.
  • IMAP Mail: is now working. All international Smoketests are passing for IMAP. You can change the server type to "imap" from "POP3" to indicate that the server in question is of IMAP type in your prefs50.js file.
  • Sending Latin 1 Mail: Works in both HTML and Plain text.
    • Latin 1 8-bit input in body now uses HTML entities (as in Communicator 4.x).
    • Copying/pasting accented characters into the headers and  body works
    • Keyboard input into headers (e.g. subject) also works for accented characters. Using the English keyboard for Latin 1 high-bit input, ALTGr + 0+Number Keypad method works, e.g. Right ALT key + 0232.
    • Make sure to switch the View | Character Set  to your chosen Character set name before you send out a message.
    • Basic MIME compliance is there: Header Q encoding, and Body QP encoding for accented characters.
  • Sending Japanese mail: works only in Plain text. HTML mail body disappears upon "send".
    • Basic Japanese input now works well -- some improvements in this area in M7.  Japanese input/copying  into Subject header does not work yet, however. We are awaiting the arrival of new Ender/Editor widgets for this feature.
    • Mail goes out in ISO-2022-JP.  Header is B-encoded. (The Kanji-in escape sequence is now correct -- that of JISX0208-1990/83. )
    • Make sure to switch the View | Character Set  to Japanese (ISO-2022-JP) before you send out a message.
  • Sending other charset mail -- is enabled. Please try out these new charsets! For example, Central European, Cyrillic, Greek, UTF-8, etc.
    • 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.  Copy/paste may work better. If you find a bug with your charset/language, please file it here.
  • Reply/Forward: is basically working but there are some non-ASCII display bugs in the new mail composer. You may not always see the characters displayed properly in  your language in Mail Composer though mail generally gets sent out correctly.
  • Viewing News: is working. We have done some  international testing on this. In principle, multilingual news articles viewing should work if they have correct MIME charsets indicated in the articles. Be warned, however, that newsgroups postings are not always MIME-compliant and this could defeat our charset honoring mechanism.
  • Bug fixes include:
    • Latin 1 Character Entity References (CER) are now used in HTML mail
    • Cyrillic body display now works.
    • ISO-202-JP Kanji-in escape sequence now uses JISX208-1990/83 type.
    • vCard viewing for Latin 1 accented characters now working. Viewing for CJK is not.
Mail/News (for Mac and Linux)
  • We don't currently test these platforms for international features. Though we cannot vouch for accuracy, many of our Windows features should be available on these platforms also.  Linux mail is somewhat behind Windows and Mac, however.

Features that are not supported in M7:

  • No CJK IME support on Linux.
  • No Japanese Auto-Detect in browsing.
  • No posting non-ASCII forms data.
  • No CJK printing on Linux.
  • HTTP charset won't be handled -- until new NetLib (Necko) is integrated.

List of Charset Converters available at M7: New additions in red.


  • Western (ISO-8859-1, Windows-1252, MacRoman), Central European  (ISO-8859-2, Windows-1250, MacCE), South European/Esperanto/Maltese (ISO-8859-3), Baltic/North European (ISO-8859-4, Windows-1257), Cyrillic (ISO-8859-5, Windows-1251, KOI8-R,  ISO-IR-111 aka ECMA-Cyrillic, MacCyrillic, CP-866), Arabic (ISO-8859-6, Windows-1256) - (not in spec, might be removed from commercial build later) , Greek (ISO-8859-7, Windows-1253, MacGreek), Hebrew (ISO-8859-8 aka Windows-1255) - (not in spec, might be removed from commercial build later), Turkish (ISO-8859-9 aka Latin5, Windows-1254, MacTurkish), Nordic/North European (ISO-8859-10 aka Latin6), Celtic (ISO-8859-14), Western (ISO-8859-15), Armenian (ARMISCII-8), Thai (TIS-620 aka Windows-874), Ukrainian (KOI8-U, MacUkrainian), Vietnamese (VISCII, Windows-1258, VIET-VPS, VIET-TCVN5712), other Mac encodings (MacCroatian, MacIcelandic, MacRomanian).
  • Japanese (Shift_JIS, EUC-JP), Traditional Chinese (Big5, EUC-TW), Simplified Chinese (GB2312), Unicode (UTF-8, UCS-2, UCS-4),  Korean (EUC-KR), Western (T.61-8bit) - support this for LDAP v2 and X.500.
    Japanese (ISO-2022-JP), Unicode (UTF-7, IMAP4-modified-UTF7- Needed for IMAP folder names)