ICU 53.1 or Greater Update for Lao Word and Line Breaking

Bug #1393060 reported by Robert M Campbell on 2014-11-15
6
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
icu (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Lao line and word break support is needed to properly render Lao text on various applications, as Lao typically doesn't uses spaces between words, but rather mostly uses spaces like punctuation, a way to split phrases.

An example of this is at http://laosabbathschool.com/development/ssd/site/blog/comprehensive-zwsp-test/

This text contains no zero-width-spaces, which are commonly used as a workaround.

If you visit that page with the latest Google Chrome, an iPhone 8.1, or Android 5.0 device, it'll probably look fine. The the current version of LibreOffice also handles the text very well, if copied and pasted into a document, and even includes word counts (may require setting the CTL to Lao). But with other software (kate for instance), you'll see that the lines are not equally distributed, and sometimes requires horizontal scrolling. This creates problems with various applications, such as text editors, email programs, and anything that renders text on multiple lines.

Copy and paste the example text to various applications, and you will see how they handle it. If those applications relied on the system's version of ICU, an update to ICU 53.1 or greater should take care of that problem. If they embed their own, then it may or may not work, depending on what version they included. But at least the update should help several programs support Lao text.

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