THE OPEN GROUP Announces Standard Framework for Language Localization

Collaborative development improves native language support for worldwide market

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (December 10, 1997) - THE OPEN GROUP, a vendor-neutral, international consortium of more than 200 members with combined IT budgets in excess of $55 billion annually, today announced the availability of Complex Text Layout (CTL) 1.0, providing a standard, portable framework for language localization. Complex Text Layout enables open system and software vendors to penetrate new, international markets while reducing the costs associated with localizing products for specific regions. In addition, end users receive the native language support essential for today‚s computing technologies.

Complex Text Layout is the result of The Open Group‚s Pre-Structured Technology (PST) collaborative development process. CTL extends the Common Desktop Environment (CDE 2.1) and the open systems‚ industry standard GUI Motif 2.1, to support worldwide languages that include composed characters, context sensitive characters or have bi-directionally intermixed characters.

"Complex Text Layout will further the use of modern computing technologies in numerous rapidly growing communities by enabling the display and editing of languages, including Arabic, Devanagari, Farsi, Hebrew, Hangul, Lao, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese and others," said Paul Dale, senior vice president of Research and Development at The Open Group. "CTL benefits the end user, software vendors and ISV communities by offering a standard, portable, built-in enabler for language localization."

The CTL architecture is designed to support new languages by simply adding a new locale-specific engine without altering Motif or the Desktop Application. The CTL framework does not change the existing Motif APIs and supports existing Motif applications with simple resource file modifications, and in most cases, without requiring any porting efforts. CTL expands the capabilities of existing applications and provides the ability to create plug-in locale modules to meet specific regional language needs. CTL also facilitates faster time-to-market and extends open systems products to markets with limited access to new technology.

"Creating a robust solution for application internationalization is a priority for Sun and The Open Group," said Paula Sager, vice president of the Desktop Software Group, Sun Microsystems. "Complex Text Layout (CTL) 1.0, jointly developed by Sun and The Open Group, delivers on this goal by providing a standard internationalization framework which allows open system applications to support complex scripts that have context sensitivity and directionality without significant re-coding."

"IBM has long been recognized for our leadership in developing international language capability for our customers, and we are proud to be a contributor to The Open Group's Complex Text Layout specification and technology initiative," said Betty Nichols, director of National Language Support, IBM. "The Complex Text Layout services are available in the IBM AIX and OS/2 operating systems, for our Arabic and Hebrew customers, and we plan to provide support in other IBM platforms and databases."

"Silicon Graphics is pleased to be one of the early adopters of the Complex Text Layout technology," said Dan Vivoli, vice president of marketing for Silicon Graphics Interactive Systems Division. "We believe this is an important step toward improving national language support for our customers world wide."

CTL provides a standard, built-in enabler that allows end users to interact with applications in their native languages. The language features supported include:

Participants in the collaborative effort include IBM, Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics Incorporated and Digital Equipment Corporation. CTL is now available from The Open Group as a plug-in module to Motif 2.1 and CDE 2.1. The CTL 1.0 source code is $1,000.00 (US) and requires a Motif 2.1 or CDE 2.1 source code license. No object code fees are associated with the CTL technology. To order CTL 1.0, contact your local Open Group office.

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THE OPEN GROUP is a vendor-neutral, international consortium of more than 200 members whose mission is to cause the creation of the IT DialTone -- a viable, global information infrastructure that is ubiquitous, trusted, reliable and as easy to use as the telephone. Among THE OPEN GROUP's prestigious end-user members are leaders in government, academia, worldwide finance, health care, commerce and telecommunications, which have combined IT budgets in excess of $55 billion annually.

With its diverse membership, THE OPEN GROUP may be termed a "United Nations of Information Technology." As the industry‚s flagship specifications organization for more than a decade, it provides a vendor-neutral forum for buyers and suppliers of technology to build the critical linkages between the billions of dollars worth of infrastructure technology currently installed and the new operating environments and applications emerging today, including the Internet and World Wide Web.

THE OPEN GROUP was formed in February 1996 by merging X/Open Company Ltd. (founded in 1984) and the Open Software Foundation (founded in 1988). THE OPEN GROUP‚s nine sponsors are Digital Equipment Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, Siemens-Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG, Fujitsu Limited, Hitachi Limited, International Business Machines Corporation, NCR Corporation, Novell, Inc. and Sun Microsystems, Inc. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, the Open Group can be reached on the Worldwide Web at

Note to editors: Motif and UNIX are registered trademarks, and IT DialTone and "X Device" are trademarks of THE OPEN GROUP.