Subject: [Summer of Code]Wide character support for curses
To: Technical level user list <>
From: Ruibiao Qiu <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 06/26/2005 00:53:18
Hi all

I am pleased to announce that my proposal for a new NetBSD curses libraries 
with wide character support was approved by Google for its first Summer of 
Code program (

I include a brief summary of my proposal below.  The longer version can be 
found at

I would like to thank everyone who sent comments and suggestions to me when I 
prepared for the proposal, especially Brett Lymn and Julian Coleman, who will 
be my mentors throughout the project.

The official project web site is  Please come to 
visit the site frequently to check out the status of our project, and 
offer your suggestions and comments.  It is especially important during the 
test phase if more people can test our code on more platforms and more wide 
character sets.

There is nothing on the official web site yet, because I have not got the 
access permission yet.  For now, the latest status of the project is 
documented at my proposal page until I can access the official site 
on SourceForge.

We will try to keep everyone updated by using the tech-userlevel mailing list 
as the main place for technical discussions, and keep the topics only related 
with the SoC project on a different mailing list on SourceForge,, with its list archive at

===<<Proposal: Wide Character Support in NetBSD curses Libraries>>===
- Name: Ruibiao Qiu
- Email:
- Project Title: Wide Character Support in NetBSD curses Libraries
- Synopsis: Add wide character support for the native NetBSD curses libraries
   for better internationalization and better compatibility to the X/Open curses
- Goal: Implement wide character support in the NetBSD curses libraries.
- Deliverables:
     o Modified NetBSD curses libraries source code;
     o A test suit for a number of typical wide character sets;
     o Change documentation;
- Project Schedule:
   This project will take about six weeks if I work on it about 10 hours a
   week. I can start to work on it as soon as it is approved after 6/24. A more detail
   schedule is as below:
     * Design: 6/24 - 6/30 (10 hours);
     * Coding: 7/1 - 7/18 (25 hours);
     * Testing: 7/19 - 8/7 (25 hours);
     * Reporting and documentation: 8/8 - 8/14 (10 hours);
- Motivation:
   The NetBSD curses library currently does not support wide characters, which
   makes it unsuitable for internationalization. The X/Open Curses Reference
   gives more details about the wide characters for internationalization.
   Although the GNU Ncurses package can be used as an installed package to
   support wide characters, it is not part of the NetBSD source distribution,
   and thus is limited for certain applications, such as installation scripts.
   In addition, the Ncurses use more resources and may run slowly on some
   platforms with limited resource and processing capability (such as vax and
   m68k).  Therefore, a fast NetBSD curses implementation with small memory
   footprint is highly desirable. We need to modify the NetBSD curses libraries
   to support wide characters for internationalization.