FOSS Localization/Glossary

American Standard Code for Information Interchange.
Logical unit that represents a letter, digit or symbol of a writing system.
Character Set
The mapping of characters from a writing system to a set of binary codes.
Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Usually used to refer to the common Han ideographs shared by th three languages and other issues surrounding this. Sometimes associated with Vietnamese and called CJKV.
Domain Name Server, a service that resolves symbolic host names into numeric IP addresses, and vice versa.
A character encoding scheme is a set of rules for representing a sequence of character codes with byte sequence.
Resource that provide a set of glyphs for text rendering.
A client-side font configuration library split from Xft as an X-independent module. Modern GNU/Linux desktops are using it as default font system, as opposed to the traditional font system managed by X server.
Free/Open Source Software.
Graphical unit for composing text display of a writing system. A glyph may represent the shape of a single character, part of a character (in the case of characters with multiple parts), or a combined form of character sequence (in the case of ligatures).
GNU Network Object Modelling Environment, a desktop environment based on GTK+ toolkit and other desktop components.
A recursive acronym standing for "GNU's Not Unix." GNU is an effort to create a completely free operating system based on Unix architecture.
The GIMP Tool Kit, a toolkit initially created for using with The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), but later becomes an independent general-purpose toolkit. GTK+ is written in C, licensed under LGPL.
Abbreviation for Internationalization.
Internet/Intranet Input Method Framework, a new framework for cross-platform input method developed by IIIMF bridges different IM protocols by using wrappers that communicate with a common protocol.
The practice of developing software with the readiness to work in different languages and cultures without modification of the source code or re-compilation. This usually means abstraction in culture-sensitive operations as well as defining the mechanism for dynamically loading locale-based implementations.
K Desktop Environment, a desktop environment based on Qt toolkit and other desktop components.
A very low-level software that manages computer hardware, multi-tasks the many programs that are running at any given time, and other such essential things.
Abbreviation for Localization.
The features of the user's environment that are dependent on language, country and cultural conventions. The locale determines conventions such as string collation; date and time formats; number and currency formats; and so on.
Implementation of cultural conventions defined by the internationalization process according to different languages and cultures.
Supporting more than one language simultaneously. Often implies the ability to handle more than one script and character set.
OpenType Font.
A Unicode-based multi-lingual text rendering engine used by GTK+ 2. Like GTK+, Pango is written in C and licensed under LGPL.
A server-side scripting language for creating dynamic web pages.
Portable Operating System Interface Specification is the minimum specification of system calls for operating systems based on Unix, defined by IEEE so that applications based on it are guaranteed to be portable across OSs. Although based on Unix, POSIX is also supported by some non-Unix OSs.
A cross-platform toolkit developed by TrollTech, and later used as the base for the KDE project. Qt is written in C++ and dual-licensed under GPL and QPL.
A system of characters used to write one or several languages.
Secure Shell is used for remote login using an encrypted connection to prevent sniffing by third parties.
A library for GUI application development. It provides common widgets and controls such as menu, button, text entry, etc.
TrueType Font.
Universal Multi-octet coded character set, as defined by ISO/IEC 10646 to represent the world's writing systems. It is maintained by ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2, with contributions from the Unicode Consortium.
A 24-bit coded character set used to represent the world's writing systems. It is maintained by the Unicode Consortium, in synchronization with ISO/IEC 10646.
Unicode (UCS) Transformation Format, using 8-bit multibyte encoding scheme.
X Client
Application process that makes requests to the X server for displaying graphical outputs on the screen and/or accepts events from input device. (See also: X Server.)
X Font Server
A service that provides font accesses to the X server.
X Font Server.
An extension introduced in XFree86 for managing glyph images of vector fonts at client side. This allows X applications to add special effects to the glyphs, such as anti-aliasing.
A free X Window implementation for PC, although Mac is also supported. It is developed on top of the free source code from the X consortium (, along with hardware drivers and some extensions. It used to be the only X Window implementation for FOSS on PC, until recent forks 1 by efforts such as Xouvert, X server, Keith Packard's kdrive, and X11R6.7, the latest one which is endorsed by itself. (See also:
X Input Method framework, introduced in X11R6 as part of its I18N. It makes complicated text input processes, such as those for CJK, possible.
X Keyboard extension, introduced in X11R6 as part of its I18N. It provides a method to describe keyboard layouts, to combine multiple layouts, and to switch between them.
X Output Method framework, introduced in X11R6 but fully implemented in X11R6.5.1 to provide complex text rendering. But its late arrival, when rendering engines like Pango have already matured, makes its usefulness questionable.
The X consortium that maintains the X Window system. Normally, it maintains the X specification and provides the framework implementation source code in free license. In early 2004, triggered by license change in XFree86, a group of developers forked XFree86 source and made it X11R6.7 release in the name of
X Server
The service that provides interface to graphical hardware and input devices in the X Window system. Its clients are called X Clients. (See also: X Client.)
X Window
A graphical environment initially developed by the Athena project at MIT with support from some vendors, and later maintained by the X consortium. X Window is the major graphical environment for most Unix variants nowadays.