Purpose for Building the Website
The purpose of constructing the “Master Ideographs Seeker for CNS 11643 Chinese Standard Interchange Code” (abbreviated as Master Ideographs Seeker) website by the "Ministry of Digital Affairs" are as follows:
1. Establish the environment of computer applications in Taiwan.
2. Solving the shortage problem of Chinese characters used in Personal Computers (PCs): The basic Chinese ideographs (13,053 or some 20,000 glyphs) of internal codes frequently used in PCs, such as Big-5 Unicode are often inadequate. The Master Ideographs Seeker website contains the mechanism for downloading characters. Whenever characters are missing from computers, they can be downloaded immediately from the Internet, replacing manual creation of characters. This not only saves the time spent by users on character creation, but also results in better order and presentation of fonts and typefaces.
3. Solving the interchange problem of user-created characters: User- created characters used in documents transmitted by computers such as e-mails, official documents cannot be correctly displayed due to different encodings. The "CNS11643 Chinese Standard Interchange Code" (abbreviated as CNS Code) collects some ninety thousand glyphs providing sufficient set of glyphs. Using CNS Code as interchange standard is currently the only solution to the user-created characters interchange problem. The Master Ideographs Seeker website contains the "Code Conversion Tool" which provides users with the function of inter-converting between CNS codes and users' frequently used Chinese codes.
4. Settle down the phenomena of "identical characters, different codes" within government agencies, enterprises and organizations. Users used to create or download identical characters represented by different codes. This will in turn cause additional and tedious work in converting codes. The “Master Ideographs Seeker Application Tool 4.0” of the website contains the mechanism of "Sharing User-created Characters" and can be utilized to install identical user-created characters in PCs used within organizations or enterprises in order to keep the principle of "identical characters, identical codes".
5. Assist government agencies, enterprises and organizations in the unification and management of Chinese characters set: To keep the principle of "identical words, identical codes", government agencies, enterprises and organizations must dedicate staff to administer user-created characters. The administrator is responsible for the gathering, uniform encoding or downloading of existing user-created characters and new ones created subsequently. The Master Ideographs Seeker website contains various management tools for users to integrate and manage all internal user-created characters in a rapid and effective manner.
6. Solve the display problem of user-created characters on the web page: When user-created characters are used on web pages, people browsing the web page are unable to see correctly displayed characters. The Master Ideographs Seeker website contains the mechanism of "Instantaneous Script Display" to provide users with appropriate fonts, colors and sizes for display on the screen.
The Construction Process
1. Project Planned: In order to resolve the problems of information interchange and inadequacy of Chinese characters in PCs, the plan to construct the "CNS11643 Chinese Standard Interchange Code Master Ideographs Server" was completed in December 1998.
2. Production of Master Ideographs Seeker, Version 1.0: Commencing from January 1999, the Center has outsourced the job of producing the "Master Ideographs Server of CNS 11643 Chinese Standard Interchange Code" to the Chinese Foundation for Digitization Technology (CMEX). The Master Ideographs Seeker website was available for use on July 21 of the same year./p>
3. Production of Master Ideographs Seeker, Version 2.0: Master Ideographs Seeker, Version 1.0 was indeed a solution to the long existing problems of missing characters and code conversion and was well received by various parties. In order to further increase the practicality and convenience of the Ideographs Seeker, in March 2000, functions, operation flows and interfaces of the system were amended based on the scheduled plan and with reference to user requests. New functions including "Query by Pin-Yin", "Query by glyphs", "GBK Code Conversion" and "Sharing User-created Characters" were added and "CNS11643 Chinese Standard Interchange Code Master Ideographs Seeker, Version 2.0" was available for use in August of the same year.
4. Production of Master Ideographs Seeker, Version 3.0: In June 2000, with the objective to allow government agencies, enterprises and organizations to manage internal-used Chinese characters set in a more efficient way the "Self-used Characters Management Tool" for individual use and the "User-created Characters Administration Tool" for administrator use were developed. To avoid the mixed use of Formal script and Ming fonts having an adverse impact on the overall writing presentation, Formal-Script fonts were created for the CNS character planes 3 and 4. To solve the display problem of user-created characters, the mechanism of "Instantaneous Script Display" was created. In addition, to ease the traffic over the Internet, the "Master Ideographs Seeker Copying" mechanism was created for organizations that use the website more frequently to install the Master Ideographs Seeker on their Intranet. Subsequently to all these developments, "CNS11643 Chinese Standard Interchange Change Code Master Ideograph Seeker, Version 3" was available for use in March 2001.
5. Construction of Master Ideographs Seeker, Version 4.0: From June 2001, other than continuing with the production of Formal-Script fonts for the CNS character plane 5, system functions were expanded to allow for application of Master Ideographs Seeker in the WINDOWS 2000 and WINDOWS Me system environments. On the other hand, Chinese characters in expanded Unicode, Version 3.0 and symbols and fonts of Japanese, Taiwanese dialect pronunciation, Euro, the Chinese character of zero were constructed for users to download to ensure that Unicode and CNS codes can be fully cross-referenced. "Master Ideographs Seeker, for CNS11643 Chinese Standard Interchange Code Version 4.0" was available for use in January 2002.
6. Construction of Master Ideographs Seeker, Version 5.0: Since June 2008, the revision operation of the Master Ideographs Seeker website has been revised with the objective of providing a more user-friendly interactive interface. In addition to complete the Formal Scripts used in CNS, “Master Ideographs Seeker Software Package” was developed to provide an access of Master Ideographs Seeker to WINDOWS 2000 and WINDOWS XP system environment. The “Full-text Search” function was added to the website, and the systems of “Code Conversion Gate” and “Application of New Characters” were integrated in the Master Ideographs Seeker website as well. "Master Ideographs Seeker, for CNS11643 Chinese Standard Interchange Code Version 5.0" will be available for use in January 2009.
1. Chinese Code Query: Master Ideographs Seeker, Version 5.0 currently allows queries for up to a total of 87,047 Chinese characters, 10,771 Pin-Yin characters and 894 glyphs. The 87,047 Chinese characters are included in the first to the seventh (48,027 characters) and the twelfth to the fifteenth (38,773 characters) character planes of the Master Ideographs Seeker; and the related properties of these Chinese characters such as phonetics, radicals, strokes, component, CNS codes and Big-5 code (including Big-5E) and Unicode can be inquired over the Internet by the methods of looking up total stroke count, phonetic alphabets, Tsang-Chi codes, phonetic spelling, stroke, component and compound. The 10,771 Pin-Yin characters are in the eighth and the ninth character planes of the Master Ideographs Seeker. The 894 glyphs include existing glyphs (684 glyphs) in the CNS character planes and newly constructed Taiwanese dialect pronunciation, Japanese phonetic symbols of Hiragana or Katakana, Euro, the Chinese character of zero etc. (total 210 glyphs); the related properties of the glyphs such as CNS code, Big-5 (including Big-5E) and Unicode can be inquired by the method of looking up the types of glyphs over the Master Ideographs Seeker website.
2. Font Download: Master Ideographs Seeker provides downloads of the first to the fifteenth CNS character planes which include more than 80,000 Chinese characters, over 10,000 Pin-Yin characters and 894 glyph fonts. The characters and glyphs can be inquired by the methods of looking up total stroke count, phonetic alphabets, Tsang-Chi codes, phonetic spelling, component and compound, and then download fonts, phonetics and Tsang-Chi property information. Glyph fonts can be downloaded after running inquiries by the types of glyphs.
3. Chinese Code Conversion: Fonts, phonetics and Tsang-Chi related information downloaded from the Master Ideographs Seeker not only can be installed in the character-creation areas of the computer, but the cross-reference table for Big-5 user-created characters and the CNS codes will also be automatically constructed at the same time. The code conversion tool provided by the Master Ideographs Seeker is then utilized to undergo inter-conversion between CNS codes and internal codes frequently used in text files including Big-5, EUC, Unicode and GBK (Complex Chinese) to achieve accurate information interchange.
4. Installation of Sharing (identical) User-created Ideographs: The mechanism to share user-created characters is provided from Version 2.0 of the Master Ideographs Seeker for organizations, enterprises or associations to install identical user-created ideographs in all their internal PCs. This will ensure that the principle of "identical characters, identical codes" is maintained thus reducing the number of times required to convert codes (stand alone users outside of organizations, enterprises and associations can also use this mechanism to install identical Chinese ideographs similar to those used by others).
5. Administration and management of user-created ideographs by government agencies, enterprises and organizations: Administration tools for user-created characters are provided from Version 3.0 of the Master Ideographs Seeker which enables administrators for user-created characters to smoothly consolidate all existing user-created characters stored in individual PCs and to effectively manage new user-created characters.
6. Display of user-created characters on the web page: The mechanism of “Instantaneous Script Display” will be provided from Version 3 of the Master Ideographs Seeker thus eliminating the need to download or install fonts for user-created characters used on the web page. The converted image files of user-created characters' fonts can be read instantly in the Master Ideographs Seeker and characters can then be displayed on users' computers in accordance with fonts, colors and sizes required by the designer.
7. Installing Big-5E Ideographs: Stating from Version 4 of the Master Character Code Big-5E is equipped with newly added installation tools which can be used to convert existing 24 x 24 Ming bitmap fonts to 40 x 40 fonts. It also has the function of providing Formal script vector fonts.
9. Code Conversion Gate: Provide accurate conversion operations among Chinese Internal Code, Transfer Code and CNS Code (CNS11643), and set CNS11643 as the core to establish a comparison table file of Chinese Code and CNS Code (CNS11643), which is compliant with the standard of the Chinese Comparison Table concluded in the Chinese Information Exchange Standard, and to offer the most appropriate code conversion service. The code conversion service is performed through Web Service (conforms to SOAP 1.2 Standard) which is capable of serving functions of character string converse-coding, on-line and off-line text file converse-coding. It also provides a Web Service Call Interface for program developers to apply the code conversion service. Moreover, in order to secure the accuracy of information exchange the Master Ideographs Seeker Software Package is available for download ( go to tool download page) to the general public to assist them to compare their self-created character sets to the CNS11643 Standard. The general public can use the Master Ideographs Seeker Software Package to create their own character sets and apply for the membership of the Master Ideographs Seeker Website, then upload personal character sets through the code conversion webpage; they can also make inquiries or download character sets uploaded by others and attain the purpose of sharing the creation of character sets.