Foreign Glyphs (was Re: Proposed HTML 2.0 Entities - Rendering Errors)

Walter Ian Kaye (boo@primenet.com)
Tue, 27 Jun 1995 17:27:29 -0700


Message-Id: <v01510100ac164ad8df84@[198.68.46.157]>
Date: Tue, 27 Jun 1995 17:27:29 -0700
To: www-html@www10.w3.org
From: boo@primenet.com (Walter Ian Kaye)
Subject: Foreign Glyphs (was Re: Proposed HTML 2.0 Entities - Rendering Errors)

At 05:05p 06/27/95, Murray Altheim wrote:
>I'm not looking for a Mac-specific solution, although I would certainly
>point folks to your page as being a better example than mine of those
>characters not in the Macintosh character set. I would be interested in
>seeing which are not in the PC charset, as well as feedback from some UNIX
>folks.
>
>But the real point I was trying to make was how to address this issue more
>globally. Solving it on the Macintosh would be a step pointing the way for
>others, and maybe this _is_ entirely a browser issue, and beyond the scope
>of HTML. But most of our workstations (PC, Mac, UNIX, or others) do have
>limitations in their character sets.

Well, let's see. HTML/SGML has no concern for a specific platform's native
character set, therefore it matters not that a browser use more than one
font to render the document character set. With that in mind, we can take
common usage of the "Symbol" font as a platform-independent model for
generating foreign characters; this means we need only designate one other
font (which can ship with the browser) containing the missing characters.
The specific single-byte character codes would not be important, as the
browser would have a small lookup table to find its code (look up the
entity name and return the corresponding character code in the
supplementary font). Perhaps even 2 lookup tables, if someone wants to
research a few ISO-10646 codes! All the browser really needs is the ability
to display more than one font at a time on a single page.

Times(R) is the typical default font, so the supplementary font should be
drawn with similar metrics. I believe Fontographer 4.1 can generate fonts
for Unix and NeXT as well as Mac and Windows. Since there aren't that many
missing glyphs, a single 256-character font might be able to include every
missing glyph from Mac, Unix, and Windows, although I'm only guessing as I
don't know a Unix character set from Adam. ;)  If the total is indeed less
than 256, then we could even have a sort of "pseudo-standard" for the
character codes, but that really isn't an issue since it's a "private" font
and those codes are not specified by HTML.

Howzzat?


-Walter :)

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