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Re: Linguistics versions

From: Chris Lilley <Chris.Lilley@sophia.inria.fr>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 14:03:19 +0100 (MET)
Message-Id: <9701221403.ZM12487@grommit.inria.fr>
To: Gary Adams - Sun Microsystems Labs BOS <gra@zeppo.East.Sun.COM>, "M.T. Carrasco Benitez" <carrasco@innet.lu>, www-international@www10.w3.org
On Jan 14,  9:53am, Gary Adams - Sun Microsystems Labs BOS wrote:

> What may be missing is a way to describe a multilingual compositional
> document. e.g. This document is mostly English but contains a
> paragraph of Chinese text. Assuming the charset and language headers
> and tags have been declared properly, what must the browser do to be
> alerted to the fact that multiple fonts may be required in the
> rendering of the document?

Let's split that question into three separate stages

1) the charset allows a bunch of bytes to be converted into characters
(Unicode characters) for processing.

2) the lang tags provide additional metadata which can be used to aid
presentation (font selection, speech synthesis) and can be used for other
purposes such as indexing and searching.

3) the stylesheet specifies which font to use, based on availability (both
as a whole and in terms of having the required glyphs). For example,
using CSS:

BODY { font-family: Palatino, DynaLab Li, Mincho, serif }

If Palatino ( a font for Latin characters) exists and has the right glyphs
it will be used, otherwise if DynaLab Li (a font for Chinese characters)
exists and has the right glyphs it will be used, otherwise  Mincho (a
font for Japanese characters) otherwise "serif", a pre-defined generic font
which can be mapped by the browser to any suitable font. This rule will be
applied to the body element and all it contains (unless over-reiiden by
a more specific rule, such as a rule for H1 for example).

Note that the document might also contain Japanese characters, with the
same Unicode positions as Chinese characters, disambiguated by the LANG
tag or attribute.

> Is this even an issue? If the browser
> accepts RFC2070 documents then it must have a means of rendering the
> potentially unknown glyphs.

Not necessarily.

If it accepts RFC2070 documents then it must be capable of processing
Unicode characters. This processing might involve presentation (or it
might not, for example indexing, noting changes from previous versions,
cache seeding, hotlist update). If it involves presentation, and that
presentation is visual, and the browser is configured to do a good job
on Chinese text, (as opposed, say, to displaying /u6543 or a 'missing
glyph' box *then* it must have a means of rendering the glyphs,
which are housed in a font of some sort.

Chris Lilley, W3C                          [ http://www.w3.org/ ]
Graphics and Fonts Guy            The World Wide Web Consortium
http://www.w3.org/people/chris/              INRIA,  Projet W3C
chris@w3.org                       2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
+33 (0)4 93 65 79 87       06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Wednesday, 22 January 1997 08:04:22 UTC

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