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Re: glyph selection for Unicode in browsers

From: <jameskass@att.net>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 20:11:34 +0000
To: Tex Texin <tex@i18nguy.com>
Cc: WWW International <www-international@w3.org>, Unicoders <unicode@unicode.org>
Message-Id: <20020925201136.EUKK3671.mtiwmhc12.worldnet.att.net@mtiwebc08>

Tex Texin wrote,

> However, I am finding that browsers are not supporting this in a way
> that is useful for Unicode.
> What has been working so far is that the browsers can associate
> different fonts with different languages. So I might use a Japanese font
> such as Mincho for Japanese text and another font for Chinese text.
> However, now that there are "Unicode" fonts, if I assign a Unicode font
> such as Arial Unicode MS, or CODE2000, to all languages, then I see the
> same glyph for a character, regardless of the lang assignment.
> I would like to understand why this is. (Bear in mind, I don't know much
> more than the rudiments of font technology.)
> a) Do Unicode fonts include the language-based glyph variants of
> characters, so that a display system is capable of identifying or
> hinting which glyph should be used in a particular scenario?

OpenType allows for substitution of language-specific glyphs and many
script and language tags are already "registered".

However, the last time I checked (quite recently), the Uniscribe engine
only implements one language tag per script.

OpenType is still nascent and tremendous strides have been made within
the past few years.  Once implementations do allow for multiple language
based substitutions under a single script tag, there should be much
improvement in browser display.  (As long as the fonts get updated, too!)

Meanwhile, the workable approach seems to remain assigning specific
fonts in the style declaration.

Best regards,

James Kass.
Received on Wednesday, 25 September 2002 16:12:08 UTC

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