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Re: glyph selection for Unicode in browsers

From: <Peter_Constable@sil.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 16:29:34 -0500
To: Unicoders <unicode@unicode.org>, WWW International <www-international@w3.org>, www-international-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF605D67D8.8C938192-ON86256C3F.00748DBB@sil.org>

On 09/25/2002 03:34:00 PM Tex Texin wrote:

>Thanks James.
>Which registry are you referring to for script and language tags?
>Is this in the context of glyphs or do you just mean the IANA language
>tag registry?

The OpenType script and "language" tags are specific to OpenType. As I
mentioned in my previous message, one of the problems yet to be solved is
how to associate OT "language" tags with the kind of things used for
metadata, e.g. RFC 3066 (and also determining whether resolving those
associations is the responsibility of the app, of a higher-level layout
engine, or of the OpenType layout engine), and it hasn't even been worked
out yet (IMO) just what the OT "language" tags are.

>Given the (un)workable approach, do you then intend to have variants of
>code2000 for CJKT, so one can make the appropriate assignments? (ugh!)
>Also, this approach means I have to ask each Unicode font vendor, "Which
>language is your multilingual font designed for?"
>so I know which CJKT assignment is appropriate for that font...

Unfortunately, that's where we're stuck for the time being. I wish it were
otherwise, since we're in the process of coming up with new Latin /
Cyrillic fonts for our users throughout the world, and there are various
Latin characters for which different glyphs are preferred in different
language communities. And the variations for one character don't
necessarily correlate with those for another, so you get lots of possible
combinations needed -- which would make it a pain to come up with a bunch
of language-specific fonts. For now, we're going to give them the ability
to select alternate glyphs via Graphite features,* but they'll only be able
to use that in Graphite-enabled apps -- it won't work in Word!

*Since our software tools are intended for use by linguists working in
hundreds of languages / writing systems for which there is no support in
commercial software platforms, we have for a long time provided mechanisms
to specify writing-system-specific behaviours, such as sorting or character
properties determining basic things like word-boundary detection and line
breaking. In our new tools that support Graphite, there's an ability for
the linguist setting up a system for their writing system to specify what
features should be active by default for their writing system.  This gives
us an interim mechanism to handle language-specific typography

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <peter_constable@sil.org>
Received on Wednesday, 25 September 2002 17:35:41 UTC

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