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Re: glyph selection for Unicode in browsers

From: Tex Texin <tex@i18nguy.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 13:52:13 -0400
Message-ID: <3D93494D.4D4AAC5D@i18nGuy.com>
To: Markus Scherer <markus.scherer@jtcsv.com>
CC: Unicoders <unicode@unicode.org>, WWW International <www-international@w3.org>

Markus,

Yes, underlying fonts can be a Unicode architecture. That's a good
thing, but invisible to end-users.
I would like to keep the sense of "Unicode font" as meaning a font which
supports a large number of scripts, rather than meaning one that uses
Unicode for its mapping architecture.

Yes, OS and browsers are getting better. My concerns center around:
Is the mechanism for selecting fallback fonts language-sensitive, so
that it would favor a Japanese font for Unicode Han characters that were
tagged as lang:ja And are the fonts labeled so that the supported
language is known?

Even so, I'd still need to have a large collection of fonts then.

I would like to be able to publish a page such as the Unicode example
page:
http://www.i18nguy.com/unicode-example.html

without feeling obligated to publish a pdf version
http://www.i18nguy.com/unicode/unicodeexample.pdf

so that the less technical among us would not feel challenged to acquire
and install several fonts, language by language.

And my main point is that my investment in tagging text segments with
"lang" should result in the most appropriate rendering.
Currently, using a Unicode font, lang has no visible effect.

tex


Markus Scherer wrote:
> 
> Tex Texin wrote:
> 
> > However, a Japanese user might have to choose a Japanese font, if the
> > Unicode font does not favor (and cannot be made to favor with language
> > tags) Japanese renderings.
> > So it's catch 22. They have native fonts because Unicode fonts are
> > inadequate, but we can be relieved that although Unicode fonts are
> > inadequate, we are lucky the users don't use them.
> 
> I am not sure this is as bad as it may sound:
> Modern "native fonts" use Unicode cmaps (mapping tables from _Unicode text_ to glyph IDs) instead of SJIS/whatever cmaps.
> They will just not contain entries for much else but "native" characters.
> 
> In that sense, those native fonts will also be "Unicode fonts".
> Operating systems and browsers are also getting better at automatically selecting fallback fonts for characters that are missing in the main font.
> 
> markus

-- 
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Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex@XenCraft.com
Xen Master                          http://www.i18nGuy.com
                         
XenCraft		            http://www.XenCraft.com
Making e-Business Work Around the World
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Received on Thursday, 26 September 2002 13:52:44 GMT

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