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Re: glyph selection for Unicode in browsers

From: Tex Texin <tex@i18nguy.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 16:05:36 -0400
Message-ID: <3D936890.441E9652@i18nGuy.com>
To: Peter_Constable@sil.org
CC: Unicoders <unicode@unicode.org>, WWW International <www-international@w3.org>


Yes, I am aware of the difficulty of creating a single font that covers
all of Unicode.
And fine, let's change terminology. I was trying to make sure that my
use of "Unicode font" was clear.

Whether it's difficult or not, 1) there is a need for a simple solution
for fonts, that lay people can use in conjunction with Unicode text.
2) The glyphs need to vary based on language when such information is
3) The language information used to be derived from code page and is
missing with Unicode, and architecture needs to accomodate a better
model for bringing language to font selection.

That said, I'll use any terminology people want me to use, provided it
doesn't obscure the issue(s).

I don't require that a single font be used to solve problem #1. It can
be a bundle of fonts or some other packaging of fonts. I only require
that it be accessible to non-technical, non-linguist, people, who
require a simple install and broad coverage, to get reasonable (not
necessarily high end publishing) quality. It should be something I can
do once in advance of receiving documents, and not something I need to
do or reconsider every time I get a document and find new missing

I also don't care who provides the solution- it can be a font vendor, or
it can be a package distributed by a browser vendor or someone else.

The problem I am looking to solve, is to be able to recommend Unicode as
best practice for the web.
I don't think it is best practice if there are markets where the
rendering is poor because the loss of language information provided by
code page is not replaced by the lang facility and it is not best
practice if in using Unicode, you need to be either technical or a
linguist to identify and use the right fonts to display a document.

There is a market opportunity here for some industrious individuals...
And I hope the browser vendors are looking at the use of lang to assist
in font selection.


Peter_Constable@sil.org wrote:
> On 09/26/2002 12:52:13 PM Tex Texin wrote:
> >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.
> I suppose you didn't happen to attend session at a number of past Unicode
> conferences (not this last one, though) in which folks from Monotype
> presented on this these. In general, font developers don't recommend the
> idea of a single font that covers "all of Unicode" (it's not possible, BTW,
> given the 64K glyph limit). There are a variety of reasons for this. Even
> so, people keep looking for them.
> As for terminology, "Unicode font" is too ambiguous for the reasons Markus
> mentioned having to do with cmaps. You may be far more concerned with
> comprehensive coverage, but that isn't necessarily everyone's concern. In
> my work, I have to deal far more with fonts that use different encodings
> than I do with fonts that have comprehensive coverage. I much prefer to
> refer to comprehensive-coverage fonts as "pan-Unicode" fonts, and for the
> other issue, to refer to "Unicode-encoded" or "Unicode-conformant" (as
> opposed to custom-encoded) fonts.
> - 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>

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
Received on Thursday, 26 September 2002 16:06:07 UTC

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