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Re: glyph selection for Unicode in browsers

From: <Peter_Constable@sil.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 12:48:27 -0500
To: unicode@unicode.org, WWW International <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF87C1D431.F74F5D09-ON86256C41.00605F80@sil.org>

On 09/27/2002 10:56:00 AM Jungshik Shin wrote:

>> Again, the problem is knowing just *how* they should go about doing
>  As for 'how', what MS IE and Mozilla do may not be as user-friendly
>as Tex wants them to be, but I think it's pretty reasonable at
>least for CJK. If they're configured to use different Unicode-cmapped
>(non-Pan-script) fonts for TC/SC/J/K (as opposed to pan-script Unicode
>fonts like MS Arial Unicode, Cyberbit), runs of text tagged with TC/SC/J/K
>are rendered with fonts configured for TC,SC,J and K, respectively.

A couple of notes:

Speaking in generalities, a font that isn't a "pan-script Unicode" font
potentially can support TC/SC/J/K equally well with glyphs suited to users
in each culture -- but not using default character-to-glyph mappings. The
mechanisms available to IE or Mozilla today would not provide any means to
determine which typographic preferences are supported by default in a given
font. Nor does the infrastructure exist that will allow these apps to
request the culturally-preferred fonts that would exist in such fonts. Of
course, in practice, many currently-existing CJK fonts may have been
developed to support a single group of users, and don't include alternate
glyphs that might be prefered by users in other cultures.

Also, what IE and Mozilla currently do helps with the CJK issues, but these
apps don't do anything, that I know of, in relation to comparable issues
for other scripts, e.g. language-related preferences for Latin diacritics
or Cyrillic italic forms. Which you anticipate:

>I guess you already know this much and what you're alluding
>to is a problem of another dimension:  developing ( Pan-script
>if necessary/possible) Unicode fonts with multiple lang-depedent

Yes (with the added note that the pan-script element is orthogonal to what
I'm referring to).

>it seems like selecting lang-dependent glyphs for
>Latin/Cyrillic letters are more difficult than CJK case

I'm not sure; I haven't thought about that, in part because I don't have
only limited knowledge of what glyph variations issues there are for most

>The font
>selection part of these problems is addressed by fontconfig package by
>Keith Packard (http://fontconfig.org). Of course, there should be
>other implementations of/attempts at this problem.

The fontconfig library is entirely new to me. Thanks for the link.

- 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 Friday, 27 September 2002 13:53:55 UTC

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