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Re: glyph selection for Unicode in browsers

From: by way of Martin Duerst <jshin@mailaps.org>
Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2002 16:00:07 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: www-international@w3.org

On Thu, 26 Sep 2002, Tex Texin wrote:

 > 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

   I'm a little at loss as to why you have the impression
that  'lang' tag has little effect on rendering of html (in
UTF-8. e.g. your page or IUC10 announcement page which used to be at
http://www.unicode.org/iuc/iuc10/x-utf8.html) by major browsers. MS
IE has been making use of 'lang' attribute(html) for a long time and
Mozilla solved the problem (although 'xml:lang' is not yet supported)
last December. In case of Mozilla(and Netscape 7), see

   http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=105199  (fixed.
    where you'll find a pair of screenshots with dramatically
    different rendering results)
       (xml:lang : not yet fixed)
   http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=122779 (C-L http header
      and  UTF-8 document)

 > And are the fonts labeled so that the supported language is known?

   Judging from the discussion about the issue in Xfree86-font
list, most of modern OTFs are. Otherwise, applications (or  a library
for text rendering/font selection) can resort to a kind of mapping the
character repertoire of a font to language(s) covered as is done by
fontconfig for XFree86. For instance, characters in JIS X 0208 are all
covered, but characters from GB2312, Big5 and KS X 1001 are missing,
a font is likely to be Japanese.

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

   Indeed that's the case. If OT lang-tag is made use of and
multiple alternative glyphs are available in a single(or
a few) pan-script Unicode font(s), you'd not have to.

Received on Saturday, 28 September 2002 05:43:14 UTC

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