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Re: glyph selection for Unicode in browsers

From: by way of Martin Duerst <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 2002 07:43:16 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: www-international@w3.org

Quoting Peter_Constable@sil.org:

 > Actually, my point was specifically that *part* of the infrastructure is
 > already present, at least in OpenType, but not *all*, either in OpenType
 > (meaning of "language" in the OT spec needs to be clarified, and
 > relationships between these tags and the "language" tags used for data e.g.
 > RFC 3066, need to be resolved)...

'Language system' (not 'language') in the OpenType specification actually 
*writing* system, i.e. a particular set of orthographic/typographic 
associated with the use of a particular script. 'Language system' is a
misnomer -- an historical artifact of the incomplete understanding of the
format's original designers --, and it has caused all sorts of confusion,
especially among people who assume that the OT 'language system' tags must 
some relationship to things like NLS tags. There is no necessary relationship
and, indeed, it is possible to conceive of a user wanting to apply, for
instance, the typographic conventions of German to a language other than 

I've suggested to Microsoft and Adobe that the term used in the spec should be
changed, or at least annotated.

John Hudson
Received on Sunday, 29 September 2002 19:04:15 UTC

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