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Re: [css3-fonts] Character Variant features

From: Andrew Cunningham <lang.support@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2010 17:20:02 +1000
Message-ID: <i2i9d70cb001004240020z1aa56c23i1053fc9a08171716@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Cc: www-style <www-style@w3.org>, John Daggett <jdaggett@mozilla.com>, Peter Constable <petercon@microsoft.com>
I'd also like to add my support for the request. Such support will be
critical for many lesser used languages.

On 24 April 2010 03:55, John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com> wrote:
> I am discussing electronic publication plans with a scholarly publisher
> working in the field of numismatics and sigillography. They are involved
> with the Text Encoding Initiative[1], and looking at ways to tag significant
> variant letter forms in transcriptions of antique coins and seals, with the
> intention that through style sheets and font layout features they will
> eventually be able to display these variants reliably in electronic
> editions, using custom web fonts, while maintaining searchable text.
> Looking at their requirements, and considering the needs of other academic
> publishers and scholarly organisation with whom I have worked or am in
> contact, I would like to request that support for Character Variants be
> added to the CSS Font Module draft.
> Some background on these features:
> The OpenType Stylistic Set features[2] were designed to address fonts in
> which sets of stylistically related variants were available. Good examples
> of such fonts are Adobe's Poetica, Linotype's Zapfino and Microsoft's
> Gabriola; these fonts all contain full or partial variant alphabets in which
> letters have stylistic similarities that make them work together as a set.
> Although the Stylistic Set features have been used by some font developers
> to access individual character variants, rather than what I would consider
> sets, this was not the original intention of these features, which are not
> really set up for this purpose. Apart from other concerns, there simply are
> not enough Stylistic Set features to cover the number of individual
> character variants that a font might contain, and mixing and matching the
> features in a piece of text to obtain this or that variant of particular
> letters is impractical for the user.
> To provide access for individual character variants, SIL and Microsoft
> defined the Character Variant features [3] (cv01 to cv99), which I would
> like to see incorporated into the CSS Font Module. I believe these features
> will be particularly useful to academic publishers and to user communities
> that have specific preferences for shapes of particular letters that might
> not be addressed via a font's Localised Forms feature : font developers
> can't know every character variant preference or associate them cleanly to
> specific languages, so a mechanism is needed that allows users to set
> individual character variant preferences at the document, paragraph or
> inline level.
> John Hudson
> [1] http://www.tei-c.org/index.xml
> [2] http://www.microsoft.com/typography/otspec/features_pt.htm#ssxx
> [3] http://www.microsoft.com/typography/otspec/features_ae.htm#cv01-cv99

Andrew Cunningham
Senior Project Manager, Research and Development
State Library of Victoria

Received on Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:20:35 UTC

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