W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > September 2010

Re: [css3 fonts] font-specific features

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 09:59:00 -0700
Message-ID: <4CA0CD54.60209@tiro.com>
CC: www-style <www-style@w3.org>, www-font <www-font@w3.org>
Thomas Phinney wrote:

> There are a number of OpenType layout features that do take an
> explicit index argument to pick a specific glyph out[put from several
> options. Stylistic sets ('ssXX') are not one of them, but stylistic
> alternates ('salt') and even swashes ('swsh') are among the ones that
> do.

The relatively new Character Variant (<cv01>-<cv99>) features are 
designed to work this way too, and the I'd say that support for this is 
quite crucial to the use of these features, which are important for 
scholarship and minority language typography.

For instance, I'm working with publishers cataloguing Byzantine seals 
and coins, and they will be dependent on the Character Variant features 
for the electronic versions of their catalogues, because they need to be 
able to display specific variant forms in their transcriptions (since 
these are important to the scholars using the catalogue) while retaining 
searchability of text. As an example, their custom font will have >20 
different forms of the Greek uppercase Alpha (U+0391), which will be 
enumerated variants within a single Character Variant feature:

	Alpha -> Alpha.1
	Alpha -> Alpha.2
	Alpha -> Alpha.3

and will need to be able to specify the precise variant to use in their 
CSS code. Fallback to the first variant -- as happens for e.g. the 
<salt> feature in current applications that do not provide access to 
enumerated variants -- is not acceptable in such a situation, since it 
would result in an inaccurate transcription of the object being catalogued.

Received on Monday, 27 September 2010 17:06:34 UTC

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