Target Audience: Manager, Software Engineer

Level of Session: Intermediate

The purpose of this presentation is to show how different font technologies (CID-keyed Font Technology, OpenType, etc.) can be applied to help resolving what is commonly called the "Unihan ambiguity problem."

The process of Han Unification can be considered to be one of the major "historical" achievements among the efforts to create Unicode. But developers are facing the problem of how to "disambiguate" the characters of the Basic Multilingual Plane's (BMP) Unihan portion in the context of cross-locale Unicode fonts.

In order to represent the Chinese characters of different Asian locales in a culturally adequate and typographically correct way with the help of Unicode, additional glyphs must be available in a font which shall be used across locale borders. Preliminary research shows that in such a "multi-locale" or "Pan-CJK" font, roughly 50 percent of the CJK characters need more than one glyph representation, depending on the typeface.

Different approaches exist to make the additional glyphs available in fonts and how applications can get access to them. This presentation will provide implementation examples for achieving it through fonts applying CID-keyed or the closely related OpenType font technology. It will will focus on explaining and demonstrating how the problematic consequences of Han Unification can be resolved with the help of fonts.

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14 Jun 1999, Webmaster