Re: Using *-iso10646-1 X11 fonts with Netscape 4.06

From: Markus Kuhn (
Date: Sat Dec 12 1998 - 05:47:29 EST

Erik van der Poel wrote on 1998-12-11 18:19 UTC:
> There is hope, however. The Mozilla Organization
> ( is currently rewriting several parts of the
> client, and this will have a big impact on fonts, too. We will probably
> consider supporting *-iso10646-1 fonts.

Excellent. Please keep us informed.

> However, since the external info isn't good enough, we will probably
> have to look inside the fonts to see which glyphs they really have (or
> don't have). Witness the recent addition of the euro glyph to several
> fonts. (Is that a good example?)

I would not get too excited about these semi-intelligent pseudo-font
selection mechanisms. After all, most of the *-iso10646-1 fonts around
have a repertoire *much* larger than what your pseudo font mechanism can
possibly provide, because they are larger than the repertoire of all
other available X11 fonts. Instead of attempting some intelligent fully
automatic font selection, I would actually prefer a very simple and
efficient mechanism where I can specify a sequence of fonts A, B, C, and
if a character is not found in A, then the software looks in B, and if
it is not there either, it will look into C, and if it is not there
either, you'll get the replacement character displayed. With this setup,
you can always select one of the larger *-iso10646-1 fonts such as
Roman's unifont (>34000 characters!) as B, and whatever you prefer most
as A. I just don't like software that tries to be smarter than me -- it
usually fails and I loose the feeling of being in control of what is
going on ... ;-)


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at,  WWW: <>

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