Re: News of AFII: international standard registry of glyp...

Date: Mon Dec 21 1998 - 08:49:43 EST

       Re: News of AFII: international standard registry of glyphs and

       You wanted more info about Adobe's choice not to use the AFII
       registry. Here's an excerpt from a message I got from Adobe
       back in June:

       Thank you for your enquiry, and careful explanation of the
       related issues. Adobe is definitely not using AFII numbers
       anymore -- except for compatibility purposes. All of our
       development work is now focused on OpenType and the use of

       [end of excerpt]

       I had written to Adobe after reading their document at

       from which I copy the following excerpt:

       ... Names that cannot be composed of
       published names could use the glyph ID numbers published by the
       Association for Font Information Interchange (AFII), the
       ISO-approved registrar of glyphs.

       Since Technical Note #5089 was written, a number of changes
       have occurred to take advantage of emerging industry standards.
       For example, Adobe has recently adopted a number of glyph
       names established by Microsoft, and AFII has ceased operation.

       [end of excerpt]

       Note the very last clause. As I had been trying to get info, I
       was struck by the claim that AFII had closed their doors. Since
       I subsequently had some correspondence with AFII, this claim is
       apparently mistaken.

       You suggested that the industry may not be ready for 32-bit
       codes. I had not thought about that. Glyph IDs in TrueType
       fonts are 16-bit, I believe, so that is an issue for TrueType.
       Also, you're very right that numbers are much less useful for
       working with glyphs than mneumonic strings.

       You also suggested that Unicode is adequate as a glyph encoding
       for many purposes. Apparently, Adobe is thinking along those
       lines. It is a serious concern for us if they decide to carve
       up the private use area and try to quasi-standardize it. We may
       need to make heavy use of PUA for scripts that we work with
       that are not close to being standardized in Unicode. What I
       have seen of what Adobe wants to put into their are mostly
       glyph variants, which don't need Unicode values if one has a
       smart rendering system. Adobe has said that they're working
       with Microsoft on OpenType (see the first quotation above). If
       the two of them got OpenType right, Adobe wouldn't need to
       assign PUA values to glyph variants. Unfortunately, Adobe and
       MS appear not to have had much success in figuring out complex
       script rendering issues in OpenType. (It has been years since
       they first talked about this, and they have never provide
       developers with anything on the proposed OT services libary.
       Also, MS have since put together Uniscribe, which has no
       connection to OT services libary. It remains to be seen whether
       Uniscribe will obviate any need on Adobe's part to propose
       Unicode values for variants.)

       You said, "...Unicode is not about composing characters by
       combining base and accent characters..." Au contraire! For an
       app to be conformant to Unicode, it must be able to work with
       such combinations. Quoting from page 2-9:

       "The Unicode Standard allows for the dynamic composition of
       accented forms. Combining characters used to create composite
       forms are productive."

       Given that that is the case, does that allow for what you need
       for polytonic Greek? (There was some discussion about this a
       few months ago on the Unicode list; you may want to review

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