Re: AFII font for UCS:2000

From: Rick McGowan (
Date: Thu Oct 14 1999 - 20:32:31 EDT

Markus, et al,

I'm forwarding this on behalf of Michel Suignard. It went to another list,
but didn't get copied here to the Unicode list.


>From  Thu Oct 14 10:30:16 1999
> Subject: RE: AFII font for UCS:2000
> Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 10:25:51 -0700

AFII responsabilities have been taken over by the Unicode Consortium. The same process is used to produce the ISO 10646 character charts and the Unicode book character charts. There are some variations for the CJK part. Finally there is no such a thing as 'a font' for the whole repertoire. Fonts used to create a chart are typically not very good for anything else (like creating readable text). They also requires text for non printable character (like the Space character and many format characters) and special rendering for combining characters. Furthermore, bounding box issues, baseline alignment and character sizing, make virtually impossible to make a good global font for anything (either chart or mere text creation). These issues were discussed in great length at the last IUC during the font panel discussion.

The process in use for the chart drawing involved many fonts (over 50) especially tuned for optimal rendering in a chart environment. It is not impossible to create a single font, but it needs to be scalable as characters are referenced in different sizes in the Unicode book and the size of such a monster is not manageable by tools available to the many volunteers that gave a lot of their time for that effort. It is much easier to use a collection of fonts that are patched together by a charting tool.

About who was behind AFII, it is now mostly irrelevant, many people involved in Unicode and SC2/WG2 also volunteered their time in AFII to help create the charts for ISO 10646 2nd edition. This includes Asmus Freytag, Mike Ksar and I among others. AFII was a non profit organization supported by membership. There is really no need to revive AFII, the Unicode Consortium has already taken over AFII responsabilities.

Michel Suignard AFII former Treasurer,

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