Re: Support for Multilingual Documents

Date: Tue Dec 07 1999 - 13:54:16 EST


       PC>> Certainly disk space is a non-issue.

       CP>Wish it were so.

       Here's the original context to which I was responding:

       AP>>>I'm aware of these nice multilingual features in these
       products. Thanks for pointing them out again, though.

       AP>>>However, if you are authoring web pages for a general
       audience, then IE and NN are the standards you have to support.
       My point is: just because you, the page author, can view the
       character does not mean that arbitrary users can view it. Users
       on most standard installs of Windows, Mac, or UNIX do not get
       the character sets and fonts by default and most won't
       understand why that little black square is being presented in
       place of various (sometimes common) characters.

       AP>>>IOW: I'd argue in favor of more Unicode and cross-script
       support built into the operating systems. I would be happier
       if, for example, the retail Windows 2000 included the full
       install of all of the scripts and associated fonts by default.
       My understanding is that this won't happen...

       What was being considered was just what it takes so that a
       person developing web content can have confidence that their
       non-Roman documents will render correctly on others' machines.

       CP>Multilingual bits of Win2000 are huge when all the IMEs,
       dictionaries, and fonts are installed - in the 200MB range...

       I agree that this is huge, and that 200MB would be an issue.
       But not all of this is needed just to attain the goal described
       above. IMEs and dictionaries aren't required to ensure that if
       I create a web page with Hindi or Amharic that it will display
       with *some measure of predictability* on other's machines. All
       that is required is a minimum of one (large) font and some
       shaping engine that can provide at least default rendering for
       any script supported in Unicode.

       Such a font is already being provided with Office and IE, and I
       believe you'd like to provide the shaping (Uniscribe is
       beginning to do that, and is included in IE5; I expect you're
       planning to ship Uniscribe with the next version of Office). In
       other words, this goal is in line with something that your
       product group at MS and at least one other product group have
       already decided you should do. We know that a Unicode 2 font
       takes ~25MB; I'm guessing that a font for all of Unicode 3
       isn't that much bigger (I have one that's only 18MB); let's
       suppose that by Unicode 4 fonts and shaping engine take up
       ~50MB. That's rather less than 200MB. I wouldn't have thought
       users would be concerned about 25MB today, 50MB in a couple of
       years. From what I've seen, I looks to me that you've reached
       that conclusion yourself.


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