Re: Sick HTML

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Fri Apr 21 2000 - 07:28:26 EDT

Ar 16:56 -0800 2000-04-20, scríobh Christopher John Fynn:

>BTW why does everything have to be *free or very cheap*? - Creating good
>fonts for complex scripts, and software to make use of them, is a lot
>of work.

So is researching complex scripts to prepare them for encoding -- yet the
effort to encode isn't really a saleable commodity.

>Developers of these fonts and software deserve to get paid by people
>who use them just as much as anyone else (and probably more than many
>dot com millionaires). If some of these people or their employers
>choose to make their work freely available that's nice - but I don't
>think we should expect it.

I suppose it's because people forget that in the price of the system
software they use (in English and Spanish and so on) some kind of licence
fee has actually been paid to the developers. Quite rightly an Oriya end
user may wish to be able to use his or her language as easily as a
Californian one. Which, frankly, isn't such a wrongheaded notion.

>In the past free software and fonts have
>usually appeared only once commercial software that does more or
>less the same thing has been around for a while. Of course it might
>do a lot for the take-up of Unicode if more of the big corporations
>who are members of the Unicode consortium sponsored the development
>of fonts and software which worked with complex scripts and then
>made all this available *free or very cheap*.

As one of the prime advocates of encoding minority scripts (see for a summary page
of some ongoing work), I would certainly welcome such sponsorship. Not
being by any means a dot-com millionaire, I nonetheless invest (from a
practical point of view) absurd amounts of time, energy, and money encoding
and developing fonts for scripts used in parts of the world which are not
really economically attractive. (Don't praise me for this idealism,
friends, it's my dharma and anyway I can do that myself. Other forms of
support would be a lot more useful.) This underscores what Chris Fynn has
said, though -- this kind of work isn't easy and takes a long time. A few
such scripts have been lucky: SIL undertook the development of a really
lovely New Tai Lü font. But the same can't be said for most of the scripts
on our list.

Should they all be *free or very cheap*? Maybe. But how do you get them?

Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta **
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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