RE: lag time in Unicode implementations in OS, etc?

From: Murray Sargent (
Date: Thu Oct 12 2000 - 19:09:25 EDT

It would be great if things were that easy. But users typically don't want
to worry about fonts. They enter a character, maybe by pasting plain text,
and want it magically to appear as something other than the
"missing-character" glyph. They probably don't even know if it's a
supplementary-plane character. So the underlying software has to figure out
an appropriate font to use. It really wasn't possible to finalize such
software until the codepoints for specific characters were officially
defined, i.e., until the Athens WG2 meeting last month. It's still not a
trivial matter to figure out which fonts to use for plane 2, partly because
different locales may prefer different glyphs (the usual CJK unification
problem, which is particularly tricky in multilingual East Asian contexts).

With Windows 2000 and WordPad, say, you can enter a Plane-2 character (try
2xxxx Alt+x) and select a font to display it. But you have to select an
appropriate font, it's not automatic. It'll get better now that we know
where the codepoints are assigned.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Markus Scherer []
> Sent: Thursday, October 12, 2000 3:03 PM
> To: Unicode List
> Subject: Re: lag time in Unicode implementations in OS, etc?
> so, what is there to be turned on and off in win2k if surrogate pairs are
> already handled as single units?
> if fonts just don't contain mappings and glyphs for pairs, then the layout
> engine will ignore them anyway until fonts provide that data.
> markus
> > John McConnell wrote:
> >
> > Windows 2000 does support surrogates as defined in Unicode 2.0 e.g. it
> recognizes them when
> > converting to/from UTF-8 & OpenType recognizes new cmap types for
> surrogates.
> that's great!
> > The remaining steps e.g. fonts that display Ext B and sorting methods
> that integrate surrogate
> > pairs in culturally correct ways, depend on the final assignments of the
> new ranges. That isn't
> > in Unicode 2.0 (or 3.0).
> of course.
> > Chris Pratley wrote on 2000-oct-03:
> > > Surrogate support was not turned on by default in Win2000 because the
> > > Windows team was waiting for the standard to be finalized. It was also
> added
> > > late, so to reduce the potential impact they had it off - a safe bet
> since
> > > the standard was still 1+ years from completion.
> >
> > which standard? unicode 2.0 introduced surrogates in 1996. iso 10646-1
> got amended with utf-16 in 1996, too.
> > there was nothing new in the technical issues of how to deal with utf-16
> since then.
> >
> > > Chris

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