Re: Open-Type Support (was: Greek Prosgegrammeni)

From: Lukas Pietsch (
Date: Wed Nov 22 2000 - 11:23:51 EST

John Hudson wrote:

> At present, polytonic Greek is not supported in Uniscribe,
> I suspect because no one has determined that it needs to be.

So, would you agree that it does need to be? Keeping in mind what Kenneth
Whistler wrote:

> Not if the fonts they use map capital letter + ypogegrammeni character
> combinations into capital letter + full-size iota glyph sequences.
> Of course, if the fonts they use are not designed for correct use with
> polytonic Greek, then the default rendering behavior of the ypogegrammeni
> will not be what they expect or want. Time to upgrade the fonts.
> This is not all that sophisticated. It should be a matter that can be
> wholly encapsulated within the fonts:
> Font I Font II
> A. 0397 0313 0345 ==> 'H iota adscript 'H iota subscript
> B. 1F98 ==> 'H iota adscript 'H iota subscript
> ...
> Many of us have felt all along that polytonic Greek should always be
> represented decomposed, and that the ELOT polytonic "character" encoding
> was a dangerous conflation of glyph design and character encoding
> Implementations that use full decomposition for polytonic Greek and fonts
> that correctly map the accentual and diacritic combinations are the
> best bet for consistency *and* good presentation in the long run.

Mind that the case-mapping question we were discussing is just one minor
aspect of the issue; the main task is much more general, and at the same
time more straightforward (If we leave aside the issue of automatic case
conversion and the fancy problems of, let's say, small-caps): the decomposed
character sequences simply need to be mapped to the precomposed ones. It
affects not only the iota subscripts/adscripts but also all the other
diacritics. Without some glyph processing most combinations will never
display readably. Since the precomposed glyphs already exist as Unicode
codepoints, I suppose that the implementation would probably not even be
very difficult, and not much of it would even depend on the individual font,
would it?

By the way, I wouldn't agree with Kenneth that it wasn't a good idea to have
the precomposed characters in Unicode in the first place. I'm very glad they
are there, since, as we see, the beautiful smart rendering features we are
talking about are simply not yet available in mainstream text processing
software. Much as I like the idea of the projects such as "Graphite" that
Marco mentioned, I do think there are quite a number of people out here who
would love to be able to handle Greek comfortably in their everyday
all-purpose text-processing and browsing software. The precomposed
characters are at present the only means they have to do so on a Windows
platform. Adding smart rendering support for the decomposed characters would
provide them with a much better means; I'd certainly agree with Kenneth
about that. And I'd also think it would be preferable if that could be done
system-wide and not just by some individual application, wouldn't it? So it
seems as if Uniscribe looks like the best bet at the moment, for Windows

What do the Microsoft people think? May we hope?


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