Re: Implementing Complex Unicode Scripts

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Wed Feb 21 2001 - 11:23:36 EST

Apurva Joshi va escriure:
> Re: "Uniscribe is just an implementation of these specifications, and I hope
> sincerely Microsoft will not hide some "features" into USP10.DLL in order to
> kill any concurrence."
> The process of adding new feature support to Uniscribe is not unlike adding
> newer "features / capabilities" to other components.

Agreed, and I welcome Apurva's clarifications and enhancements to my somewhat
provocative sentence. I would like to beg your pardon if it was seen as
offensive, which I did not intent. However I should add that there were no
real intent of provocation. I only insisted on the fact that Microsoft is a
for-profit organization, and Open Source developement is not precisely the way
it works. As a result, it necessarily have to develop a shippable product
_before_ publishing any specifications (this Apurva explained very clearly).

Therefore, if someone (like as an random example the Linux community) ought
to officially deliver a compatible product that relies on the same
specifications, they are required to lag behind, waiting for the very
specifications to be really published.

Now, I repeat I did not intent to be offensive, and I would also take the
occasion to add that Microsoft Typography and in particular Ms. Joshi are
very helpful persons that always help me furnishing me, and others, the drafts
of the documents, at least to be able to produce fonts (this is no secret and
is not covered by NDA). It is my impression that they do so, and will continue
to do so, for everyone, including any Linux rendering developper, as far as
they are concerned, and as long as they are allowed to do so.

So as a bottom line, the real process (unlike the official one) is that
Uniscribe processor (USP10.DLL) is matched with specifications, and
everybody is free to develop a Uniscribe clone. And if using this clone
the rendering using Mangal is better than it is with USP10.DLL, I believe
Microsoft may even upgrade Uniscribe, as described by Apurva.

The problem is that the business model of Microsoft might at some point
conflict here with the goodwill of these kind individuals persons. And I take
for normal that then, Microsoft MAY (I repeat, this is _hypothetic_) have
to close these ways of developping Complex Scripts rendering with OpenType.
Now, such a strategic risk is easilly manageable for the community of
some minority languages localizers for some minor operating systems, but
I fear the point may be different for a global company; and I am sure that
if I present this risk to my board, I shall got a veto to use anything other
than Microsoft's Uniscribe to use OpenType technology to render complex scripts.
Which lefts only two options: go with Microsoft, or switching to another
more open scheme;
Now if OpenType is seen as superior or if it is seen as the only future, this
effectively kills the other schemes. But that is another story, and it is not
yet said this will happen this way.



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