RE: Chromatic font research

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Tue Jun 25 2002 - 12:17:52 EDT

William Overington wrote:
> I am not knowledgable about Ethiopic manuscripts or Arabic
> letters. As many of the uses have a cultural and sometimes
> religious significance I felt that it would be respectful to
> those situations to use a purely ornamental example for
> experiments, [...]

OK, let's assume this possibility. (BWT, I don't think it is the case of
Arabic, but I am not sure about Ethiopic).

Anyway, one can use any other familiar character: no need of inventing an
ad-hoc one.

E.g., you can have a blue "i" with a red dot (U+0069); a green hat on a pale
blue "snowman" (U+2603), a yellow fill for a black-framed "smiling face"
(U+263A), an orange shadow for a "shadowed white star" (U+2730).

> [...]
> Given that, surely it is respectful and polite of me to place it
> in the Private Use Area

Things like a blue "i" with a red dot (U+0069) can perhaps be ugly or
pointless, but how can they be inpolite or unrespectful?

> rather than for me to have suggested some adaption of a regular
> Unicode symbol in a way that would perhaps not be compatible with the
> Unicode specification.

Several people are repeating over and over one thing: Unicode specification
does not specify the look (color, font, size, ect.) of the glyphs which
represent characters.

> Unfortunately what I thought was my thoughtful and
> considerate correctness in using the Private Use Area for the
> purpose needed is seen as in some way questionable.

Use of the Private Use Area is never questionable, as far as it remains

> I cannot understand what is seen as questionable about defining
> a character in the Private Use Area in order to help facilitate
> some research.

The point is another: there is no point in having a special character for an

Imagine that I wanted to make a short educational film to teach children how
to lace shows. Obviously, I need an actor or actress who sits in front of
the camera and shows, very slowly, how lacing is done.

Would it be OK, for you, to choose a green-skinned naked girl bleeding blue
blood from her left arm while she vomits orange worms and with a screeming
purple condor sitting on her bald head?

Would children pay more attention to the proccess of lacing shows or to the
characteristics of the bizzarre person who is performing the action?

> Also, I had not understood the two cases which you explain
> above. I realize
> now that some way of indicating that a colour should be mapped to null
> rather than to black in the event of a chromatic rendering
> system for a chromatic font not being available.

Yes, good rewording, that's what I meant.

> [... I am hopeful that chromatic font technology
> has now reached a gel level [...]

As far as I know, chromatic font technology does *not* exist yet and there
is no big need for it.

But I may be wrong, of course: I don't have hidden mikes in the labs of
software companies.

_ Marco

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