Re: Chromatic font research

Date: Fri Jun 28 2002 - 10:44:26 EDT

On 06/28/2002 03:57:32 AM "William Overington" wrote:

>For example, a recent experiment, documented in the archives of
>this list as The Respectfully Experiment, shows that there is now new
>evidence about the facts regarding the encoding of code points for
>ligatures, because it has now been realized that such code points can now
>used in conjunction with ZWJ type mechanisms of advanced font technology
>formats as an alternative method of coding to assist people with less than
>the latest equipment, such code points for ligatures working in
>with advanced font technology rather than as an alternative to it which is
>the way that such code points were regarded when a decision not to encode
>any more of them without a strong case was taken, though even for that
>decision there was provision for the general thrust of that decision to be
>overridden in the light of future evidence.

Now, there's a challenging ESL exercise -- it's even a challening EFL
exerciese. I found this sentence of over 140 words rather difficult to make
sense of. (But perhaps it's because, as someone suggested to me the other
day, I think too much.) The length is one factor, but another factor for me
are some phrases that seem to me to be either periphrastic or redundant or
else just too subtle for my feeble mind: "...evidence about the facts..."??
"...encoding of codepoints..."??

Also, I don't recall posts from this list detailing the experiment referred
to above, which admittedly leaves me at a disadvantage. But my knowledge of
the Unicode standard and of advanced font technologies leaves me rather
puzzled about how "...code points [for ligatures] can now be used in
conjunction with ZWJ type mechanisms of advanced font technology...":
codepoints for ligatures are unnecessary because of advanced font
technologies. ZWJ does not work in conjunction with encoded ligatures
because encoded ligatures aren't needed; and if they existed, ZWJ would not
particularly interact with them in any usage that has been described as
part of the Unicode standard.

I haven't even made it through the first paragraph, and I'm already unable
to comprehend.

>So, the concept of a markup
>barrier seems a reasonable concept to discuss.

The notion of the sound barrier was well understood by those who discussed
it with one another. The concept of a markup barrier is, I suspect,
understood only in the mind of one person. I think it is not reasonable to
discuss a concept until there is a shared understanding of what that
concept is. On the assumption (which I think is valid) that such an
understanding is not shared, can we please not waste bandwidth on the list
in a discussion.

>I am quite prepared to accept that I may have got it wrong and that there
>may be some entirely logical reason for the markup barrier to be an

Then, please so accept and let's get on with something constructive.

>The important thing is not to guess too strongly. A well thought out and
>documented idea might well be considered seriously by the committee.
>You raise an interesting idea of an application.

Suzanne, there's always a risk in making facecious comments that someone
else will think you were serious and run with it.

>This raises an interesting idea. Suppose that there were a font
>technology where the glyph for a particular code point sequence is drawn
>a result of inputting a ZWJ sequence where the second character of the ZWJ
>sequence is a data value representing a rotation angle....

Yes, SVG is too verbose, isn't it. (A facecious comment -- please don't
anybody think about running with it.)

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <>

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