Re: A new word for the English language

Date: Mon Aug 05 2002 - 10:26:49 EDT

On 08/05/2002 01:17:05 AM "William Overington" wrote:

>The purpose of the introduction of the word holomap is that it does not
>apply to all glyphs in the font

The existing terminology used by font developers already does not apply to
all glyphs in the font. No purpose is being served by a new term.

>For example if a glyph for U+0065,
>a lowercase letter e, is produced in a font and mapped to U+0065,

It is mapped *from* U+0065. Cmap lookups are meant to apply in one
direction, from character to glyph, and the inverse is not necessarily a
function (i.e. can be one-to-many).

>However, if a glyph for an st ligature is normally
>accessed by s ZWJ t then making the glyph also accessible by U+FB06 is a
>holomapping as it was not essential for the glyph showing the st ligature.

We don't need to validate a bad practice by creating a term for it. When
font developers want to refer to this practice, regarding which we have
come to broad consensus that it is to be discouraged, we already have
adequate terminology to refer to it.

>Well, using the word holomap one could say the following.
>The font designer produced a font where the st ligature is holomapped to
>U+FB06 code point.
>Given the definition of the verb holomap, that sentence conveys the
>that the accessing of the glyph is not intended to be primarily by using
>U+FB06 code point. How can the sentence be reworded using the wording
>"creating a font table" so as to convey the same meaning?

These days, font develops are going to assume that the st ligature can be
accessed as a result of glyph transformations (e.g. a GSUB lookup), so if
we say "encode the st ligature glyph in the cmap", it's understood that
this is providing two means to access that glyph.

>Well, I found that every time that I wished to express in writing the
>that which the word holomap describes it took a lot of text to explain
>I was meaning. I was seeking to introduce a word with a precise meaning
>that discussions could take place easily. So there is a need.

The fact that you perceive a need does not imply that anyone else perceives
the same need. If you want to get involved in font development, you should
learn to talk with font developers using the standard terminology with
which they are already comfortable rather than attempting to impose a new
and unwanted term on them. Otherwise, they'll probably get frustrated and
start to ignore you.

>I am unaware of what existing industry terms you are suggesting that I
>ignored. I am learning more as I proceed and still have lots to learn, so
>would be interested to know.

The best way to learn such things is to start listening to the people who
have mastered the given field and the terminology related to it, and to try
mimicking them.

- 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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