Re: An idea for keeping U+FFFC usable. (spins off from Re: Furigana)

Date: Mon Aug 19 2002 - 20:26:11 EDT

On 08/16/2002 04:58:58 PM "William Overington" wrote:

>The DVB-MHP (Digital Video Broadcasting - Multimedia Home Platform)
>(details at ) which implements my telesoftware
>A Java program which has been broadcast can read a Unicode plain text
>and act upon the characters within it, and can read other file formats,
>as .png files (Portable Network Graphics) and act upon the information in
>those files, so as to produce a display.
>So, a collection of files, namely a .uof file in the format that I
>it, a Unicode plain text file with one or more U+FFFC characters in it
>the appropriate graphics files in .png format as a package of free to the
>end user distance education learning material being broadcast from a
>broadcasting satellite or a terrestrial transmitter could be a very
>facility as the way to carry text with illustrations.

I'd suggest that it would be far more useful to use a marked-up file
format based on XML. It doesn't have to be verbose (besides which, the
bandwidth requirements of embedded graphics will be far greater than any
requirements for markup used to indicate their position within the text).
The reason I think this would be far more advantageous is that there has
been a massive interest throughout the IT industry in XML, meaning that
there are lots of software implementations that support it, and it is very
easy to build processes for publishing content. You coulde probably use
any commonly-used database product out there to generate XML content
suited for DVB-MHP; in fact, it would be easy to take some existing
XML-based publishing process and extend it to support an XML-based file
format specifically intended for DVB-MHP. In contrast, if you want to
invent a new file format, then you've got to create new software
implementations to go with it, and bolting that into any existing
publishing process will be far more costly.

>Using HTML and a browser is just not the way to proceed in that
>HTML and a browser is a very useful technique for the web and indeed is
>option for the DVB-MHP system, yet the basic software system is Java

Markup does not have to imply HTML and a Web browser. I'm sure you'd find
a lot of Java implementations that made use of XML-based file formats, and
though I'm not a Java programmer, I'm certain that you can find good
support for parsing or generating XML streams in Java.

- 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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