Re: glyph selection for Unicode in browsers

Date: Fri Sep 27 2002 - 13:48:27 EDT

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    On 09/27/2002 10:56:00 AM Jungshik Shin wrote:

    >> Again, the problem is knowing just *how* they should go about doing
    > As for 'how', what MS IE and Mozilla do may not be as user-friendly
    >as Tex wants them to be, but I think it's pretty reasonable at
    >least for CJK. If they're configured to use different Unicode-cmapped
    >(non-Pan-script) fonts for TC/SC/J/K (as opposed to pan-script Unicode
    >fonts like MS Arial Unicode, Cyberbit), runs of text tagged with TC/SC/J/K
    >are rendered with fonts configured for TC,SC,J and K, respectively.

    A couple of notes:

    Speaking in generalities, a font that isn't a "pan-script Unicode" font
    potentially can support TC/SC/J/K equally well with glyphs suited to users
    in each culture -- but not using default character-to-glyph mappings. The
    mechanisms available to IE or Mozilla today would not provide any means to
    determine which typographic preferences are supported by default in a given
    font. Nor does the infrastructure exist that will allow these apps to
    request the culturally-preferred fonts that would exist in such fonts. Of
    course, in practice, many currently-existing CJK fonts may have been
    developed to support a single group of users, and don't include alternate
    glyphs that might be prefered by users in other cultures.

    Also, what IE and Mozilla currently do helps with the CJK issues, but these
    apps don't do anything, that I know of, in relation to comparable issues
    for other scripts, e.g. language-related preferences for Latin diacritics
    or Cyrillic italic forms. Which you anticipate:

    >I guess you already know this much and what you're alluding
    >to is a problem of another dimension: developing ( Pan-script
    >if necessary/possible) Unicode fonts with multiple lang-depedent

    Yes (with the added note that the pan-script element is orthogonal to what
    I'm referring to).

    >it seems like selecting lang-dependent glyphs for
    >Latin/Cyrillic letters are more difficult than CJK case

    I'm not sure; I haven't thought about that, in part because I don't have
    only limited knowledge of what glyph variations issues there are for most

    >The font
    >selection part of these problems is addressed by fontconfig package by
    >Keith Packard ( Of course, there should be
    >other implementations of/attempts at this problem.

    The fontconfig library is entirely new to me. Thanks for the link.

    - 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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