From: Otto Stolz (Otto.Stolz@uni-konstanz.de)
Date: Mon Sep 30 2002 - 06:14:36 EDT
Dear Madam or Sir,
on <http://www.waldenfont.com/products/gbp/gbp.asp>, you are offering
a collection of beautiful German Fraktur, and Kurrent, fonts.
However, I perceive a major obstacle for their application: You have
based your fonts on a proprietary encoding; in particular, the Long S
and the mandatory ligatures, are encoded in a non-standard way. This
means that every existing text must be rewritten in order to be rendered
with one of your fonts, and that your fonts cannot be used in an open
environment, such as viewing WWW pages.
Now, both up-to-date text-processors and WWW-browsers, exploit the
Unicode encoding standard which comprises a wide range of characters,
including the Long S (U+017F), the Round S (U+0073), some Latin-script
ligatures (ff, fi, fl, ffi, ffl, and st, at U+FB00 through FB05), and
a large private-use area which could be exploited for even more ligat-
ures. E. g., MS-Word has been based on Unicode since version Word-97,
Netscape Navigator has been able to display Unicode-encoded text since
Now the question is, whether you would be willing to add a Unicode CMAP
to your fonts, so they could be used to render Unicode-encoded text.
The Unicode standard assigns to the rendering process the task of finding
an adequate ligature; so a Unicode-enabled Fraktur font should have
assigned suitable pairs of characters to the available ligatures. For a
Fraktur font, this should work at least for the mandatory ch, ck, ff, fi,
fl, ft, ll, sch, si, ss, st, sz, and tz ligatures (where "s" represents
the Long S). (The above-mentioned ligature, and private-use, code-points
are meant mainly for legacy data, or for very special linguistic needs,
such as faithfully reproducing Gutenberg's printing with its large set
The Unicode standard, including code charts, can be found
Distinguishing Round S from Long S is straightforwrd; ligatures
are discussed in sections 2.1 (very briefly), 2.6 and 13.2, and
the above-mentioned code points for Latin ligatures are discussed
at the end of section 7.1. For German text, a ligature between the
constituents of a composition would be prohibited by inserting one
of the Unicode controls discussed in section 13.2, such as SHY (U+00AD)
or ZWNJ (U+200C).
Thank you in advance for your response.
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