Re: Oh No! Not a new Adobe Glyph List!!!

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Jan 02 2003 - 18:45:40 EST

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    Today I received this clarification from David Lemon at Adobe. It seems I
    was mistaken in thinking that the new human-friendly names were Adobe
    production names: they are, in fact, names used by Apple, as explained by

    >Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
    >The new AGL collection can indeed be confusing, but it's not a mistake as
    >such. The AGL is a snapshot of the way things are, and is provided as a
    >service to anyone who cares about the way some existing software may use
    >glyph names. Much (if not all) of the duplication stems from Acrobat's
    >decision a couple years ago to recognize the names Apple was using;
    >although Apple's names were developed independently of Adobe's, it's
    >useful to accept either source as input. For what it's worth, this is all
    >rather old history, and both Apple and Microsoft have been standardizing
    >on the (older) AGL names in their newer fonts where feasible.
    >Adobe publishes the AGL to document a behavior; there is no request that
    >anyone use these names for glyphs. The accompanying documentation - the
    >"Unicode and Glyph Names" document - is cited at the head of the AGL
    >document (line 5, "# See
    > "). It
    >details the relationship between AGL and Unicode, and Adobe's
    >recommendations for using (or in the case of new fonts, not using) the
    >AGL, and includes the statement:
    >>For glyphs which correspond to characters in the Unicode standard, it is
    >>recommended to build names with the "uni" prefix for BMP characters, and
    >>with the "u" prefix for characters in the Unicode supplemental planes,
    >>according to the rules given in section 2.
    >[Section 6, Assigning glyph names in new fonts]
    >We'd hoped that was sufficiently clear. Perhaps Mr Brown's confusion stems
    >from the follow-on statement:
    >>This does not mean that fonts will become invalid if they are made
    >>without using the "uni" and "u" prefixes for glyph names. With one group
    >>of exceptions, all names from the AGL v1.2 (see link in section 5)
    >>currently work in all known cases as well names with the "uni" prefix.
    >>The exceptions are the AGLv1.2 names which are associated with Unicode
    >>Private Use Area values.
    >We added this qualification because we're shipping thousands of OpenType
    >fonts which use AGL (v1.2) names, as well as uniXXXX names. Although we
    >may change these fonts in a future revision, they work reasonably and are
    >technically valid. That is, the uniXXXX-naming behavior is merely a
    >recommendation, not a requirement. Using AGL names, on the other hand, is
    >neither required nor recommended; it's simply accepted.
    >Please feel free to forward this email to the Unicode list, if you believe
    >that would be helpful.
    >- thanks,
    > David Lemon
    > Manager, Type Development
    > Adobe Systems, Inc.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC

    A book is a visitor whose visits may be rare,
    or frequent, or so continual that it haunts you
    like your shadow and becomes a part of you.
                            - al-Jahiz, The Book of Animals

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