From: William Overington (WOverington@ngo.globalnet.co.uk)
Date: Wed Apr 02 2003 - 03:54:31 EST
I have now completed and published my document on the topic of displaying
languages of the Indian subcontinent upon the DVB-MHP platform. DVB-MHP
stands for Digital Video Broadcasting - Multimedia Home Platform. Details
of the DVB-MHP system are available from the http://www,mhp.org webspace.
There is also the http://forum.mhp.org webspace which may be joined online.
DVB-MHP is likely to become the common interactive television standard
throughout much of the world. However, the standard provides many options,
defining a minimum system and leaving open many options for implementation
The document which I have recently completed is published in the DigitalTV
forum in the http://www.cenelec.org webspace. This forum is a specialist
forum regarding the implementation of interactive television, using the
DVB-MHP system, within the European Union, involving such issues as
interoperability. Readers interested in joining this forum may like to know
that an email address for making application is firstname.lastname@example.org and
that there is also at present a notification about the purpose of the forum
available using a link in the http://www.cenelec.org webspace. The fact of
membership is visible to other participants. Although not mandatory, it is
quite likely that what is decided for use within the European Union will be
used in many countries which are not within the European Union.
The file has the following name, in accordance with the file naming
conventions of the forum.
A transcript of the text of the document is below.
2 April 2003
---- Displaying languages of the Indian subcontinent upon the DVB-MHP platform. I wonder if I may please draw your attention to a potential problem with the displaying of the languages of the Indian subcontinent upon the screens of DVB-MHP interactive televisions. The DVB-MHP system uses Unicode. The DVB-MHP system also uses a Portable Font Resource PFR0 font. I am not a linguist so I am simply mentioning the following document. http://www.unicode.org/book/ch09.pdf It is Chapter 9 of The Online Edition of The Unicode Standard, Version 3.0, the chapter being entitled "South and Southeast Asian Scripts". It appears, as far as I can tell, that a PFR0 font cannot display the languages of the Indian subcontinent directly from a sequence of Unicode characters. The Online Edition of The Unicode Standard can be downloaded from the following web page, chapter by chapter. http://www.unicode.org/book/u2.html The main index page of the Unicode web site is as follows. http://www.unicode.org I have thought out what I consider to be a way to solve the problem of displaying the languages of the Indian subcontinent using software within a Java program running upon the DVB-MHP platform. The method is described in the following document. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/ast03300.htm The method uses what I have called a eutocode typography file. However, in order for the method to be highly effective for the DVB-MHP platform at an interoperability level, what is really needed is a standardized list of glyphs for displaying the languages of the Indian subcontinent so that those glyphs may be mapped to U+EC00 onwards of the Private Use Area of Unicode. This would not be essential, yet is, I feel, highly desirable, because if such a list can be produced and the same list used by all content authors who produce content for broadcasting upon the DVB-MHP platform using languages of the Indian subcontinent, then lots of repeated work can be avoided in the future and there will be advantages for interoperability of font generation. For the avoidance of doubt, please know that I am not suggesting that those Private Use Area code points be used for broadcasting text. Text would be broadcast using regular Unicode code points. The reason for assigning the glyphs to code points is so that the incoming text stream can be converted into a local, within the television set, text stream which can be used to access the PFR0 font so as to enable the correct glyphs to be displayed upon the screen. Study of the document above will show that that particular choice of Private Use Area code points could also protect against any broadcasting of the languages of the Indian subcontinent using those Private Use Area codes to access the glyphs directly as those code points when broadcast could be regarded as data for a vector graphics system which could be used for drawing illustrations within a document. The vector graphics data does not need to access the font, so the locations in the font can be used for this purpose on a local, within the television set basis. If such a list can be produced within the context of the setting of content authoring guidelines which are to be produced for the European Union, with appropriate liaison with the government of India, then the task can be carried out once within a standardization context, then the list can be used permanently by any content author who wishes to use it. I do not have the linguistic knowledge to prepare such a list myself, yet I do feel that such a list is important for the future for the application of the DVB-MHP platform and ask that this matter be added to the agenda of formal meetings please. William Overington 29 March 2003
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