Displaying languages of the Indian subcontinent upon the DVB-MHP platform.

From: William Overington (WOverington@ngo.globalnet.co.uk)
Date: Wed Apr 02 2003 - 03:54:31 EST

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    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 helpdesk@cenelec.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.

    William Overington

    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.
    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
    The Online Edition of The Unicode Standard can be downloaded from the
    following web page, chapter by chapter.
    The main index page of the Unicode web site is as follows.
    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.
    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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