From: William Overington (WOverington@ngo.globalnet.co.uk)
Date: Thu Apr 03 2003 - 02:58:38 EST
John Clews wrote as follows.
In fairness, you ought to take account of the fact that languages of
the Indian subcontinent have been displayed on TV systems in India
for nearly ten years, based around ISCII.
Is there a reason for doing anything different for DVB-MHP?
Or are mappings and similar accounted for in your paper?
Many thanks for your note.
The whole text of my document is in the posting. I know very little about
Indian languages. It is just that I know that DVB-MHP uses Java and Unicode
and that the built-in font for the minimum DVB-MHP television set is very
European languages oriented. Please see Annex E of the DVB-MHP
specification, available from the http://www.mhp.org webspace. I have
suggested in another document in the DigitalTV forum in the
http://www.cenelec.org webspace some additional characters which I feel
would be good additions for the built-in font for the European Union
interactive television. This is entirely in compliance with the DVB-MHP
specification, as the specification provides many options for local
implementation and specifies a minimum implementation. Within the European
Union there will potentially be a "local implementation" though covering the
whole of the European Union, so suggesting some extra characters to be in
the built-in font of all such televisions is just part of the process of
deciding which options to include in the local implementation for the
I am simply trying to point out that using languages of the Indian
subcontinent upon the DVB-MHP system with its PFR0 font system may cause
problems, in the hope that experts will look at the problem soon as there at
present seems to be little (or maybe no) intersection in the set of people
who know about DVB-MHP and the set of people who know about languages of the
Indian subcontinent expressed in Unicode. I am concerned that if nothing is
done there will be problems in a few years time with lots of
interoperability problems, whereas looking at the problem now could save a
lot of problems later. The possibilities for using the DVB-MHP system for
education around the world are enormous. The Indian subcontinent is one
major potential area of such use. I am concerned to try to ensure that
there is a good infrastructure in place so that the languages of the Indian
subcontinent may be used in a Unicode manner upon the DVB-MHP platform in a
On the specific matters which you mention, I had no knowledge of the fact
that languages of the Indian subcontinent have been displayed on TV systems
in India for nearly ten years, based around ISCII. That is interesting to
know. Is that on a teletext system or what? However, as far as I know
ISCII is an 8-bit encoding system (and I do mean "as far as I know" because
I am not certain of that) whereas DVB-MHP uses Unicode. So not including
mention of ISCII in my document is no problem as far as I know. Mappings
from ISCII to Unicode are not mentioned in my document. I started from
considering that someone had encoded some text written in a language of the
Indian subcontinent into Unicode and that it was in a text file ready for
broadcasting and considered the process of getting the text displayed upon
the screen of a DVB-MHP television. I then pointed out what, to me, seems a
problem which presently exists, in that a PFR0 font, as far as I can tell,
is not a smart font format.
I am hoping that, by having published the paper in the DigitalTV forum in
the http://www.cenelec.org webspace that the matter may be resolved within
the context of the setting of content authoring guidelines for interactive
television which are to be produced for the European Union.
Certainly, I cannot resolve the matter myself as I do not have the
linguistic knowledge necessary to do so.
I suggest using glyphs mapped to the Private Use Area from U+EC00 for this
specific application of Unicode upon the DVB-MHP platform, though not
broadcasting using those code points in relation to languages of the Indian
subcontinent, just using them locally for font access after they are
generated using a eutocode typography file. I have since been wondering
what is the position of displaying Arabic text using a PFR0 font upon the
DVB-MHP platform. Does a similar problem exist? Would the set of Arabic
presentation forms encoded into Unicode be sufficient for the task, so that
a Private Use Area encoding would not be necessary? The right to left
display of Arabic text is another factor which needs consideration in
relation to the DVB-MHP system.
Thank you for your interest.
3 April 2003
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