Re: Combining diacriticals and Cyrillic

From: William Overington (
Date: Tue Jul 15 2003 - 08:22:22 EDT

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    Tex Texin wrote as follows.

    >You understand Unicode well enough by now, to know that this is an abhorent

    The word abhorent seems rather strong! :-)

    >As the characters can be represented in Unicode by using Cyrillic plus
    >combining diacriticals, to create a proprietary set of codes in the Private
    >Use Area would introduce incompatibilities with other applications that
    >support these characters in the recommended form.

    No, the Private Use Area codes would not be used for interchange, only
    locally for producing an elegant display in such applications as chose to
    use them. Other applications could ignore their existence.

    Publishing a list of Private Use Area code points would mean that such
    display could be produced using a choice of fonts from various font makers
    using the same software to produce the purely local text stream to produce a
    display without locking together the provision of the software and the
    provision of the font to the same supplier using an unpublished Private Use
    Area encoding.

    >Following your
    >recommendation would cause searching, sorting and interchange of Vladimir's
    >data to fail in applications that properly support these characters.

    No, the Private Use Area codes would not be used for interchange, only
    locally for producing an elegant display.

    >And it is
    >likely difficult to get other applications to buy into supporting a
    >proprietary solution.

    Well, the set of Private Use Area codes and the software algorithm of the
    eutocode typography file could be used or not used or even ignored as each
    person chooses.

    >It is easier to address the rendering problem that
    >Vladimir has than to unravel the mess your suggestion would create. It
    >isn't even a good recommendation for short term use.

    Well, as far as I can tell the eutocode typography file and using the
    Private Use Area to hold the glyphs for the precomposed forms used locally
    and not for interchange does address the rendering problem which Vladimir
    asked about.

    The benefit of a eutocode typography file is that if a software application
    is produced which uses the information in a eutocode typography file, then,
    as the eutocode typography file is a Unicode plain text file, the software
    can be customized using a plain text file. Thus the same software program
    could be used for languages of the Indian subcontinent, accented Cyrillic
    characters or indeed many other language characters which someone might want
    to use, simply by providing a eutocode typography file which includes the
    rules to translate from Unicode sequences to Private Use Area code points
    for that particular use.

    >Did I miss something? Why are you recommending the PUA for this use?

    Well, did you read this bit?


    Software would need to be developed (by you or by other interested people),
    yet essentially what is needed is software to take an input document and
    process it according to information in a eutocode typography file. In this
    way the Private Use Area codes would not be used for interchanging
    information, yet would be used locally so as to produce an elegant display.

    end quote

    I feel that an important thing to remember is the dividing line between what
    is in Unicode and what is in particular advanced format font technology
    solutions which some other organizations supply. Those advanced font format
    technologies may be very good, I do not know as I have no experience of
    using them, yet they are not suitable for platforms such as Windows 95 and
    Windows 98, whereas a eutocode typography file approach would be suitable
    for those platforms and for various other platforms.

    I am hoping that the eutocode typography file approach with display glyphs
    added into the Private Use Area will be a useful technique in many areas,
    including, yet not limited to, interactive broadcasting.

    William Overington

    15 July 2003

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