Re: Canonical equivalence in rendering: mandatory or recommended?

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Oct 16 2003 - 18:23:44 CST

At 02:48 PM 10/16/2003, Peter Kirk wrote:

>Why should it be a performance hit for modern Hebrew? Most modern Hebrew
>is unpointed, which means that it has no combining characters, and so any
>reordering routines would never be triggered. In rare cases there may be
>single combining characters, but as John Cowan realised there is no need
>to call a sort routine to sort a single character. The sort routines need
>only be called when they are needed.

My understanding is that at least the rendering systems I'm most familiar
seem to be pretty much all or nothing: you either pass a string to a script
engine or you don't. If the string is passed to the script engine, that
engine goes through its steps. Having the engine decide whether or not to
go through a particular step would seem to be an extra step, i.e. an even
bigger hit on performance. In Uniscribe, for example, there is a single
engine for Hebrew: if you make changes to the engine to facilitate Biblical
Hebrew, what is the impact on processing speed, and is it acceptable if
your primary user group do not benefit from the change because they're
using modern Hebrew. Note that I don't claim to know what the impact is,
I'm just trying to understand why engineers I've spoken to about this are
unhappy about the idea of adding extra processing steps to existing engines
that work well for the majority user community.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

I sometimes think that good readers are as singular,
and as awesome, as great authors themselves.
                                       - JL Borges

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