Yoruba Keyboard

From: Rick McGowan (rick@unicode.org)
Date: Wed May 05 2004 - 15:33:21 CDT

Dele --

> This mail is written with the Yoruba Keyboard that was rolled out
> yetserday. Please just look at the issue raised earlier raised.

You sent Unicode plain text, not an image. If you look at this with
different fonts or different platforms, you get slightly different results.
If you want to discuss problems with particular fonts, that's fine, but
there is no problem with the Unicode plain text. Here is the plain text you


It looks fine to me. In fact, very nice. Maybe some examples to show what
people are talking about...

> Looking at the above it is obvious that the acute on top of the
> e and o with dot below is a bit too high almost to the point of
> looking like a cedilla under E.

That depends on your font and what program is rendering it. Here is an
example file:


See in the above HTML file my two examples. At the top is plain text,
whatever your browser displays. Image Example 1 is a screen shot from a
text editor that does reasonable placement of combining characters
(48-point Helvetica). Image Example 2 shows Netscape (left) and Internet
Explorer (right) renderings of the same text with default fonts. The
examples are clear and "readable", even if not perfect; but they are using
*dynamic* composition, not pre-composed glyphs from a font. Examples 1 and
2 were made by copy/pasting your plain text (above) from a UTF-8-capable
mail client. I added some letters to give a better example of interline
spacing. Example 1 looks pretty good, but it still isn't using pre-composed
glyphs for these, it is using dynamic composition. If you had a font with
the right glyphs, it would look even better.

> In transit the acute and the grave could be removed by just
> putting the cursor in between ẹ́ and ọ́ because ther are combined
> in a way that is not binding.

That depends on your editing and display software. If your editing
software is poorly implemented, you might have trouble. That is an
editing-software problem.

> It even becomes a compounded problem during copying and pasting
> because the accent occupy two cursor space.

Well, yes... There may be some cursor problems with these in browsers and
in HTML editors, like FrontPage. FrontPage requires me to use the arrow
keys twice or 3 times around one of these combinations, and will insert
characters between a letter and its accents! But it won't display the
cursor in a bad position. It works "reasonably". Netscape selection works
OK -- it even highlights the letter or the letter and accents depending on
where you drag; and IE behaves identically. Other editors behave

> I still think with all these observations something must be done.

Probably to obtain, or write, better software for handling combining
marks. Nice software already exists. Someone with a handy Mac might also be
able to provide some info on how things work there.


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