Re: Yoruba Keyboard

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu May 06 2004 - 07:54:08 CDT

From: "Peter Constable" <>
> > Will Microsoft licence [the Doulos SIL font] from SIL to distribute it
> > with Windows or Internet Explorer updates?
> No.

So you can't claim that all users will

> > Or will Microsoft enhance its core fonts (Arial, Verdana, Tahoma,
> > Times New Roman, Courier) to include more composition rules in
> > order to support such standardized language?
> Yes.

Marvelous. Also in current versions of Windows 2000 or XP? Or only for Office XP
users or Windows 2003 and Media Center or some future release of Windows

> I think you need to check some facts. Five years would be May 1999;
> GB18030 wasn't published until March 2000.

That's something I can't understand: I read previously that P.R. China voted a
law or directive so that support for GB18030 should become mandatory for all
products sold in P.R. China starting January 2000. This could not have been
enforced if all the preparation was not already finalized, just waiting for a
final publication.

Microsoft has certainly been involved in this standardization process, and
should have given to P.R. China authorities some strong statements about what
would be supported in the new coming version of Windows 2000, whose beta
versions were released for developers at least 1 year before. This beta program
must have been used to justified that Windows 2000 would be accepted for sales
in China, even if this support was not finished, but with a guarantee of a
reasonnable time to allow these systems to receive a final patch complying with
the final release of GB18030:2000, but also for its ongoing standardization for
a larger repertoire.

Already, GB18030:2000 contained explicit references to other planes of
Unicode-ISO/IEC 10646. I can't beleive that this ongoing development was not
planed and anticipated long before the final release. Microsoft has teams
working in China and other countries in that East-Asian area that also pushed
for adding many more ideographic characters. It was extremely clear that the
extended repertoire would not fit in the BMP, and that both the UTC or WG2 would
not accept further extensions of Han within the BMP, which was already planned
for other modern scripts.

I'm not interested in the exact date when a final standard is published. Such
publication is anticipated and planned many months before, and even if there are
some changes still to come, the huge task of adding, testing and documenting new
repertoires will not be completely erased and restarted for nil.

But even if I only consider the final release dates, enough time has elapsed
now, and I can't understnad why the largest software company cannot plan some
time to create a small working team to identify the few areas that need to be
patched in Windows to support the repertoire. For the case of bogous support of
UTF-8 in Internet Explorer, Microsoft clearly admits this is a bug, known since
years but still not patched.

After "all the infrastructure" to handle characters out of the BMP is already
there in IE (the proof being that it works with NCR's), so I don't understand
the rationale about why the UTF-8 parser in Internet Explorer is not patched to
support characters out of the BMP. If this causes interoperability problems
(because in the past "UTF-8" was probably used to mean actually what is now
documented by Unicode as being really "CESU-8"), these problems should be
documented and explained to developers (MSDN), with work-arounds or best
practices to work with a future new correct implementation.

OK, Microsoft is now stressed a lot to work in fixing security flaws harnessed
by worms and bots on the Internet. But Microsoft also admits that it did not
dedicated all its development teams in US to perform this code security review.

And there are other Microsoft teams outside US with better knowledge of
East-Asian character sets, and that could work on proposing tested patches for
Windows, so that it will finally offer good interoperatbility with the newest
East-Asian standards (GB18030 being the most well-known one, but also standards
developed in Japan, Taiwan, or even in India).

A company that argues and promotes being the best and biggest software solution
provider necessarily needs planification and coordination of its working teams.
This has a positive effect: even if changes to comply with released open
specifications are delayed, they can also be anticipated so that the needed
changes will be reduced.

After all, this needed planification is a good justification for the presence of
Microsoft within standardization bodies (for example your own presence in the
UTF): reduce the cost of required modifications in softwares, a better
adaptability of the released software for ongoing anticipated standards, a
faster implementation of newer standards and a faster presence of these
compliant solutions on the market.

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