From: Mike Ayers (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Sep 24 2004 - 11:59:16 CDT
> From: email@example.com
> [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Andrew C. West
> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 10:45:53 +0100, Peter Kirk wrote:
> > If there were such a list, font designers could indeed design
> > precomposed glyphs for each of the tens of thousands of
> graphemes on it.
> > But I suspect that they would prefer to specify a
> programmatic way of
> > making most of the combinations, except for rather common ones. And
> > users will prefer this as they won't want huge fonts mostly full of
> > extremely rare precomposed glyphs.
> They will if they're Tibetan, as using precomposed glyphs is
> the only solution if you want to produce professional quality
> Tibetan text display (cf. the recent Unicode Tibetan fonts
> Ximalaya and Tibetan Machine Uni, which each have many
> thousands of precomposed Tibetan glyphs).
> And does anyone actually care what size a font is anyway,
> just as long as it displays complex characters nicely ?
In most sectors, the answer is "not anymore". However, the ability
to programatically assemble glyphs instead of using precomposed glyphs,
assuming that this requires less resources, would be very desireably in
embedded consumer applications (organizers, phones, etc.) where cost savings
are at a premium. Some programmatic support already exists, but I think
that we are a few generation's worth of research away from, say, the 13
glyph Chinese font. For the meantime, following the path of precomposed
glyphs makes the most sense.
I should also point out that Peter, like many advocates of glyph
composition, seems to believe that this would be an easier path. This would
probably be true in the end, but along the way is much, much more work.
Ironically, part of that work would probably include assemblage of the very
database of precomposed glyphs that he argued against - so that the data for
composition of each individual composed glyph (deformation, position,
magnification, etc.) can be generated and checked. Yes, it would be a
monumental achievement, but a pretty cool one, all said and done.
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