From: Peter Constable (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Mar 05 2005 - 11:22:55 CST
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Behalf Of Jon Hanna
> > I would love "flexibility" like an "eXtensible Glyph Format".
> Sounds like an interesting idea.
No, it sounds completely meaningless.
A glyph is a graphic object; depending on your terminology, it is either
a concrete object, for which the term "glyph image" is also used, on
abstract object corresponding to a set of glyph images with a common
identity. A "format" means some means of representing information -- in
this case information about a glyph. So, unless this is supposed to be a
format for representing meta-information about abstract glyphs, it must
mean a format for representing glyph images. Such formats exist: the
various outline formats, such as TrueType outlines, or pixel formats.
What's to extend? Are there glyph images that cannot be represented
using TrueType outlines? No, there are not (and won't be as long as
writing is done on surfaces rather than in three-dimensional space). The
only likely extensions are for things like colour of elements within a
glyph, and such extensions happen as significant innovations of a
technology such as the TrueType spec; there's no need for a framework
for arbitrary extensions of formats for representing glyphs by end users
or in derivative specifications.
I suppose if he was referring to a format for representing
meta-information about abstract glyphs, then extensibility could make
sense since there may be all kinds of arbitrary information about a
glyph that someone may wish to record. But I really doubt this is what
Doug is talking about.
Most likely, Doug had in mind something that the name does not really
reflect. Something like an extensible document format in which text is
represented in terms of glyph identifiers. Such a thing exists. It's
called "Portable Document Format" -- "PDF" for short.
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