Re: Fonts, glyphs and infinite Unicode (was String name etc).

From: Edward H. Trager (
Date: Mon Apr 25 2005 - 10:17:07 CST

  • Next message: Edward H. Trager: "Fonts,glyphs and infinite Unicode"

    On Monday 2005.04.25 10:32:12 +0100, Arcane Jill wrote:
    > Hans's solution (to allow a potentially infinite number of glyphs) might
    > solve this, because, if some web service existed which could translate a
    > number into a glyph, that mechanism would presumably work just as well for
    > Unicode glyphs as for PUA glyphs. But it is using a sledgehammer to crack a
    > nut, and in my opinion goes way, way further than is needed.
    > So here's what I would suggest as an alternative. This is out of the scope
    > of the Unicode Consortium now, and I suspect the correct relevant body is
    > probably the W3C consortium. Anyway, I reckon a small addition to CSS could
    > solve the problem, something like:
    > : font-url = "http://url.of.relevant.font.ttf"
    > which would allow you to specify, for example, something like:
    > : p { font-url = "http://url.of.musical.font.ttf" }
    > to allow web pages containing musical characters to display correctly, or
    > : p { font-url = "http://url.of.CSUR.font.ttf" }
    > to allow web pages containing Klingon characters to display correctly, and
    > so on. I'm sure those clever folk at W3C can figure out a way of having
    > multiple URLs specified to allow a choice of fonts for different codepoint
    > ranges.
    > So, to summarise - I think there /is/ a problem, but I think that the
    > solution lies with an extension to CSS, and corresponding changes to web
    > browsers to implement that.
    > Jill
    > PS. Thanks for the idea, Hans.

    Hi, Jill,

    I think this is a *great* idea, as it would provide a standardized way for browsers
    to download and utilize custom fonts for specific niche or non-niche purposes (I believe
    Microsoft already has a proprietary technology for doing this, but an open standard like
    CSS would be much better). However, I believe the more likely syntax should look something
    like the following which is completely consistent with current CSS standards:

       .myCSSClass {

    And of course, a set of multiple fonts could also be specified:

       .myCSSClass {

    Who are the right people at W3C to whom this idea should be directed?

     - Ed Trager
       Kellogg Eye Center
       University of Michigan
       Ann Arbor

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