From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Aug 25 2005 - 05:53:17 CDT
From: "Christopher Fynn" <email@example.com>
> Adam Twardoch wrote:
>> Currently, there is an international character encoding standard
>> (Unicode/ISO 10646) and there will soon be an international standard for
>> digital glyph storage in a font format (with OpenType being
>> standardized). However, the "glue" between these two is a proprietary
>> Microsoft technology, with no proper submission process and unsufficient
>> resources within the Microsoft Typography group.
> Is OpenType really being "Standardized" (or just becoming a standard font
> format) and what exactly does this mean?
Note that a standard does not mean that it will not be proprietary as well
(see MPEG4...); however, to be an international standard, its specification
mst be available to everyone without discrimination, possibly with a
reasonnable fee, and its implementation also available from one or more
sources (proprietary or open-source), with open licensing terms allowing
redistribution (under conditions, which may involve the payment of a
> Will the specs for shaping each complex script (now kind of a separate
> appendix to the OpenType specification and currently determined by
> Microsoft) be part of this standard?
OpenType will just be the format for fonts, and the specification of all its
feature tables used and needed for interoperability (excluding optional
proprietary extensions only needed for specific applications or systems).
But it won't work without the specification of the required interface used
Uniscribe is unlikely to become a standard for now, but it should be
replaceable by other layout engines, without breaking the OpenType
compatibility contract. The problem is that Uniscribe is not replaceable by
a Open-Type compatible layout engine, because Uniscribe also uses a second
interface to the rendering engine (GDI(+), DirectX, and probably others
possibly in a multi-layered architecture...) and to user-level GUI
components (the Windows User API) such as carret management, whose
specifications are closed and probably not even standardized across Windows
But OpenType can be used on MacOSX or Unix/Liux without Uniscribe. They also
have their own interface to the graphic renderer and to applications.
The common part however is the specification of the algorithms that layout
engines should implement to use the embedded feature tables within OpenType
fonts. So there's effectively the need to define compliance rules and levels
when describing those OpenType features, so that designed fonts will work
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