Re: Missing block names in Unibook

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sat Feb 25 2006 - 18:07:17 CST

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    From: "Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin" <>
    > On 2006.02.24, 10:31, Philippe Verdy <> wrote:
    >> Go to your Unibook installation folder, and add this alternate
    >> Default-5.0.0d10.upr project file:
    > <...>
    >> [/QUOTE]
    > Merci bien, Philippe. Of course, one can alternatively rename the new
    > files from *-5.0.0???.* to plain *.*, which is what I had done. The
    > missing block names I complained about wouldn't be avoided either way
    > because, as Asmus Freytag <> said on Thu, 23 Feb 2006
    > 22:17:02 -0800:

    Well, Iprefer not renaming files in fact, because I want to keep versioned files, with the names they have in the UCD, and with an easy way to switch from an *.upr Unibook project file to another.
    I can even launch two Unibook instances with distinctversions, just to compare them.

    But it's true that Unibook lacks an additional text file for the abbreviated blocknames used in the published books as labels shown on top of chart tables.

    Alsoit would be interesting to know the list of font names and versions used to produce the published books, if those fonts are available, and have preconfigured font lists ordered by completeness, and a way for Unibook to scan existing fonts on a system to detect those that have the most complete coverage for each block, and then allow the user order the discovered list of suitable fonts for each block, also possibly with additional groupings for blocks used in the same script.

    It would then be a great way to test these fonts, and tune the font lists. A final step would be to export the list of prefered fonts to the browser settings (instead of having to configure each script manually, which is a lengthy manual process in Internet Explorer or Firefox). And why not having this list of prefered fonts exported into a CSS format, suitable for the web, so that visitors will most often not need to configure their browser, because the best fonts will already be configured in the CSS file? This configuration of browsers is very difficult for most users that even don't know which fonts offer the best alternatives and can be installed. Of course, there should exist fallback fontsin those prefered lists, due to licencing limitations for the best fonts.

    If I just consider the Latin script, Ithink that the best font ever are the one from SIL (notably the excellent Doulos SIL font, that now outperforms Arial Unicode MS, with better coverage, and frequent updates, unlike Arial Unicode MS whose updates are only linked to Office versions), and SIL also delivers other fonts for less frequent scripts (notably the mostrecently encoded ones). I would suggest that Microsoft helps the SIL initiative by paying them a redistribution licence, and offering then to Windows and Office users easy updates of this font set directly from Microsoft Update. Apple could do the same thing for MacOSX users, and IBM or RedHat could doit as well for registered Linux users they support. This would help SIL to develop fonts for other styles (notably bold and italic), and would reduce the costof hosting these fonts on limited SIL servers, without breaking its licence.

    The SIL fonts are so good for me that I have configured my browser and Unibook to use them preferably to OS-specific fonts (and as a convenience, I can really browse the web that include IPA or inclusion of rare letters from imported foreign words, without experimenting lots of square boxes for missing glyphs). I would hope that all those unmaintained legacy OS-specific fonts would disappear from common web stylesheets, and be replaced by fonts (with a single basic design) that support less scripts, but cover them more completely (including characters and clusters introduced in the most recent version of Unicode). Other font styles could be usedandinstalledseparately, but only for specific documents, but not for the default web styles.

    I also think that Unicode should suggest the minimum subset of blocks to support in fontsfor each script, so that each subset can easily be configured with relevant fonts to be used only for these blocks (I hate seeing some Latin letters rendered so poorly with a Han font, just because the page is encoded with a Chinese charset, and IE uses the SimSun or SimHeifonts to render them in square full-width or half-width style instead of selecting the much better fonts that have been selected for Latin).

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