From: John H. Jenkins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat May 19 2007 - 17:55:02 CDT
On May 19, 2007, at 5:54 AM, Gerrit Sangel wrote:
> But using a separate font in case the character is now Chinese,
> Japanese or
> Korean is not always possible (think of file names, mp3 tags, plain
> files and so on), so I wondered if there is something like a control
> character in proposal?
No. Glyphic variation controls of this type are inappropriate for
Please remember, the unification work was done on the basis that the
glyphs are perfectly legible, even when drawn with the standard shape
used in a different locale.
> It seems, there is also a Variation Database
> http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr37/ accepted, but as far as I
> understood it,
> it is not really a clearly defined way, e.g. that variation 2 of
> character x
> has always the same specific appearance.
TR37 is intended for different purposes.
> There also seem to be some language tags in the SMP, but I don't
> know if they
> are used that way.
They are not used that way. They are not intended to be used that
way. They should never be used at all.
> If there were a way to store the information about the variation of
> character in the text itself, I think, it would be possible to
> create a font
> to include all CJK characters?
The TrueType and derived font formats, which currently dominate the
personal computer market, do not support fonts with more than 65,536
glyphs, which is inadequate to cover all of the ideographic repertoire
of Unicode even *without* locale-specific variants, so a TrueType/
OpenType font covering all CJK characters is already impossible.
A related question is to ask why one would want that? It is frankly
much easier to have a Japanese-specific font and a traditional Chinese-
specific font, and to let the user control how they want the
characters to look by which font they use. Adding plain text tagging
mechanisms to specify CJK glyph shape would simply involve
considerable more work for text rendering engines.
And, in any event, this is a non-problem. Typical users of Japanese
do *not* want to see Japanese-specific shapes in Japanese text and
traditional Chinese-specific shapes in Chinese text. They want to see
Japanese-specific shapes all the time, regardless of the language
being written. And they do this by specifying the locale on their
computer to be Japan or by using a Japanese font.
John H. Jenkins
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