Re: Hebrew generic base

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Jul 12 2007 - 16:29:25 CDT

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "RE: Hebrew generic base"

    Philippe Verdy wrote:

    > Another good question to ask: are all possible generic bases that may occur
    > in a script applicable to all languages? I presume that some bases will work
    > in languages that don't have easily confusable letters as thy use only a
    > subset of the script, but not with others.

    Thinking about this some more:

    My inclination would be to specify a set of generic base characters that could be used in
    any font for any script and any language, and allow the particulars to be worked out at
    the font level. This would simplify the work for the layout engine developers, because
    they would simply have to support the same set of generic base characters across all
    engines, just as they currently support the dotted circle.

    The decision about which generic base to use is ultimately the document creator's. It
    would be silly for him or her to use a generic base that is confuseable with a letter in
    the script they are using, but I don't think this means the decision should be taken out
    of their hands. They may find that the font they have selected only supports some generic
    base characters and not the one they want to use, but as with the layout engines, if there
    is a well defined set of generic bases, there will be more impetus to include that set in

    In my SBL Hebrew font, all the potential generic base glyphs have the same advance width,
    so the same mark positioning anchors can be easily applied to all of them.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Gulf Islands, BC
    We say our understanding measures how things are,
    and likewise our perception, since that is how we
    find our way around, but in fact these do not measure.
    They are measured.   -- Aristotle, Metaphysics

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