Re: Pixel Rendering in Unicode characters

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Fri Oct 03 2008 - 11:29:49 CDT

  • Next message: Debbie Garside: "RE: Pixel Rendering in Unicode characters"

    Debbie Garside wrote:

    > Hi Marion
    > Thanks for this. Yes I know about leading and kerning etc. but what I
    > really want to know is what programming is used within fonts to start and
    > stop printing within a glyph and is it a specific piece of code that could
    > be used within another application to say when you hit 'y' carry out 'x'
    > procedure.

    A glyph in a font consists of things like "OK, these points (specified
    by Cartesian coordinates, yes) specify a curve that's the boundary of
    one filled-in area... and here's another... and here's another..." A
    program *using* the font can't generally know which such area comes
    first, or how many there are, etc. After all, not all fonts have the
    same number of filled-in areas for a given letter. Sometimes i's aren't
    dotted. Sometimes (in "grunge" fonts) there are other specks and blobs
    of ink spattered around. A program on the outside, using the font (like
    say a word-processor, as opposed to one that's actually rendering it,
    like the low-level libraries for font-rendering) doesn't get to know
    much about the details of the letters: it just gets "boxes" so it knows
    how to stick them together to leave the right amount of space. There
    isn't even a guarantee that the box encloses all of the ink of the
    letter. Sometimes it's sensible to let parts of the letter protrude out
    of the box (where, yes, they might possibly interfere with other
    letters; that's where the "design" part of font-design comes in). It
    sounds like what you're saying is that you want to be able, say, to
    instruct your program to stop in the middle of rendering an i, after
    drawing the body but before drawing the dot. But you can't even know
    whether the font chooses to draw the body or the dot first! Most
    font-designers don't even know, because it doesn't matter. You can root
    through the details of the glyph to find out, but generally you don't
    care. And of course you don't know if there are other flourishes or
    blobs that are being drawn that are neither letter-body nor dot. You
    have to do this kind of thing inside the font, generally by redesigning
    or redrawing it.

    So you could, say, have seven different "i" glyphs, each with a
    different dot, and instructions to use *this* one when it's followed by
    a "j", but *that* one when it's in the word "minimum", and *the other*
    one when it appears by itself. Is that the kind of thing you're trying
    to get at?

    Oh, yeah, like everyone else said: this is also a font matter, and thus
    highly dependent on what kind of font is being used or designed (some
    systems can't do the things I'm talking about, etc), and not a Unicode
    matter. As you put it rather well: Unicode is the labeling system.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Oct 03 2008 - 11:31:49 CDT