Re: Why people still want to encode precomposed letters

From: John Hudson (
Date: Mon Nov 24 2008 - 11:45:47 CST

  • Next message: Jukka K. Korpela: "Re: Why people still want to encode precomposed letters"

    philip chastney wrote:

    > using OpenType tables brings lots of benefits to the font, but
    > drastically restricts the software it can be used with

    Can you expand on this? From my perspective, OT Layout support looks
    pretty good in most places, the most notable weaknesses being in Apple's
    support, but they are working on improving that. What do you consider
    'drastic restrictions'?

    > I should have said "the average designer of large fonts", because I get
    > the impression that the "average" font designer still finds the full
    > extent of Latin-1 a bit exotic

    Those would be below-average font developers. As of about five years
    ago, most of the type designers I know have gravitated to a pan-European
    Latin set, with a few extending to Cyrillic and Greek.

    Support for combining marks remains minimal, though, in large part
    because of the heritage of 8-bit sets with all precomposed diacritics.
    If we hadn't been able to get away without supporting combining marks
    for so long, our tools and workflows would be much more advanced than
    they are.

    > but with that change, I still think that the average designer of large
    > fonts will want their font to be useful in as many contexts as possible,
    > and will therefore generate as many pre-formed composites as possible

    But those pre-formed composites need to be accessed by some mechanism
    other than straight glyph-to-character mapping, since many will not have
    precomposed encodings in Unicode. So you still need OpenType Layout GSUB
    support, even if you don't think you can rely on GPOS support. I wonder
    what are the current holes in OTL support, such that the GSUB <ccmp>
    feature is supported but the GPOS <mark> and <mkmk> are not? Are these
    holes big enough -- and unlikely to be soon filled in -- to encourage
    font developers to add thousands of precomposed glyphs to their fonts?
    I'm not keen on the idea, because I'd really like to reduce glyph set
    sizes, not increase them.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Gulf Islands, BC
    You can't build a healthy democracy with people
    who believe in little green men from Venus.
                        -- Arthur C. Clark

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon Nov 24 2008 - 11:49:07 CST