RE: Runes in "The Hobbit"

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Tue Mar 17 2009 - 00:55:34 CST

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    Peter Constable wrote:
    > Displays nicely on my Windows 7 Beta system:
    > ᚦᛖ᛫ᚻᚩᛒᛒᛁᛏ᛬ᚩᚱ᛬ᚦᛖᚱᛖ᛫ᚪᚾᛞ᛫ᛒᚪᚳᚳ᛫ᚪᚷᚪᛁᚾ

    Well it runs as well on my notebook running XP Home, directly within Outlook, or in Notepad or WordPad and Word, or on a webmail with several web browsers (IE7, Safari, Firefox 3, Chrome). It's just a matter of installed font (I have only one such font supporting the script).

    Displaying Runes does not need a very recent OS. I did not have to specifically tune these softwares as Runes were already configured to diplay correctly in all these browsers and apps, or possibly because XP already has the necessary support in its text display renderer (possibly because my system text engine was updated with IE7 or Word).

    It would be wonderful if we could have the same facility for more common scripts whose support is still missing since much longer, but Runes work immediately because they are not a complex script and just need a basic one-to-one mapping from code point to glyphs.

    I have always wanted that Windows documents a reliable and open way to extend its script support with external addons, without necessarily requiring an OS upgrade:
    * the layout engine rules
    * the list of scripts in the IE configuration panel,
    * the character properties database,
    * the OpenType features addons for complex scripts (so that specific OT features required to support complex scripts get immediately recognized, without specific modifications to applications with having to rewrite their own custom text renderer).
    * common sets of default features
    * the set of encoding blocks
    * cnigurable default fallbacks (with alternate character composition of with other fonts) for fonts with missing glyphs.
    All this should be centralized in a better locales management applications.

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