Re: North Korean fonts

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Thu Jul 02 2009 - 19:39:49 CDT

  • Next message: Andrew West: "Re: North Korean fonts"

    Bill Poser noted:

    > There was a point to my comment about North Korean fonts,
    > which is that the reason that North Korea has not supplied
    > fonts is probably the fact that it just doesn't participate
    > in international organizations like Unicode.

    Before this discussion wanders too far afield, I'll
    provide a little clarification.

    The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) has never
    participated in or even communicated with the Unicode Consortium.
    Its participation has rather been entirely through the
    ISO context, specifically in WG2 and the IRG, to make additions
    to ISO/IEC 10646. That participation resulted in various
    additions of unified CJK ideographs, compatibility CJK
    ideographs, and a handful of additional symbols to ISO/IEC 10646.

    Such characters end up in the Unicode Standard because
    the Unicode Standard is maintained in tight synchrony with
    the approval of amendments to ISO/IEC 10646.

    The issue now is that the DPRK's active participation in
    ISO and WG2 and the IRG was a number of years ago, when
    the encoding issues and repertoire were under active
    discussion. For quite a few years now, the standardization
    officials of the DPRK have not communicated further
    with WG2 or its various officers (convenor, rapporteurs, editors).

    Fonts used for printing the multicolumn CJK charts for
    ISO/IEC 10646 (and by extension the Unicode Standard,
    since the two organizations now share chart formats) are
    subject to more rigid constraints than fonts used for
    other charts in the standard(s), because they must match
    the intention of normative sources used by the various
    participants in the IRG, as part of the original submissions
    of repertoires of CJK characters for unification analysis
    and encoding.

    It isn't enough that somebody come up with *a* font that
    covers all the source glyphs for a particular national
    source printed in multi-column format -- it needs to be
    certified as correctly matching the original source

    WG2 and its editors have rules for all this, and as far as
    I know, serious attempts have been made to communicate
    with the relevant parties in the DPRK, to let them know
    that the DPRK source column will simply not be printed
    if the relevant source font is not provided.


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