Re: complex rendering (was: Re: Mandombe)

From: Naena Guru <naenaguru_at_gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2012 11:46:47 -0500

Extremely interesting! Ordinary people need practical solutions. Thank you
for trying.

I made the first smartfont for Singhala in 2004. (Perhaps the first ever
for any written language -- a little bragging there). Only SIL.org WorldPad
could show it then. Now, starting with Windows Notepad, Office 2010,
AbiWord and all the browsers *except IE* render the complex letters
perfectly. (Er, Google Chrome, nearly there):
http://www.lovatasinhala.com (hand coded)
and
http://www.ahangama.com/ (WordPress blog).

I think Anderson should try Open Type and MS Volt like I did.

Like he, I am no typographer. It is the programming that is most important
in getting out the orthography. It took me 9 months day and night to get it
to where it is now. Redesigning glyphs or making other font faces are
trivial, now that the rendering rules are defined.

My approach was as follows (applies to Indic and perhaps Arabic and Hebrew
too):
Start observing Anglicizing ->
Map sounds to QWERTY extended key layouts adding non-English letters ->
Result: strict, rule based alphabet extending from ASCII to Latin-1 ->
Font: Program all shapes, base as well as conjoint, to the PUA ->
Program look-up tables according to the orthography rules in the grammar of
the language.

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 5:27 PM, <vanisaac_at_boil.afraid.org> wrote:

> From: Szelp, A. Sz. <a.sz.szelp_at_gmail.com>
> > On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:58 AM, Stephan Stiller
> > <sstiller_at_stanford.edu>wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > This is interesting only if the encodable elements would be different -
> > > remember, Unicode is not a font standard.
> > >
> > > +1; rendering can be so much more complex than encoding. I'd really
> like
> > > to see a successful renderer for Nastaliq, (vertical) Mongolian, or
> > > Duployan. (What *are* the hardest writing systems to render?)
> > >
> > >
> > Vertical mongolian does not seem to be harder to render _conceptually_
> > than, let's say, simple arabic. It's more the architectural limitations
> of
> > rendering engines that seem to limit its availability, and the
> intermixing
> > with horizontal text. For Nastaliq, Thomas Milo's DecoType is miraculous:
> > it's hard, but given the good job they did, obviously not impossible.
> > Well, I don't know about Duployan.
> >
> > /Sz
>
> I guess this is my invitation to chime in. I'm close to releasing a beta
> of a
> Graphite engine for (Chinook repertoire) Duployan, using a PUA encoding.
> By the
> release of 6.3/7.0, we should have a working implementation of Unicode
> Duployan/shorthand rendering for Graphite enabled applications. Like a
> Nastaliq
> implementation, it's convoluted and involved, but not impossible. It will
> not,
> however, be nearly as beautiful as DecoType; I'm not a designer at heart,
> and a
> Duployan implementation as stunning as Milo's Nastaliq will require the
> skills
> of people several orders of magnitude more talented than I.
>
> -Van Anderson
>
>
>
Received on Wed Jun 13 2012 - 11:53:03 CDT

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