Re: Unicode Core

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2012 11:07:01 -0700

On 6/21/2012 3:22 AM, Julian Bradfield wrote:
> Not much, if they use the Lulu route, as they already have an account
> set up. An hour of somebody's time should do it.
> And at a Lulu price, there'll be a lot more of a market than at an
> Addison-Wesley price!

The Unicode Standard easily uses hundreds of fonts for the code charts,
from a variety of sources. Despite what should "theoretically" work, not
all systems can actually print every code chart. Some users cannot print
certain of the existing PDFs on their systems, and POD providers have
similar issues. The Unicode code charts provide a very nice "stress
test" for some aspects of rendering, it turns out.

So, as long as code charts create production issues, print-on-demand for
them is effectively not feasible.

The standard annexes exist in HTML format. For Unicode 5.0, I took the
trouble to create a set of PDFs from them. At the time, they were
printed with the core specification which meant, their overall quality
and appearance had to at least resemble that of the rest of the book. So
I ended up designing a style sheet and to also edit the entire set of
them to the same copy-edit standard as the book. With help of a copy
editor. The time required for that preparation was measured in weeks,
not hours.

Now, what if one dispensed with some of the niceties? Well, you still
end up with HTML doing really poorly when it comes to page breaks -
particularly for tables. So, the minimal effort required would still
require some fiddling with the files to get the pages to break not too
atrociously and particularly to have tables and images behave sensibly.
That effort would be measured in days, not hours.

So, as long as the UAXs are HTML, print-on-demand for them is
effectively not feasible.

That leaves the core of the standard.

And that's where things stand.

Without solving the corresponding technical challenges, either of these
two parts of the standard cannot easily be made available in POD format.
At this time these appear to be hard limitations, and ones not primarily
subject to considerations of marketability.

Received on Thu Jun 21 2012 - 13:12:37 CDT

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