FROM: Richard Cook (via Debbie Anderson)

RE: Fonts for Extension B and C and IRG

DATE: 9 August 2008

[Background: In action item 115-A59, Richard Cook and Ken Lunde were requested to raise the issue of making fonts available to Unicode at the June 2008 IRG meeting. The following is Richard Cook’s response. He suggests below UTC may want to ask WG2 to clarify font issues with her (such as scheduling, font policy, etc.).]

The Extension C font issue was raised in document IRGN1469, submitted at IRG (not in L2 doc registry):

IRGN1469   UTC Request for Fonts   UTC   2008.06.11


But in fact, there are at least two issues, relating to production of Extension B and Extension C multi-column charts.

As for the outcome of our request, the short answer is that fonts are in progress, but production schedule may be disrupted.

The long answer is more complicated, especially as regards Ext B.

At IRG it was reported by PRC and ROC that Ext B multi-column font work would take 1.5 to 2 years for completion.

As for Extension C, PRC delegates managing the consolidated font data are still working on our request. I spoke with Mr. Chen Zhuang about this, and will ask him again about status.

There was some confusion in the IRG meeting, since the UTC font request was not placed on the agenda. The IRG Rapporteur seemed to be confused about scheduling and about WG2 font policy, and it might be good if UTC asked WG2 to clarify these things with her.

After the IRG meeting I discussed these issues in email with Michel and CC'd some UTC people. In that email I questioned the need for Ext. C multi-column, since it is overwhelmingly single-source. See some stats here:


Ext. B multi-column will be much more useful, but given the apparent disconnect between IRG font and WG2 code chart production schedules, it seems to me that there is some fundamental misunderstanding between WG2 and IRG that remains to be resolved. PRC and HK were present at WG2 in Redmond when scheduling was discussed, so the contradiction some months later is hard for me to understand.

Our current L2 doc

L2/08-264 Proposal to add SuperCJK 14.0 index data to Unihan

shows that we are looking at older IRG "multi-column" glyph data, to clarify some aspects of past and future IRG work. A look-up tool for this data is now online:


If the data submitted with "L2/08-264" is included in Unihan we might host the look-up tool and associated glyph data on Unicode.org. This glyph data would provide an additional safeguard against glyph errors or changes which might be introduced by ongoing IRG Ext B multi- column font work.