Re: Latin w/ diacritics (was Re: benefits of unicode)

From: John Jenkins (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 10:49:40 EDT

On Wednesday, April 18, 2001, at 08:10 AM, Marco Cimarosti wrote:

> James Kass wrote:
>> No. The new cmap supports more than double-byte in order to access
>> non-BMP encodings. The Glyph IDs (the number/order of the glyphs
>> in a font) remain locked at 65536 max. Unfortunately this isn't
>> expected to change, last I heard.
> What a pity!
> Maybe it could be one more reason to come up with a small GNU renderer
> that
> supports 0x1000000 glyphs: the moral let-down could move the big ones to
> update their tables. :-)

The fundamental problem is that *everywhere* in the TrueType spec it is
assumed that glyph indices are two bytes, and there are innumerable
tables that reference glyph indices. Basically TrueType would have to
be rewritten from scratch.

At the same time, none of the people involved in defining TrueType --
Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft -- believe that it is really a good idea to
have a single font covering all of Unicode. Microsoft provides one
because there has been a strong push from people demanding it, but it
still isn't a good idea. (Apple also has the Last Resort font, of
course, but that doesn't really cover all of Unicode in the sense most
people mean.)

It is far better in terms of design and system resource handle to
defining a series of smaller fonts that cover large portions of Unicode
and use those together.

John H. Jenkins

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