Re: Alternatives to Adobe CS2 [Was: Unicode Support in Adobe CS2]

From: Edward H. Trager (
Date: Wed May 04 2005 - 10:39:27 CDT

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    Hi, Mustafa,

    In as much as Adobe does not currently support Indic script layout properly,
    you might want to investigate whether or not one of the following Open Source products
    can meet your needs:

     1) Inkscape

        Inkscape is an open source drawing tool with capabilities similar to Illustrator,
        Freehand, and CorelDraw. It uses the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
        format, so illustrations done in Inkscape should be exportable to these other

        Inkscape use the Pango layout engine which supports the layout of Indic and
        Indic-derived scripts. The following chart shows which complex text layout
        scripts were supported in Pango 1.8 as of December, 2004:

         A bug I filed with the Inkscape developers in December regarding
         positioning of over-the-consonant and under-the-consonant
         vowels and tone marks for Thai (which would most likely also affect other Indic
         scripts like Devanagari and Bengali) was reported as fixed and closed on March 10, 2005.
         I have not yet personally had a chance to verify the reported fix.

         Inkscape is available for Linux and Windows. I believe some people are working
         on a port for Mac OS X.

     2) Scribus

        Scribus in an open source desktop publishing tool (DTP) which now also has commercial support
        available (from one company in Massachusetts, USA, and one other in Luxembourg so I guess USA and
        Europe are covered).

        Indic support is apparently quite new, there might be some bugs:

        I am not seeing any Windows binaries, so probably one has to have a Linux box. In any case, the
        Indic support is I believe only currently available from development version 1.3.1 on, which almost
        certainly is only available in a Linux format.

    - Ed Trager
      Kellogg Eye Center
      Univ. of Michigan
      Ann Arbor, USA

    On Wednesday 2005.05.04 09:42:54 +0600, Mustafa Jabbar wrote:
    > Dear Eric,
    > Thank you very much for your reply. I also understand that your software
    > runs on MacOS and Linux too and you use your proprietory way of displaying
    > Unicode Characters. But you also use APIs from Windows and it might be
    > easier to use Uniscribe for Wiondows.
    > In my opinion Adobe can get an extra advantage ( I know they are already
    > ahead of everybody in creativity) by supprting Unicode as all Adobe software
    > are creativity products. Typography is a big issue in this creativity works.
    > As Unicode gives the best typography for Indic languages, people will be
    > definitely be going one step ahead with Adobe products with Unicode support
    > for Indic languages.
    > I shall request through you to the policy makers of Adobe to consider the
    > issue seriously.
    > As a Adobe product user and Indic Language solution provider I wish we can
    > do better with Unicode with Indic Languages support.
    > Thanks and regards
    > Mustafa Jabbar
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: [] On
    > Behalf Of Eric Muller
    > Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2005 10:39 PM
    > To: 'Unicode List'
    > Subject: Re: Unicode Support in Adobe CS2
    > Mustafa Jabbar wrote:
    > >Dear Eric,
    > >As I understand Windows XP SP has a .dll which is responsible for display
    > of
    > >Unicode Glyphs and Codes.
    > >
    > As Chris mentionned, we use our own software for that (consider that our
    > applications also run on MacOS, as well as a number of Unix platforms
    > for some of them).
    > > But we have found that Adobe applications only
    > >displays ?,if the code is beyond 256, the glyphas are not displayed.
    > >
    > This is not my experience with InDesign, Illustrator, PhotoShop, Acrobat
    > (to name only those I use). May be you are using an old application such
    > as PageMaker?
    > >Indic languages have almost 50% of the world's polpulation.
    > >Can Adobe ignore it?
    > >
    > >
    > Because of our policy about product announcements, I cannot tell you
    > whether future versions of specific products will support Indic scripts.
    > I surely hope we will do so, but I am just a lowly engineer with little
    > influence on our product decisions.
    > Eric.
    > PS: your clock is fast by about a month.

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