RE: Font companies serving academia/linguists

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Mon Jul 04 2005 - 20:39:20 CDT

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    > From: []
    > Behalf Of Donald Z. Osborn

    > I'm wondering
    > what can be said generally about the use of the Unicode standard by
    > developers/companies who focus on serving the academic community and
    > especially linguists.

    I'm not sure how many developers can be so characterized, but some I'm
    aware of (e.g. SIL, Bigelow & Holmes (Lucida), Monotype/ITC (Stone),
    Linguist's Software) are developing for Unicode, and some of them have
    been doing so for several years.

    > I'm looking mainly at the other side of the equation -
    > and their use of Unicode

    Ah, now this is a slightly different story. My impression is that
    transition to Unicode among linguists is very mixed. There appears to be
    a fairly good level of awareness of Unicode, but also a fair measure of
    uncertainty about what's involved in working with Unicode -- and whether
    any implementations exist that do what they need. Linguists are a very
    mixed bag. Some need a modest selection of phonetic symbols, others
    needs that plus several combining marks in combination, yet others need
    a modest selection of base-mark combinations for transliterations, and
    yet others need this or that non-Roman script - some of which are not
    yet in Unicode. Some have been using Unicode for a while; others have
    been able to but are still using legacy encodings either due to inertia
    or to uncertainty; others have needed capabilities that are available
    but not yet widely so; for some, Unicode-based solutions don't yet exist
    (for some, because the characters they need are not yet in Unicode).

    Peter Constable

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