ELL: Fonts

Andrew Cunningham andrewc at MAIL.VICNET.NET.AU
Sun Sep 23 12:33:50 UTC 2001

Hi Eric,

Yep i was aware of all that, and over simplifying.

Quoting Eric Brunner-Williams in Portland Maine <brunner at nic-naa.net>:

> There are more than one code points allocated for the character "A",
> e.g.,
> code point U+0041, U+0391, U+0410.

true, if you are from the camp that believes that teh Latin "A" is exactly the
same character as Cyrillic and Greek characters with the same shape.

and that would be like trying to collapse all the indic langauges into a single

or the copmpression of some ethiopic characters with some japanese kana, or even
the compression of the two kana scripts.

a political nightmare.

> >                                                           If the glyph
> is a
> > base latin character with diacritic that does not have an existing
> composed
> > form in unicode, they will also not encode it. Such charcters should
> be
> > rendered using combining diacritics.
> Earlier in Unicode's history than the present moment, this was not the
> rule,
> e.g., code points U+00C0, U+00C1, U+00C2, U+00C3, U+00C4, U+00C5.
> Unicode is a product of its creators and their history. It has warts
> and
> inconsistencies. It also has the occasional error.

also true. from memory the usual explanation given was to enable a simple 1-1
correspondance and conversion with existing national and international

the current reality is that its very unlikely that additional precomposed
characters will be encoded, or at leats thats my current understanding. Although
it isn't relevant to most languages, it is relevant to a range of african
languages for instance.

and the situation was complicated initially, when microsoft decided mot to
support the latin script in early versions of Uniscribe.

Over time it has become somewhat easier to support minority languages in
Unicode. Although, unfortunately, it generally requires the most recent versions
of the operating systems.

Andrew Cunningham
Multilingual Technical Project Officer
Accessibility and Evaluation Unit, Vicnet
State Library of Victoria,

andrewc at vicnet.net.au
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