[sw-l] Are We Going in the Wrong Direction?

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Sat Dec 11 15:00:44 UTC 2004

On Dec 11, 2004, at 4:16, Sandy Fleming wrote:

> I wasn't thinking of storing rotation, orientation &c. I thought there
> were
> moves to get anything necessary from the IMWA stored in unicode fonts?
> In
> which case it's a matter of the program inserting the character
> corresponding to the user's chosen orientation, rotation &c? Even
> without
> unicode we can have a character-like mapping to the necessary IMWA
> graphics
> files, can't we? I am in fact beginning to wonder if a gif/png solution
> might not be preferable, because the sizes of different symbols in the
> vary an awful lot - eg, compare the contact symbol with the head or
> long
> arrow. Even better would be SVG as Trevor suggested, so that the images
> would be scalable. So instead of fonts we may have an IMWA (perhaps in
> form) subset and a mapping from 16-bit numbers to these to give us a
> file
> storage system exactly comparable to the file storage of oral-language
> text,
> on a character-to-symbol basis. If you opened such a SW file in an
> ordinary
> oral-language text editor, what you might see is a lot of random
> characters,
> each corresponding to a symbol in our SW system theough showing up as
> characters from whatever oral-language font is selected. I think we'd
> want
> to avoid using numbers that correspond to useful characters that
> already
> exist in unicode, so that more sophisticated applications could mix SW
> with
> oral-langauge text.

Actually, it all depends on how much work you want the renderer to do
and how much work you want the font to do.  Some work could be foisted
on the renderer so you don't have to have the extra characters in the
font. That needs to be analyzed and determined.

I personally disagree with the gif/png/svg approach as far as taking
programs mainstream. Unicode is the accepted character database. For us
to have the respect of hearing, I think it is a political boost for us
and our languages if we have SW in a Unicode font. Having said that, I
am not saying I am opposed to an SVG approach. I think that certainly
could be done, but I doubt the average person on the street will regard
it with the same respect as if they can see it in the font when they go
looking for the characters to whatever language they are using.

There is plenty of space in Unicode for all of the IMWA. I was talking
with some people who are involved with Unicode for non-Roman languages
and I asked that specific question. And they said it would be no
problem technically.  We just have to do the work to finish what
Valerie and Michael Everson began.

Just a side comment there.


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