moyogo's little blog

Blogging about Open Source, fonts, language technology, maps and random stuff happening wherever I am.


Unicode fonts

I've been looking into the Lingala language and what technologies actually support it. I eventually found out that Unicode has decided some time ago to stop support new precomposed characters. What this means is that characters such as LATIN SMALL LETTER OPEN E + MODIFIER ACUTE is the only way to represent ɛ́ in Unicode. In the past Unicode did support, and therefore still is supporting, characters like LATIN SMALL LETTER A + MODIFER ACUTE as LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH ACUTE. What this means is that Unicode is good for all the people who easily want to translate anything coded with characters like the a with acute, which is good. The bad part is that there is no such a thing for languages that use other composed characters that didn't make it in back when Unicode was loose. The really bad part is that fonts that claim to be Unicode, poorly or just don't support characters + modifier/diacritics. So we have a bunch of fonts out there that claim to be Unicode and yet because of Unicode's new restriction, they actually aren't of any value. It's a shame really. A bunch of African languages use that exotic characters + diacritics combination and the technology is just not there to allow people to use it as easily as English, French or Spanish. On the good side, there are only... or at least 2 fonts that do this properly, Doulos SIL and Code 2000, some more fonts probably do that too on Mac OS X. Support on Windows is mostly limited to the latest systems, and support on Linux is not complete. I guess I should stop complaining and start contributing. If you're interested, gimme a shout.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home