Talk:Comparison of layout engines (web typography)

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Article created[edit]

I just created this article yesterday. Does anyone have any ideas on how it can be improved? Is "Comparison of layout engines (Web Typography)" the right name for the article, or should it be shortened to "Comparison of layout engines (typography)"? Comparison of layout engines (graphics) doesn't use the word "web" (or capital letters, either), so I'm not so sure of its inclusion here. --Gyrobo (talk) 18:08, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

The disambiguation phrase should not be capitalized. Wikipedia naming policy is to not use capitals except for proper nouns or the first letter of the first word of the article. —Lowellian (reply) 03:53, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

XML Support[edit]

The section on support in (X)HTML was renamed as "HTML and XML", with the rationale being that XHTML is an application of XML. Is this a good idea, since SVG itself is also XML-based? Should there be a separate section purely for support within XML documents? --Gyrobo (talk) 16:21, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Prince XML[edit]

I've been looking into adding Prince XML font support, since most of the other comparison pages have Prince XML. Can anyone find any good, comprehensive documentation anywhere?
--Gyrobo (talk) 20:33, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Adding advanced OpenType support?[edit]

While all major engines currently allow basic font embedding, they widely differ in their ability to display advanced OpenType features such as ligatures etc. Is it OK if I just add a section about these? -- machᵗᵃˡᵏ 00:50, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

That sounds like a great addition! Typography on the web is a broad subject, and this page should compare all font-related support that exists.
--Gyrobo (talk) 02:29, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

I know a bit about making fonts, perhaps more than most on the programming side. The Western European languages that use Latin-1 set (=iso8859-1) enjoy all the benefits of word processing. Search and Replace is taken for granted. However, in Indic, each vowel has a stand-alone letter (and a code) and 'diacritics' that add around the consonants for the same vowel located at another code. What is most unfortunate is that few recognize the fact that the 'alpahbets' they have are really phoneme charts. The most common of these charts is the Harvard-Kyoto alphabet of Sanskrit, the core of all Indic. For Indic people, if they want to really, really use the computer with their languages, the best solution is to transliterate their writing to Latin-1, just like HK (in ASCII). Of course, people want to see their langauage in their own script. This is no problem. You first transliterate and then replace the shapes (normally Latin) with their own.

Singhala is an Indic minority language that is facing extinction. I know its importance because the earliest (~92BC) written down Buddhist text (Tripitaka) was in the Singhala script. So, I transliterated the mixed Singhala phoneme chart and wrote a font for it. This Sinhala smartfont has been in existence since 2004. Here are two web sites that use it. (Only Safari, Firefox, Arora and Lunascape display the font correctly. Microsoft does not seem interested in supporting OpenType in IE nor downloading full fonts):

Transliterated Sinhala web site Transliterated Sinhala - WordPress blog

The text is readable in Latin form as well as in native sript. The magic is in more than 2400 ligatures as compared to 5 or so in English (!!). Mozilla engineers initially thought the computer would slow down to a crawl with so many ligatures, but they did not know how a font works. It *has* to at least *look* for a glyph for each keystroke. My font has lookup tables that find the 'ligatures' located in the Private Use Area (PUA) -- no performance hit. Adobe and Apple has been supporting this technology since 2004. Linux has no problem either (try Abiword and gNumeric). Actually, it is supported nearly everywhere including MS Notepad except by MS Office and IE. JC (talk) 23:21, 4 September 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ahangama (talkcontribs) 00:37, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Globalize[edit]

The section Comparison of layout engines (Web Typography)#Smart font features support currently only deals with ligature issues of Latin script typography. I bet there are numerous smart font features issues with other scripts (by comparison, Latin script typography is very simple and unproblematic). Some may be seen at Help:Multilingual support, especially at Help:Multilingual support (Indic). I am afraid I do not have enough knowledge about other scripts. I cannot expand the section. -- machᵗᵃˡᵏ 20:29, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Globalizing is generally taken to mean globalizing (Western) business. If we are to believe it to mean globalizing human access and use of technology, then technology should facilitate non-Western languages to use those technologies English and Western European languages exclusively enjoy. Common word processing functions, sorting etc. are normal with English. The secret why Western languages are so comfortable on the computer is that they are located in the SBCS or ISO-8859-1. The way Unicode allocates codes and defines Indic makes them only a bit better than electric typewriting. The idea, 'one letter - one unique code' sounds and perhaps meant to be egalitarian, but to make it happen requires impractical effort and determination.

One way the Indic or the 'complex / Abugida' languages could come closer to have the capabilities of Western European languages is to transliterate them to ISO-8859-1 code space and make orthographic smartfonts to dress the otherwise Latin codes.

There are now two smartfonts for existing scripts, Singhala and Fraktur. Mainly, a smartfont provides ligatures for input, such as f+f+i -> ffi ligature. The so-called 'complex' scripts could have smartfonts that can be programmed as orthographic fonts.

I am familiar with Sinhala, one of the more complex Indics. I adapted US-International keyboard for fast input of transliterated Sinhala. It is quite intuitive to use. The Singhala script has three orthographies: Singhala, Sanskrit and Pali. Grammatically, Sinhala does not use ligatures, only Sanskrit and Pali require conjoint letters which are equivalent to ligatures in these discussions. In the design of the font, if you treat consonants and vowels as base letters, then the letters that Unicode code pages use as base letters may have to be programmed as ligatures. (e.g. k+a -> ka, where ka has the base shape in that it does not have the Hal (Sanskrit: consonant) sign or as Unicode calls, halant. (Halaanta means Hal at end, or consonant at end of the word. Unicode calls the diacritical marks in Indic Matras. maaþra (note the Thorn - þ) actually means (and cognates with) measure, and in Indian grammar, it means the spoken length of a short vowel. The Latin term is mora.)

To learn what Hal, anta, mAtrA, virAma, mean please consult the Dictionary: Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary JC (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 05:36, 4 September 2011 (UTC).

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