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Subject: Re: [office] Defining Alternative Glyphs

Hi Thomas,

thank you very much for your explanations. What is still not clear to me 
  is how the selection of a particular glyph is controlled. See my 
questions below.

Thomas Zander wrote:
> On Monday 7. July 2008 23:45:05 robert_weir@us.ibm.com wrote:
>> I'm reminded of an related set of proposals I heard back in 2006 at a KDE
>> conference.
>> Tim Eves, at SIL International, gave a presentation on the need to add
>> "font feature" and "alternative glyph" support to ODF, in order to better
>> support minority languages.
> The initial proposal for Alternate glyps on this list came from me, so I think 
> I should tell you why I suggested it :)
> I like explaining things in a usecase, which would help here already.
> If I have some text in small-caps (see attached image, second row) you will 
> notice that the glyphs used for the digits look different from the full caps 
> ones.  The 3 is below the baseline, for example.
> Using these old style figures in ODF is currently problematic. They don't have 
> unique unicode code points and since the advent of openType and fonts with 
> thousands of glyphs, its no longer feasible to use font name.
> In the days that a postscript font could hold just 256 glyphs the solution was 
> simple; use a different font for the alternate glyphs, but using opentype we 
> have to use the same font but specify that we want a specific font-feature 
> for this character.

My understanding is that an opentype fonts may provide glyphs to be used 
for small caps in addition to the regular glyphs, and that both kind of 
glyphs actually share a Unicode character. That is, given a certain 
Unicode character, an opentype fonts provides (at least) two glyphs that 
may be displayed. The regular glyph, and one for small caps. But how is 
it controlled which glyph is used? ODF does already have a formatting 
property for small caps. So, my assumption would be that an application 
that does support opentype would simply take the small-caps glyphs if 
the formatting property for small caps is present. But this would not 
require any change to ODF but would be just application logic. So it may 
be the case that I am missing something, or that this is example is too 

> This is all for latin fonts, things get much more complex for minority fonts, 
> so I won't explain that here. The simplest is to choose a slashed-zero in 
> some cases, which is a user choice for the glyph, but manually forcing the 
> usage of a ligature is another good example.

How would one manually force the use of a particular glyph? That is, 
what information must be present in an ODF document so that the an ODF 
rendering engine can choose a particular glyph?

Best regards


> In my opinion this feature is needed for making that last step from nice 
> looking text to professional looking text.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Brauer, Technical Architect Software Engineering
Sun Microsystems GmbH             Nagelsweg 55
D-20097 Hamburg, Germany          michael.brauer@sun.com
http://sun.com/staroffice         +49 40 23646 500

Sitz der Gesellschaft: Sun Microsystems GmbH, Sonnenallee 1,
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