fonts for U7.0 scripts

Andrew West andrewcwest at
Thu Oct 23 03:46:50 CDT 2014

On 22 October 2014 21:47, Andrew Glass (WINDOWS)
<Andrew.Glass at> wrote:
> I think that distributing fonts that are known to be deficient in shaping does not address needs
> other than reproducing code charts and supressing tofu. Moreover, such fonts create can
> mislead lead users into thinking that a script is supported when we know that more work remains
> to be done. When work appears to be complete to someone that can't read a script, then the
> motivation to address the remaining issues to support that script are undermined. There can also
> be other negative consequences. I think that making a set of character only fonts available would
> be against the interests of the SEI and Unicode.

Well, not all scripts have complex rendering behaviour, so for some
scripts the code chart font mapped to the correct Unicode code points
is all that is needed.

Even for fonts with deficient rendering behaviour or which are mapped
to ASCII or PUA code points, if the font was released under the SIL
Open Font license or an equivalent free license then people could use
it for the basis for a fully functional Unicode font.

> In this respect, I think the effort of the Noto project to including shaping support for complex
> scripts is commendable. I hope that the current gaps in Noto will soon be filled by suitable fonts
> so that the need to release 'chart-only' fonts is removed.

I'm a great fan of the Noto project, but as Mark's original question
indicates Noto does not supply a solution for newly encoded scripts,
and I very much dislike the idea of Google having a monopoly on
supplying free fonts for minor and historic scripts.  A code chart
font, released under a free license such as the SIL OFL (with any
necessary limitations clearly stated) is far and away better than
leaving people puzzling over little square boxes for years.


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