Contrary to the opinion of some of those who have never participated in a UTC (Unicode Technical Committee) meeting, whose attendees include representatives from companies, organizations, and even governments, along with individual members, all of whom share a strong passion for the continued development of The Unicode Standard (TUS), which has become the de facto way in which to represent digital text on virtually all modern devices. These representatives and individual members are world-class experts who are also incredibly sensitive to cultural and regional issues that affect the interpretation and usefulness of the standard, and do everything in their power to ensure that it is usable in the broadest possible way. No other character set standard can even come close to making such a claim.
To put this into perhaps better perspective, standard-wise, it takes a typical government entity years to accomplish what The Unicode Consortium accomplishes in only one year.
The Source Han Sans Version 1.002 update was released on 2015-04-20, which involved turning a very large crank on something that has a very large number of moving parts. The updated region-specific subset OTFs are also available on Typekit via desktop sync.
Google’s corresponding Noto Sans CJK fonts, which differ from Source Han Sans only by name, were also updated to Version 1.002 at the same time, and reflect the same changes.
Yesterday morning I came up with the idea to produce a font for testing the extent to which applications and other text-handling environments support IVSes (Ideographic Variation Sequences), and ended up devoting the better part of this Easter weekend assembling, testing, and releasing the font as open source on GitHub. The font is named IVS Test, and as usual for me, it is an Adobe-Identity-0 ROS CID-keyed OpenType/CFF font.
Well, it’s April 1st, which represents an ideal time to release and introduce Adobe Blank 2, which is a new version of the popular Adobe Blank font.
In early 2008, as part of writing and typesetting CJKV Information Processing, Second Edition and preparing the latest version of Adobe Tech Note #5078 (The Adobe-Japan1-6 Character Collection), I built a small—in terms of the number of glyphs—special-purpose font for displaying registration marks for glyphs, and named it Tombo. Such registration marks are incredibly useful for showing the relative position of a glyph within its em-box, and for conveying the visual horizontal advance (aka glyph width). The excerpt above shows this font’s use in the Source Han Sans ReadMe (note that the PDF file will download if clicked).
One of the questions one may ask about the Adobe-branded Source Han Sans and Google-branded Noto Sans CJK open source Pan-CJK typeface families is whether they are GB 18030–compliant. Compliant? Sort of. Certified? Not yet.
Let me explain…
I have been involved with IMUG—this abbreviation originally stood for International Macintosh User Group, but now stands for The International Multilingual User Group—since the early 1990s, presenting in 1993, 1995, 1999, 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2011, but more recently I have been involved with hosting this excellent user group at Adobe.
IMUG is a user group that is intended for GUILT (Globalization, Unicode, Internationalization, Localization & Translation) professionals (some people use GILT instead of the more proper GUILT, perhaps because they forget that Unicode provides the underpinnings for GILT ☺), and their monthly meetings offer plenty of variety. In addition to a presentation from a seasoned professional in this industry, each meeting offers attendees an opportunity to mingle with other like-minded professionals.
This is an update to the short article that I wrote last August.
Now that it is officially 2015, and given that Unicode Version 8.0 is scheduled to be released mid-year, exactly what is expected to be included—at least in terms of CJK Unified Ideographs—is becoming clearer. Perusing the still-in-process UCD (Unicode Character Database) sheds much light on this. (I also recommend checking the pipeline from time to time.)
I recently updated the single-page PDF that tallies the CJK Unified Ideographs and CJK Compatibility Ideographs that are in Unicode, to include the latest information for Version 8.0, along with what can be expected to be included in Version 9.0 (mid-2016).
The highlights for Unicode Version 8.0 include nine of the 29 Urgently Needed Characters being appended to the URO (Unified Repertoire & Ordering) and Extension E (5,762 characters). The remaining 20 Urgently Needed Characters, along with Extension F, are expected to be included in Unicode Version 9.0.
Source Han Sans (and Noto Sans CJK) supports the first four of the nine Urgently Needed Characters that are being fast-tracked for Version 8.0, along with 108 Extension E code points for supporting China’s 通用规范汉字表 (Tōngyòng Guīfàn Hànzìbiǎo).
While it was not uncommon for early (pre-Unicode) CJK character set standard to include characters that correspond to scripts of other languages or used in other countries, such as the extent to which Japanese kana were included in standards from China and Korea, it was not common for one of these countries to produce a standard for a seemingly different language. Enter GB 12052-89 (entitled Korean Character Coded Character Set for Information Interchange, or 信息交换用朝鲜文字编码字符集 in Chinese), which is a GB (PRC) standard that sort of broke this mold.
One of the reasons why Source Han Sans—and obviously the Google-branded Noto Sans CJK—can be considered the world’s first Pan-CJK typeface family is due to its support for Korean hangul. While it is common to support modern hangul in Korean fonts, supporting archaic hangul is relatively uncommon. One of the more challenging aspects of developing Source Han Sans was implementing support for archaic hangul, which also included handling 500 high-frequency archaic hangul syllables. This article will thus detail what went into supporting archaic hangul in Source Han Sans. I’d like to once again thank our talented friends at Sandoll Communication for designing the glyphs for these characters.
As I described in an article earlier this year, GB 18030 artificially imposes a visual difference between Radicals #74 (⽉) and #130 (⾁) for character pairs that differ only in this component, though conventions for Simplified Chinese use a unified form that looks like Radical #74. In that article I pinpointed a case for which the character that uses Radical #130 is in error, because its left-side radical uses the Radical #74 form, and the corresponding character that uses Radical #74 is outside the scope of GB 18030 (at least for now).
Thanks to Jaemin Chung, I was able to find three errors within the scope of GB 18030, as shown below:
According to the principles imposed by GB 18030, the characters on the left are in error, and should be visually distinct from those on the right in terms of their left-side radical.
This week’s festivities have thus far included attending IUC38 in Santa Clara, California. I presented twice, both times about Source Han Sans and Noto Sans CJK development.
For those who were unable to attend this excellent conference, the slides for my two presentations, Developing & Deploying The World’s First Open Source Pan-CJK Typeface Family and Building Source Han Sans & Noto Sans CJK, are now available.
P.S. The image shown above, which was used on page 47 of my first presentation to describe the Super OTC deployment configuration, became popular during IUC38, and was used by at least three other presentations. ☺
Now that the Version 1.001 update for Source Han Sans (源ノ角ゴシック), in the form of sources and installable fonts, is under my belt, my attention has now turned to my IUC38 (38th Internationalization & Unicode Conference) presentation, which is entitled Deploying & Developing The World’s First Open Source Pan-CJK Typeface Family. Much of what was involved in building these fonts—to include some of the hurdles that needed to be overcome—will be detailed in this presentation.
For those who use social media, you can follow IUC38 developments via the #IUC38 hashtag.
Oh, and I am also pleased to state that Adobe is once again a Gold Sponsor of this event, for the eighth year in a row.
(Uni-chan image designed by Mary Jenkins)
In addition to attending IRG43 (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2/IRG Meeting #43) in November as a US/Unicode delegate, I will also be serving as the Adobe host for this meeting, which will take place at Adobe’s headquarters in downtown San José, California. It will be a busy week for me, because while I will need to stay focused on the meeting itself, I also need to be mindful of matters related to logistics, before and during the meeting. Extension F (called Extension F1 by the IRG) is in the process of being handed off to WG2, and work on Extension G (called Extension F2 by the IRG) is expected to begin in earnest before and during IRG43.
By the way, the last time that an IRG meeting was held in the US was IRG37, which was hosted by Google in Mountain View, California in November of 2011. Before that, it was IRG29, which was hosted by Adobe in November of 2007.
I am very much looking forward to the meeting, meeting with the delegates, and being part of important CJK Unified Ideograph work.
A commemorative T-shirt may be necessary… ☺
Unless you have been living in a cave or under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard of Source Han Sans or Noto Sans CJK through the initial announcements from Adobe or Google who jointly developed them, or elsewhere. These two Pan-CJK typeface families, which are joined at the hip because they differ only in name, were released to the world at large, as open source fonts, on the afternoon of July 15, 2014 in the US, which was the morning of July 16, 2014 in East Asia, their target audience. Click on the preview below to view a single-page PDF that shows all 65,535 glyphs from one of these fonts:
Over the next several months I plan to publish a series of articles on this blog that will detail various aspects of the development process that I employed for building these two typeface families. Although the subsequent articles will mention only Source Han Sans by name, they also pertain to its twin, Noto Sans CJK.
Given that Unicode has declared mid-year annual major releases, we can expect Unicode Version 8.0 to be released in about a year, in mid-2015. In terms of ideographs, we can expect some additions, specifically a small number of UNC (Urgently Needed Character) additions to the URO (Unified Repertoire & Ordering) that were discussed in the June article, along with Extension E. This single-page PDF provides a tentative look at the CJK Unified Ideographs, along with CJK Compatibility Ideographs for good measure.
Unicode Version 7.0 was release on June 16, 2014.
One of the accomplishments at IRG #42 last month was the addition of 29 new CJK Unified Ideographs to the URO (Unified Repertoire & Ordering), specifically from U+9FCD through U+9FE9. The first four are shown above.
The Moji_Joho IVD Collection was first introduced via PRI 259 last December, which initiated a mandatory—according to UTS #37—90-day Public Review Period. The submitter received three sets of comments, and after making minor changes, submitted the materials for registering the new IVD collection, along with its initial set of IVSes. The Moji_Joho IVD Collection and its initial set of IVSes were officially registered on May 16, 2014, which represents the fourth version of the IVD (Ideographic Variation Database).
The 2014-05-16 version of the IVD thus registers a new IVD collection, Moji_Joho, along with its initial set of 10,710 IVSes, 9,685 of which are shared—through mutual agreement—with the registered Hanyo-Denshi IVD Collection. Some enhancements were also made to the IVD_Stats.txt file, specifically that the shared IVSes are explicitly listed at the end of the file.
One additional statistic is that the highest VS (Variation Selector) used is currently VS48 (U+E011F), meaning that 32 of the 240 VSes allocated for IVS use are now being used. Of course, it is relatively easy to figure out with which BC (Base Character) VS48 is used, and an educated guess would be that it is either U+9089 (邉) or U+908A (邊). It is the former:
9089 E011F; Moji_Joho; MJ026193
The highest VS used with the latter BC is currently VS37 (U+E0114).
As the IVD Registrar, I’d like to use this opportunity to thank everyone who made the effort to review PRI 259. I’d also like to congratulate those who prepared the Moji_Joho IVD Collection for both review and registration.
Shown above is the top portion of the printed version of Taiwan’s MOE 國字標準字體方體母稿 (Fangti) standard. (For those who are interested, its ISBN is 957-00-8392-1.) What is provided online are effectively scans of the 常用字 and 次常用字 sections, which contain 4,808 and 6,343 hanzi, respectively. Although included in the printed version of the standard, the 罕用字 section, which contains 1,907 additional hanzi, is not provided online. In terms of sheer numbers, these 1,907 additional hanzi appear to completely cover Big Five (both levels) and CNS 11643 Planes 1 and 2.
The purpose of today’s article is to describe two additional issues in this glyph standard that my new friend, Kuang-che Wu (吳光哲) of Google, recently found.
What is shown above is a trivial difference in a two-component structure that is present in many ideographs, such as 滕 (U+6ED5), 縢 (U+7E22), 螣 (U+87A3), 謄 (U+8B04), and 騰 (U+9A30). This difference is, of course, unifiable. What this article is about is consistency within a standard, mainly referring to the source standards from each region. The focus of this article is on the forms used in ROC (Republic of China; 中華民國 Zhōnghuá Mínguó), which is more commonly referred to Taiwan (臺灣 or 台灣 Táiwān).