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).
Recent work has led me to more closely explore U+4548 (☞䕈☜), which is in CJK Unified Ideographs Extension A. (What is shown in parentheses in the previous sentence is likely to be different than what is shown in the excerpt above.)
The image above is an excerpt from the latest Extension A Code Charts. At first glance, everything seem normal. The differences between the G (China) and T (Taiwan) glyphs are expected, and perhaps more importantly, unifiable.
In the previous article I mentioned that 85 kanji that correspond to JIS X 0213:2004 currently have kIRG_JSource JA source references, but I made no mention about possible glyph differences between what is shown in the Code Charts and JIS X 0213:2004. I found at least seven kanji, among these 85, that have significant glyph differences between these two Japanese sources. I prepared this table that shows these glyph differences, by using excerpts from the Extension A code charts for the kIRG_JSource JA glyphs and Heisei Mincho W3 (平成明朝W3) for the JIS X 0213:2004 glyphs.
To continue yesterday’s article about different prototypical glyphs for Unicode code points that are common between JIS X 0212-1990 and JIS X 0213:2004, today’s article will focus on the normative references that correspond to JIS X 0213:2004, or rather the lack thereof.
Most Japanese font developers are—perhaps painfully—aware of the 168 kanji whose prototypical glyphs changed in 2004 via the JIS X 0213:2004 standard. What is not broadly known are those kanji whose prototypical glyphs are different between JIS X 0212-1990 and JIS X 0213 (both versions).
JIS X 0212-1990 was established in 1990, and included 5,801 kanji in a single block. JIS X 0213:2000 was established a full ten years later, and included 3,685 kanji in two levels (1,249 kanji in Level 3, and 2,436 in level 4). Ten additional kanji were added in JIS X 0213:2004, bringing the total to 3,695. When the Unicode code points that correspond to these two JIS standards are compared, 2,743 of them are common, 3,058 are specific to JIS X 0212-1990, and 952 are specific to JIS X 0213:2004.
Interestingly, when the prototypical glyphs of the 2,743 kanji that are in common—in terms of having a shared Unicode code point—are compared, 31 of them are different. I prepared a single-page table that shows the differences using genuine Heisei Mincho W3 (平成明朝W3) glyphs, which also provides Adobe-Japan1-6 CIDs for all but three of the JIS X 0212-1990 prototypical glyphs (these three glyphs are thus candidates for Adobe-Japan1-7). Also, all of the JIS X 0213 kanji are from the original 2000 version, except for the one that corresponds to U+7626 that was introduced in 2004. This character’s entry is shaded in the PDF.
It’s hard to imagine that it has been nearly three years since I posted the always-enjoyable Unicode Beyond-BMP Top Ten List, so I figured that an updated version, which takes into account developments that have transpired since then, was in order for the current year of 2014.
Although today is April 1st, this is actually a brief non-joke article. Honestly and truly. (However, I cannot say the same about Toshiya SUZUKI’s WG2 N4572. ☺)
The background is that during my last visit to Japan, which was mainly to attend IRG #41 in Tokyo during the latter half of November of 2013, Kunihiko OKANO (岡野邦彦) requested an Adobe-Japan1-6 version of Adobe Blank during a dinner at a restaurant called かつ吉. The purpose of such a font is to serve as a template for font development purposes, meaning that its structure—in terms of ‘sfnt’ tables, FDArray elements, and number of glyphs (CIDs 0 through 23057)—is identical to a genuine Adobe-Japan1-6 font, but that all of its functional glyphs are non-spacing and blank, like Adobe Blank.
I am pleased to announce that the Adobe-Japan1-6 version of Adobe Blank, called Adobe Blank AJ16, is now available in the Downloads section of the open source project, specifically in the AJ16 subdirectory. Of course, this font is not intended to be installed and used in applications, but rather to be opened or inspected by font development tools.
Okano-san also requested Adobe-Japan1-3, Adobe-Japan1-4, and kana subset versions, which will soon be added to the “Adobe Blank OpenType Font” open source project.
As the title makes blatantly obvious, today we will cover a topic about China (中华人民共和国 zhōnghuá rénmín gònghéguó).
For those who are not aware, there are twelve IDCs (Ideographic Description Characters) in Unicode, from U+2FF0 through U+2FFB, that are used in IDSes (Ideographic Description Sequences) which are intended to visually describe the structure of ideographs by enumerating their components and arrangement in a hierarchical fashion. Any Unicode character can serve as a IDS component, and the IDCs describe their arrangement. The IRG uses IDSes as a way to detect potentially duplicate characters in new submissions. All existing CJK Unified Ideographs have an IDS, and new submissions require an IDS.
This article describes a technique that uses IDSes combined with OpenType functionality to pseudo-encode glyphs that are unencoded or not yet encoded. If memory serves, it was Taichi KAWABATA (川幡太一) who originally suggested this technique.
[For those who are interested in reading my own release notes for the Adobe-Japan1-6 UTF-32 CMap resource history, which includes the non-JIS2004 ones, I made them available here on January 20, 2016.]
I was recently asked, indirectly via Twitter, about changes and additions that were made to our JIS2004-savvy CMap resources, specifically UniJIS2004-UTF32-H and UniJISX02132004-UTF32-H. The former also includes UTF-8 (UniJIS2004-UTF8-H) and UTF-16 (UniJIS2004-UTF16-H) versions that are kept in sync with the master UTF-32 version by being automagically generated by the CMap resource compiler (and decompiler), cmap-tool.pl, which I developed years ago.
Of course, all of these CMap resources also have vertical versions that use a “V” at the end of their names in lieu of the “H,” but in the context of OpenType font development, the vertical CMap resources are virtually unused and worthless because it is considered much better practice to explicitly define a ‘vert‘ GSUB feature for handling vertical substitution. In the absence of an explicit definition, the AFDKO makeotf tool will synthesize a ‘vert’ GSUB feature by using the corresponding vertical CMap resources.
With all that being said, what follows in this article is a complete history of these two CMap resources, which also assign dates, and sometimes notes, to each version.
For readers of this blog who engage in social media, please consider following @CJKType on Twitter. Of course, one of the purposes of @CJKType will be to announce new CJK Type Blog articles, but it is also meant to engage the user and developer community with regard to CJK- and font-related issues, and will also announce or retweet other items of interest to these groups.
As described in last month’s article, our tools engineer developed two Python scripts for assembling and disassembling ‘sfnt’ collections, both of which operate on TrueType-based source fonts to produce a traditional TrueType Collection (TTC) font or to break apart one, but also operate on CFF-based source fonts to produce a new font species known as an OpenType Collection (OTC).
The purpose of this follow up article is to convey the news that these scripts have been tweaked slightly, and have been included in a new version of AFDKO that was released on 2014-02-18 as Build 61250. One of the benefits of the integration with AFDKO is that the tools are now easier to run, as a simple command.
I would like to use this opportunity to introduce two new things.
First, OpenType Collections. TrueType Collections have been around for many years, and are commonplace for OS-bundled fonts. What I am speaking of are ‘sfnt’ Collections that include a ‘CFF ‘ (PostScript charstrings) table rather than a ‘glyf‘ (TrueType charstrings) one. The advantage of an ‘sfnt’ Collection is that fonts that differ in minor ways can be combined into a single resource, which can provide substantial size savings.
Second, brand new AFDKO tools, in the form of two Python scripts, for building, breaking apart, and displaying a synopsis of an OTC’s tables. These scripts were developed by our incredibly talented font tools engineer, Read Roberts, so all thanks should go to him for preparing them.
I spent a couple of days curling up with GB 18030 (both versions: 2000 and 2005), which is PRC’s latest and greatest national character set standard, and came across an oddity that my gut tells me is a design flaw. At the very least, it is an issue about which font developers need to be aware.
What I found were eight instances of CJK Unified Ideographs with a left-side Radical #130 that uses the Traditional Chinese or Taiwan-style form, instead of the expected Simplified Chinese or PRC-style form that looks the same as Radical #74. Screen captures from the latest Unicode Code Charts, whose glyphs agree with both versions of GB 18030, are shown below:
As the IVD Registrar, I am very pleased to announce PRI 259 (Public Review Issue #259), which is the combined registration of the new Moji_Joho IVD Collection and sequences for that IVD collection. According to procedures set forth in UTS #37 (Unicode Technical Standard #37, Unicode Ideographic Variation Database), the 90-day public review, which commences today, allows interested parties to submit comments, suggestions, and errors to the registrant via Unicode’s reporting form.
Not all PDF authoring applications are the same, in terms of the extent to which they preserve the text content of the original document. Of course, this is not necessarily the fault of the PDF authoring application, but rather it is due to a disconnect between the PDF authoring process and access to the text content of the original document.
The best example for demonstrating this is to create a document that includes the two kanji 一 (U+4E00) and ⼀ (U+2F00). The reason why these two characters represent a good example is because in mainstream Japanese fonts, mainly those that are based on the Adobe-Japan1-x ROS, both map to the same glyph, specifically CID+1200.
If you download and unpack the 4E00vs2F00.zip file, you will find two PDF files, an Adobe InDesign file, and an MS Word file. If you open the original documents and search for 一 (U+4E00), you will find only a single instance, which is the one that is marked by the Unicode scalar value. However, if you open the respective PDF files, you will notice a difference. The one that is based on the MS Word file now includes two instances of 一 (U+4E00), and ⼀ (U+2F00) is no longer included in its content. You can search a PDF file by Unicode scalar value by using the “\uXXXX” notation, such as \u4E00 for U+4E00 (一). (Note: Depending on the version of MS Word that is being used, the PDF file may instead include two instances of ⼀ (U+2F00). I am using Microsoft Word for Mac 2011 Version 14.3.8.)
Adobe InDesign has a built-in PDF library that has direct access to the text content, and is thus able to inject it into the text layer of the PDF file that it produces. MS Word uses a different pathway for producing a PDF file, one that does not have access to the text content of the original document.
For those who have been interested in ISO/IEC 14496-28:2012 (Composite Font Representation), which standardizes an XML format for defining font objects (aka CFR objects) that can reference more than one font resource and thus break the 64K glyph barrier, I am pleased to let this blog’s readership know that it is now among ISO’s Freely Available Standards. I am particularly pleased about this news, mainly because some developers have indicated that purchasing the standard effectively served as a barrier to supporting it. Well, the barrier has been removed!
Note that this change makes a whole lot of sense, because two ISO standards that are closely tied to CFR, ISO/IEC 10646 (Universal Coded Character Set, aka Unicode) and IEO/IEC 14496-22 (Open Font Format), are already among these freely available standards.
Also note that there is no direct download URL for this or other freely available ISO standards, because one must first agree to the no-cost licensing terms by clicking a button.
Some people naïvely think that ISO/IEC 10646 and Unicode, which are joined at the hip, make the development of national standards an obsolete practice. As my IRG41 contribution, IRG N1964 (Continued National Standards Development & Horizontal Extensions), makes clear, nothing is further from the truth, especially when it involves CJK Unified Ideographs.
The content of this paper had been brewing in my head since IRG38, and only recently has congealed into a concise one-page paper that should be daunting to no one. If you are interested in such issues, please read the paper and provide feedback.
For those who have read all or parts of my latest book, CJKV Information Processing (Second Edition), published by O’Reilly Media at the end of 2008, or who reference it when necessary, this article should be of interest. I did post all of these to my Twitter account on October 11, 2013, but I figured that it was also good to include them in a single article that is easily referenced.
In addition to writing the entire book, I also typeset the entire book, except for its cover. This included compiling the Index. This allowed me to inject a bit of humor into the book, to include hidden messages. While this article is not a complete account of the easter eggs (イースター・エッグ in Japanese), some of the more memorable ones are chronicled here. In other words, this article does not include a complete list of them.