[HarfBuzz] New Indic standard?

Gora Mohanty gora at sarai.net
Tue Aug 18 23:28:15 PDT 2009

On Tue, 18 Aug 2009 16:19:58 -0400
Behdad Esfahbod <behdad at behdad.org> wrote:

> Hi,
> On 08/18/2009 06:27 AM, Shriramana Sharma wrote:
> >
> > <quote>Well, parts of it, specially the Indic parts, are not
> > documented. Worse, with Windows Vista, the Indic parts of the
> > standard changed completely.  We don't have any free software
> > implementation of the new Indic OpenType standard.</quote>
> >
> > Where can I get a copy of this standard (new *and* old) and
> > what is the
> Both are here:
> http://www.microsoft.com/typography/SpecificationsOverview.mspx

The issue also is that these are not open standards, and are
deficient in some respects, or at least the old ones were.
I am not sure what to do here, as not implementing the
exact Microsoft specifications will lead to an incompatibility
of OpenType fonts between Windows and open-source applications.
However, sticking to those means that we will never fix issues
that Microsoft does not agree with.

> > status of Indic scripts' support in Harfbuzz with this new
> > standard? What is the status w.r.t the old standard?
> I don't know any Free Software implementation of the new
> standard.  The old standard is implemented in HarfBuzz, though
> many bugs exist.  A test suite is needed before we can start
> fixing the bugs.

What does such a test suite involve? In the past, we have prepared
a list of base characters, plus allowed conjuncts (along with
example words) for some Indic languages in ICU. Along with these,
we have prepared screenshots of the expected rendering, which can
be compared to Harfbuzz rendering. Does that suffice?

We also have some developers who can work on coding, but will
need some guidance to get started, and have been talking to Scribus
folk about Indic language support there. Is it possible for someone
to help out these developers for the first week or two?


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