[HarfBuzz] Indic expertise wanted

Harshula harshula at gmail.com
Wed Jun 8 20:50:26 PDT 2011

Hi Behdad,

For the sake of future maintainability would you please consider
splitting the Indic shaping module into at least 3 respective script
families? We really should avoid what happened with the Pango Indic
module where we had special cases everywhere for each of the script
families. IIRC, it got to the stage where no one knew what impact even
tiny changes would have on unrelated scripts.

Old email from 2009:
We were discussing Indic shaping at the i18n meeting and we were
wondering whether the plan was to put the entire Indic family into one
module with many common functions, like ICU and Pango?

Ideally, we would prefer if Indic shaping was, at a minimum, split into
North Indian scripts module, South Indian scripts module and a Sinhala
module. That way scripts with similar behaviour are grouped together.
The other option is to create a module for each script. Either of these
two options will make the code easier to maintain and hopefully we can
avoid the headaches that resulted from the ICU and Pango Indic module.

Also, IIRC, Thai does *not* have a phonetic encoding so would be handled
very differently to South Asians scripts. Perhaps Theppitak (CC'd) can
enlighten us on the South-East Asian scripts that are listed in


On Wed, 2011-06-08 at 13:48 -0400, Behdad Esfahbod wrote:
> Hello list,
> As you may have noticed I've started implementing an Indic shaper for
> HarfBuzz
> from scratch.  Over the past week I've studied the Unicode section on
> Devanagari and other Indic scripts, the OpenType specs on them, some
> other
> sources, the old Pango Indic shaper, and the draft HarfBuzz one from
> Jonathan
> Kew, and studied them all again.
> I think I now just enough to be able to keep up a meaningful
> conversation with
> Unicode Indic experts, and ask the right questions to go about the
> implementation.  As such, I'm seeking Unicode Indic experts who can
> answer my
> questions.  Let me know offline.
> Cheers!
> behdad
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