A question about fonts

Marty Jack martyj19 at comcast.net
Wed Mar 9 07:00:23 PST 2011

On 03/09/2011 09:48 AM, Andersen, Jan wrote:
> "I don't think things are quite as dire as you suggest.  It should be possible to put together on one system a set of fonts that cover all the Unicode points you need."
> I wasn't suggesting things were dire :-) 
> And I already know that I can cover most if not all of the range I am interested in with a few fonts - what I am after is something like the ability to specify just one font that will cover everything. I can imagine several ways one could achieve that if the system would support it - one way would be if one could somewhere define a "composite font": you would use this just like any font in applications, but the back-end somewhere would look at the character value and select which of the component fonts to use. Or one could replace the lookup-part with something that isn't limited to 64K characters - perhaps even an SQL database :-)
> I suspect doing the latter (replacing the lookup) may well be simpler than implementing composite fonts.
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That is pretty much what Fontconfig does already.  If you configure it properly, you should get the fonts that you want to use to be used in preference to other fonts that might contain the same character.

You are, of course, free to reimplement Fontconfig if you think that is what is needed.

The Cyberbit font, among others, is a large-coverage font.  I run with the Liberation family as the "style" font and Cyberbit as the "coverage" font.  I do not notice very many languages that don't have good coverage with that combination.

(I should have mentioned ligatures and other instances of having characters flow together in a particular script that is one of the services Pango provides.)

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