[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
- To: Development Discussions <developer at arabeyes dot org>
- Subject: Mad idea
- From: abdulhaq <al-arabeyes at alinsyria dot fsnet dot co dot uk>
- Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 20:18:27 +0100
- User-agent: KMail/1.6.2
Reading the discussions about Unicode / Quran and then some of Thomas's very
interesting pdfs such as
http://www.tradigital.de/specials/studies/iuc20c.pdf and hearing about his
ACE arabic font technology gave me a mad idea which I'd love to start
implementing. I'd love to hear other peoples ideas about it and if they
think I could get people involved etc.
Long-term Goal: provide a GPL general purpose font renderer along the lines
of xfs which would render arabic encoded strings (not just character glyphs)
- in a 'beautiful' way.
1 - a font format which is based on algorithms (shaping and ligature-like
constructs) and not simply strokes of the pen. Interestingly postscript is
already similar to this in that a font is a program. However, I don't think
it supports the type (in terms of algorithm) of glyph shaping I have in
mind. As a consequence the font file format could be based on e.g. OpenType,
but with any modifications required.
2 - each character could have a number of extra parameters such as in-point
and out-point (or delta between the two), 'centre-of-gravity' type of thing
and other shape control features. By changing the parameters the actual
glyph would change (on-the-fly). The parameter settings for each character
could be part of the document's character encoding (as a sister file to the
main unicode encoding maybe?). The font renderer would of course have to
have some default parameters for each glyph as 99.999% of editors will not
understand them but output (and understand) plain unicode only.
3 - a specialised 'calligraphy' editor supporting the font renderer for
advanced use, allowing fine detailed control of possible rendering
4 - Using the codebase in fontforge as an example, it may be possible to
create algorithms that on-the-fly create Type-1 compatible glyph
instructions but which are entirely tailored to their context. Current
postscript font renderers such as the one in xfs could then be used for the
actual glyph rendering.
5 - technology such as Qt could be patched to pass strings where possible
rather than individual characters to the font renderer. This is perhaps a
lot more difficult than it sounds but would be fundamental to the general
applicability of the project. Would it be a 'calligraphy' type app only, or
an engine that would be widely used?
I personally couldn't bear to start a project of this size on a non
object-oriented language, so C++ springs to mind as the appropriate language
As I said, I would be very interested in other people's thoughts (is it
impossible etc). Shoot me down in flames, whatever.
Alternatively, maybe we could persuade Thomas to GPL (for the GPL platforms)
his Arabic Calligraphy Engine ;-)