How FL-Solution for Unicode Buginese, Javanese scripts etc.?

andi aw masry's picture

A question of discourse:
How do we utilize (the right way) in Fontlab for the Unicode codepage containing script languages ​​such as Javanese, Buginese, Balinese and Batak?

Initially I thought this might be treated like Cyrillic or Arabic were performing with Latin. But I guess this would be difficult to access directly through the keyboard, given the existing lack of keyboard support. But this is only conjecture. I can not imagine how the final form.

So far I use a practical way to put the glyphs of scripts in a Latin position that can be accessed directly via keyboard. Although helpful, but I know this is a mistake. The script should remain on the codepoint which has been commissioned by the unicode.

Best regards

Bendy's picture

I'm not quite sure what the question is, since you are linking to the Unicode ranges that support these scripts and are aware of the necessary encodings. Are you asking about keyboard drivers (which are not connected to Fontlab)?

andi aw masry's picture

Thanks.

This involves a typeface design using the Buginese scripts, etc. (eg OT format in FL). The scenario goes something like the combined Latin and Buginese, as we know it on the application of Arabic + Latin. However, in the example of Buginese script that I ever created. This does not work properly if the Glyph Buginese placed in the specified range of Unicode.

I still think that the range Unicode has been assigned to be used properly. But not sure if this can be programmed based on the specifications OT known today. For instance we create the behaviour in id script "bugi":

    feature locl {
    Language BUGI exclude_dflt;
    sub @Latin_letter' by @Buginese;
    } locl;

This tag is only a simulation, and I'm not yet sure if the tags can work properly for the language.

And finally, the application of the face results on the keyboard. It's the reason I associate with the keyboard at the beginning of the question. As far as I know, driver Microsoft windows doesn't yet support for such as Buginese. In the driver we can find support for Thai, CJK, Vietnamese, etc., but the Buginese and Javanese, not yet (?).

Even the Microsoft Font Validator still does not recognize bit 96 of the UnicodeRange field, officially defined for the Buginese block range (U+1A00..U+1A1F), and reports an error if this bit is set.

It really should not happen to the OS microsoft. But if the keyboard does not support. Is it still possible there is OT solution to this problem.

Best regards

frankrolf's picture

The correct solution for this problem would be creating a Keyboard Layout for the according script.
There already might be some prototypes or even standards already existing, so I’d just do a quick research online.

Something that comes up for me (and generally a good resource on the topic:)
Looking for a Balinese (or other language) keyboard?

If you need to start from scratch, on Mac there’s an app called “Ukelele”, which can do everything you want.
On Windows, you would use Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator.

regards,
Frank

John Hudson's picture

You will need custom keyboard drivers that will allow you to input the correct Unicode values. Note that since these languages may also require complex script shaping, being able to type them may not be sufficient, as the fonts will need OpenType or other layout tables and support from script shaping engines in the operating system or application.

frankrolf's picture

Not wanting to be rude, just asking: I am confused by the word ‘driver’ here: Isn’t a driver something to make the hardware work in the first place? (Like, a sound card driver, for instance). I believe a specific keyboard layout ranges some levels above the actual keyboard driver, as it has nothing to do with the specific hardware used. Right?
(I mean – you can use a keyboard layout on virtually any similar keyboard, no matter which make or model.)

Thanks!

andi aw masry's picture

It would seem that this requires a custom keyboard. Unfortunately I am not yet familiar with it. But before any further, I want to get a view of the extent of custom keyboard layout can support a complex languages.

And honestly, I would prefer if it will run normally without any additional intervention such as occurs in other languages​​, so we are going to emphasize the OTLF :-)

@John. I strongly agree. scripts of these languages ​​have many potential ligature and contextual alternate.

@Frank. Thanks for suggestion and for the link, it's worth to try.

Best regards

Bendy's picture

I'd imagine a keyboard layout can do anything you'd wish; the hard bit might be finding enough people to test it. Batak at least is now remembered only by grandparents (which BTW is a fantastic reason to support the language on a computer). Best of luck.

andi aw masry's picture

@Bendy ... Absolutely right.

BUGINESE, Javanese and Balinese have a little more fortunate "destiny", because this script is still living in the community. Users are also quite a lot. Although somehow educational policies and regulations of local governments to teach it in schools has not increased. Things I could mention a very important part of this script is a cultural presence, local wisdom or the values ​​of local genius contained therein. The role I might wake them up even from the "far". So as you say: Best of luck :-)

May we agree that the civilized nations advanced in Europe, America and Asia has reached its peak because of great respect for the values ​​of their local heritage, including literacy. As we see that the existence of Latin that we know today departs from a very long cultural history.

Best regards

John Hudson's picture

Frank: you're probably right re. the correct use of 'driver'.

I think people started talking about 'custom keyboard drivers' because the term 'layout' is ambiguous as to whether it refers to the design of the key assignments or to their software implementation.

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