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CONLANG  April 2018, Week 1

CONLANG April 2018, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Making Font from Written Language

From:

toki <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 5 Apr 2018 11:56:16 +0000

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On 04/03/2018 07:21 PM, David Peterson wrote:
> Second, even if there were 500,000 characters in the Private Use Area,
> conlangers would use them up, meaning that several scripts would step on others' toes

Which is better:
* A known point of failure due to a deliberate design to conflict with a
writing system that is in use;
* A potential point of failure, due to an accidental conflict with a
rarely used writing system that shares codespace in area designed
specifically for limited usage;

I'm aware of instances where groups using Conlang Unicode Registry do
have writing system collisions. However, the fonts are redone so that no
collisions occur,and the deviations from the Conlang Unicode Registry
are formally notated, and included as part of the Style Manual of the group.

> Third, what planet are you living on where everyone is aching to use
> constructed scripts but unanimously reject those that don't use the Private

The Klingon Writing System, for example, was rejected from inclusion
within Unicode, precisely because transliteration into the Latin Writing
System was more common than the original Klingon Writing System.

For the conlangs I use, Private Use Area solves such trivial issues as
cross-platform stability. I've forgotten which Latin letter it was, but
when the conlang font was used, in WP it rendered one way, and in Word
it rendered a second way.

> they don't have the font, I expect them not to ever be able to see those
> characters or use it. Unless your conlang script is an official part of

By using codespace for the Latin, or Cyrillic Writing System, if the
correct font is not installed, the user sees the Latin/Cyrillic/whatever
glyph. By using Private Use Area, if the font is not installed, then
blank squares are displayed, and the reader knows that the correct font
is not installed.

> are you expecting? How do you imagine people are using this script without having the font? 

You are the one that imagines people will attempt to use the script,
without ensuring that they have installed the font.

I remember all to well the failures that result when people didn't have
the right font installed, to read the documents in the writing system of
the conlang. That some fonts were linked to Latin letters phonetically,
and other fonts used alphabetical order, and still others followed
QWERTY, simply ensured further confusion.

> Fifth, don't forget: If for some reason the conscript because so popular
> and successful it gets officially encoded in Unicode, you can just make a
> new font. It's not very difficult; just involves copying and pasting.

You have all those legacy documents, which will have the wrong code
points for your now accepted into Unicode writing system.  Will your
user twenty years down the line correctly relocate the text, or will
they simply assume that it was never written in the target writing
system, and retranscribe it?

> for convenience. I usually just turn spellcheck off. (Unless everyone has
> spellcheckers FOR their conlang, which, if you do, my hat is off to you.)

The only reason to not have a spellchecker for your conlang, is that you
are still working on the basic vocabulary of your conlang.

Likewise, the only reason to not have grammar checking for your conlang,
is that you are still working on the basic grammar of your conlang.

> so you use the official IPA symbols found in Unicode and write [snac]—a
> fine, possible word—and what happens? Spellcheck asks "Did you mean
> 'snack'?" Because Unicode uses the *exact* same codepoints for IPA

If your spellcheck is suggesting that, then you are either using a
broken document editor or a broken document editor, or both the document
editor and spell checker are broken.

> So ultimately, what I'm saying is this: Do you want to install a font *and*
> a custom keyboard layout that you'll need to create and switch between

Do you want to use the wrong tool to produce the wrong result for the
wrong job?

> Most of them probably have no idea such things even exist.

If your art department doesn't know that custom keyboard layouts exist,
then your art department shouldn't be allowed anything more
sophisticated than pen and paper.

jonathon

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