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[Freefont-bugs] Remove Hiragana and Katakana?

From: Steve White
Subject: [Freefont-bugs] Remove Hiragana and Katakana?
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2008 22:53:10 +0200


I need to make a decision, and want to at least inform people of it,
and get some feed-back.

The question is whether to remove the Japanese Hiragana/Katakana ranges or not.
There are other options as well, but right now, I'm leaning toward removal.

The problem is, these ranges sit in FreeFont without the Kanji characters.
Without Kanji, very little Japanese can actually be written (that is
my understanding).

I have made a policy, that only *useful* ranges of glyphs should be
present in FreeFont.
If the existing characters aren't useful for presenting Japanese, what
are they useful for?
(What would be the use, say, of having only half the Latin alphabet?)

Moreeover, there has been a complaint, that the existence of these
ranges in FreeFont
causes a problem.  On some systems, FreeFont will be selected to
display a Katakana character,
but since FreeFont doesn't contain Kanji, a different font will be
chosen to display a following Kanji character.
The result can be quite ugly.

The SuSE distribution actually contains a script that explicitly
deletes the Japanese ranges
from FreeFont, just for this reason.

Of course, another option would be to acquire a full Japanese set, and
copy that in.
However, when I looked into several existing free ranges, I found they
didn't pass
FontForge's validation, or the many other tests I have been working so
hard to make
FreeFont pass.  To make them do so would be an unacceptable amount of
work for me.
To copy them in as-is would be to negate the advantages of having such tests.

At this point, I think the best thing would be for FreeFont to drop
support for Japanese, leaving
that for the several other excellent free Japanese fonts that are available.


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