Gaiji: Characters, Glyphs, Both, or Neither?

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1 Gaiji: Characters, Glyphs, Both, or Neither? A Graphics and Publishing Industry View Jim DeLaHunt Type Development Group, Adobe Systems Incorporated 1 Abstract Unicode encodes Han characters by the tens of thousands, but fonts typically have only thousands of glyphs. Some fonts may have more glyphs, some may have fewer. And since the Han character repertoire is fundamentally open-ended, there will always be characters which are not encoded. The characters legal for the script, but not in your font, are known as gaiji. Writers and publishers insist on being able to use gaiji, so the Japanese publishing and computer industries have come up with a number of gaiji mechanisms. Looking from the viewpoint of a publishing software and font developer, we describe and evaluate a few of the most important gaiji mechanisms. Finally, we look at gaiji in terms of the Unicode character-glyph model. Are they glyph variants, or characters, or both, or neither? Author Jim DeLaHunt is an engineering manager at Adobe Systems, responsible for software related to Japanese font handling and to gaiji. He was introduced to the gaiji requirement when he first joined Adobe thirteen years ago, and still isn t satisfied with any gaiji mechanism he has found in the market. Jim DeLaHunt Type Development Group, Adobe Systems Incorporated, M/S W-12, 345 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95110, USA <http://partners.adobe.com/asn/developer/type/gaiji.html> 1 San Jose, California, September 2002

2 Overview What are gaiji? In publishing and graphics industry context Prepress workflow Existing mechanisms to support Evaluation of existing mechanisms Gaiji in Unicode character-glyph model Caveat: use of terms character and glyph 2 In this paper, we hope to cover five topics: 1. What are gaiji? Speaking from the point of view of a publishing and graphics tool supplier, we will explain what gaiji means in this context, and review the market requirement for gaiji support. 2. Prepress workflow. For the benefit of readers who aren t familiar with the steps required to go from characters to glyphs to printed pages, we review the prepress workflow. This is particularly important, because a goal of the publishing industry is to move work as far back up the workflow as possible. We will evaluate gaiji mechanisms in terms of this workflow. 3. Existing Mechanisms to Support Gaiji. We review six mechanisms presently used in the publishing industry for handling gaiji. 4. Evaluation of Existing Mechanisms. We evaluate each of the six mechanisms, in terms of their strengths and weakness relative to the publishing industry s requirements. 5. Gaiji in the Unicode Character-Glyph Model. Unicode has an explicit character-glyph model. We look at what gaiji represent in terms of this model. In particular, we answer the question, Are gaiji characters, glyphs, both, or neither?. We also look at a useful notion of abstract glyphs, and suggest a useful application of Unicode Variation Selectors in this context. We will frequently refer to printers in this paper. This refers to the staff of a printing company, the people usually performing text layout and publishing activities involving gaiji. A caveat about terminology: in the first four sections we attempt to describe the situation of the publishing industry in Japan today. This industry uses the terms character and glyph almost interchangeably. Indeed, the concepts aren t nearly as distinct in this industry as they are among experts familiar with the Unicode characterglyph model. So the alert reader will notice some muddling of these terms during the first four sections. This is inevitable if we are to accurately describe the industry. In the last section we attempt to be more precise with the terms character and glyph in Unicode terms. Where we do not want to take a position on whether a Japanese element is a character or a glyph, we often use the term ideograph. 2 San Jose, California, September 2002

3 What Are Gaiji? Characters and or glyphs that are legal, but not in font Historical variants, personal names 50,000 chars in dictionary, only 8,000-20,000 in fonts Kanji writing system fundamentally open-ended Personal name oka 1999 Euro symbol 3 So what are gaiji? The term gaiji is a Japanese word meaning outside character. For the purpose of this paper, it is: Any character or glyph which is valid in your written language, but is not in the font you are using. Gaiji are particularly prominent in the CJKV ideograph script, i.e. the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese languages. In the slide above, there are two variants of a character oka, used in personal Japanese names like Maruoka. The variant on the left is taken from a 1913 book, written by a person named Maruoka. The variant on the right is how that same character oka is written today. We have not discovered the 1913 variant in any existing font or character collection standard (though we haven t searched Unihan Extension B closely). It is a gaiji. Any publication that wanted to talk about the 1913 author Maruoka using the characters he used would have to find some way to reproduce the archaic character variant. In fact, historical forms are a rich source of gaiji. Countries using the CJKV ideographic script periodically attempt to reform and simplify the writing system. Japan had a reform in the 1940 s, and China in the 1950 s. But the characters obseleted by the reform are still important in a historical context, and so authors may wish to use them when writing about events or people or places of the prereform era. Variants of a standard character are called itaiji in Japanese. There can be a lot of variants. At the top of the slide, you can also see two rows of characters that mostly look similar. These are 21 different characters used in the name Watanabe. While the first three variants appear in standards, individuals may use any of the other variants, depending on the tradition in their family, and there is demand in publishing to be able to print the correct variant. All these variants are present in the OpenType Pro font glyph complement recommended by Adobe to font vendors, and they are present because there is a demand for them. Stepping back, the reference dictionaries for the Japanese language list about 50,000 characters. Standard personal computer fonts have only about 8,000 characters in them. The OpenType Pro font glyph complement numbers 15,000; there are other fonts that cover about 20,000 characters. Even such a comprehensive font as this still leaves 30,000 characters unrepresented. Any author wanting to use these characters would consider them gaiji. But it s worse than that, because the CJKV ideographic script is fundamentally open-ended. This is due to the wide variations in ways to write characters. Adding or removing a stroke, or changing one set of strokes for another, can be significant either because it matches historical practice, or it changes the meaning of the character. 3 San Jose, California, September 2002

4 Which Jobs Require Gaiji? Most frequently encountered in Literary, historical, academic writing Government records (person and place names) Think e-government! Technical specialties (e.g. chemistry) Dictionaries, works on CJK language Gaiji glyph designs match font Every printer gets jobs requiring gaiji, from time to time. 4 What print jobs require gaiji? Or to put it another way, what is the business case for gaiji? This discussion will focus on the needs of the Japanese print publishing market. The same issues apply to Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese publishing, but the Japanese market tends to lead the technology because it is large, technologically advanced, and extremely demanding of quality results. As mentioned before, archaic variants of kanji are a frequent source of gaiji. Traditional literature, literary criticism, and histories of the time before the last writing reform, are all commercially viable publications that demand gaiji. Government records in Japan are required to represent the exact characters for the personal names and birthplaces of people. As these records are computerised, the computer systems must be able to handle gaiji. Recently, several Asian governments have launched e-government initiatives that make this need more acute. Technical specialties may have special characters for technical terms. Finally, works like dictionaries and textbooks that describe the CJKV languages have a particular need to be able to represent the specific character variants they discuss. The reference dictionary of Japanese, which contains 50,000 characters, requires a publishing system able to print those 50,000 characters. A particular class of gaiji used in language commentary are intentionally incorrect characters, intended to illustrate a point. These are amusingly known as usoji, or characters that are lies. An interesting aside: in October 2001, the anthrax attacks in the US became a big news story in Japan. The Japanese term for anthrax spores, 炭 疽 菌 ( tanso-kin ) suddenly went from an esoteric biological term to a household word. The character 疽 ( so ) is a rare one. It is in standard computer fonts, but not in some television studio equipment, so they had to use a hiragana alternative or insert it as a gaiji. Also, input methods didn t have the term tanso in the dictionary, forcing writers to use a roundabout method to enter the characters. Characters that seem esoteric can become critical in the right circumstances. Quality demands increase the gaiji requirement in two ways. First, a demand for quality leads authors to insist on using the specific character variant they want, rather than settling for a standard character that is easier to enter and print. Second, authors insist that the character variant not only have the correct shape, they also match the design of the font used for the standard characters. This means that a printer may potentially need several different instances of a specific character variant, to match the design of several different fonts. In a typical corpus of Japanese documents, gaiji are used very rarely. For almost any commercial publisher, the totality of all gaiji used, compared to the number of non-gaiji characters in a year s publications, will be negligible. But the commercially significant measure is that any printing business can expect that from time to time, some customer will come in with a job requiring gaiji. Therefore, as a practical matter, every printing company needs the capability of handling some amount of gaiji. Some firms will specialise in being especially capable with gaiji. 4 San Jose, California, September 2002

5 A Complete Publishing Solution in CJKV Requires a Gaiji Solution Can t escape need to support many glyphs Words and language are the core of what is published In practice, no font could include all glyphs in a CJKV language Dai Kanwa Jiten: approx 50,000 Kanji JIS X X0213: 11,223 characters People invent gaiji every day For font vendors, OpenType Pro fonts (15,000 glyphs) are the upper limit of sustainable size 5 Combine the linguistic reality of the open-ended ideograph script with the business requirement for printers to be able to print the exact character variants chosen by authors, and the result is that a complete, high-quality publishing system for Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and even Vietnamese needs to include gaiji support. It is a stretch to say everything published is made up of words and text. Comic books, photo essays, and catalogues with many pictures form some portion of the printing market. But it is fair to say that the vast majority of the information published is published in the form of characters, text, and language. And to do justice to high-quality ideograph script text requires gaiji support. One response to this reality is to have fonts cover more and more characters. This certainly addresses part of the gaiji requirement. Taking gaiji from 1% of all jobs to 0.1% of all jobs does mean that a printer needs to face the expense of handling gaiji less often. But this cannot be a complete solution. First, fonts are far from covering the characters known today. A standard computer font has 8,000 characters, which is a fraction of the 50,000 kanji in the reference dictionary for the Japanese language. Even the extended glyph coverage of the new JIS X0213 character set standard, at 11,223 characters when combined with the existing JIS X0208 complement, is a fraction of the language. And the ideographic script remains open-ended; people can and do invent new kanji characters. Furthermore, there is another problem. As character sets get larger, fonts get more and more expensive to produce, and more and more likely to contain errors. Font vendors are increasingly unable to recover their costs. Our sense is that OpenType Pro fonts, at 15,000 glyphs, are about as large as a glyph complement (or character set) as font vendors are likely to be able to sustain in the Japanese market. Larger glyph complements will only be addressed by a few fonts from a few vendors. And even the OpenType Pro font complement is so large that it is hard to justify making a wide variety of unusual display typefaces. So the market demands a way to handle gaiji, but ever-increasing fonts are not the answer. 5 San Jose, California, September 2002

6 Prepress workflow character glyph plate paper Plain text, Unicode, Database content Word Processing doc, HTML+CSS PDF file, SVG Pre-DTP prepress house Plates ready to print Book or Magazine Characters Text with formatting markup Character to glyph mapping Glyph to outlines Outlines, graphics, images to raster Raster to paper/film (or to Plate ) Paste-up paper/film Colour seps/imposition Make printing plates Print Fonts 6 For the benefit of readers who aren t familiar with the steps required to go from characters to glyphs to printed pages, we review the prepress workflow. This is particularly important, because a goal of the publishing industry is to move work as far back up the workflow as possible. We will evaluate gaiji mechanisms in terms of this workflow. This is a simplified and conceptual explanation. The workflow starts with a file of plain text and needs to end up with text printed on the page. (The interesting topic of text entry beyond our scope here.) Plain text is used in many contexts, including the fields of a database. It is the realm that Unicode is attempting to address. As part of a layout process, the printer applies formatting to the text: selecting which font to use for the text, applying ligatures, flowing text into areas of the page. Text with formatting markup is roughly at the abstraction level of a word processing document, or of HTML formatted with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Next, and crucially for Unicode s Character-Glyph Model, is character-to-glyph mapping. The font helps the text layout engine map character codes to glyph codes. Variant glyphs, ligatures, and so on are invoked at this stage. The layout engine makes line break and glyph positioning decisions. The result is a file of fullylaid-out text, with all glyphs chosen and all glyph positions fixed. Font data may be embedded with the file to support the next stage. A Portable Document Format (PDF) or Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file is at roughly this level of abstraction. The page is then rendered. The rendering system takes glyph codes, uses them to index the corresponding font data, finds the glyph outlines, and generates a raster bitmap form of the glyph appropriate for the printing device. At the same time, line graphics and images are also rendered into device-appropriate rasters. The printing device marks the output medium with a pattern of dots corresponding to the rasters. The resulting paper or film galleys represent the input of the prepress process, an important boundary. (The complexities of leading edge processes which write directly to offset printing plates aren t relevant here.) The prepress house combines paper or film in various ways. First is paste-up, literally pasting together pieces of paper containing typeset text and processed photographs. Multiple pages may be imposed together, or colour content may be separated for printing. The details are complex, and not important here. The important point to bear in mind is that it s possible to physically paste in individual characters onto the paper containing the rest of the text. The end result is a set of offset plates, ready for a printing press. Finally, the printer mounts the plates onto a printing machine and prints to paper, and then folds, cuts, and binds the paper into a finished printed piece. In the context of gaiji, the important observation is how far down this workflow gaiji are handled. For a printer, getting the right glyph mark on the paper is the overriding concern. They will move as far down this workflow as necessary to image the gaiji glyphs. However, the higher level they can stay at, the better. It makes for a less expensive workflow, and more options for repurposing content. 6 San Jose, California, September 2002

7 Existing Mechanisms for Gaiji Paste up hand-drawn glyphs Proprietary systems Desktop Publishing systems Gaiji one-byte fonts Adobe Type Composer Megafonts The Unicode standard 7 We will now review five mechanisms presently used in the publishing industry to support gaiji, plus the way in which the Unicode Standard contributes to gaiji support. We will evaluate what their strengths and weaknesses are relative to the publishing industry requirements for gaiji. 1. Paste-up of hand-drawn glyphs 2. The gaiji support of Proprietary Systems, special purpose publishing systems that perform the bulk of gaiji-intensive print publishing in Japan today. Within the realm of DTP, there are three mechanisms to study: 3. Gaiji one-byte fonts 4. Adobe Type Composer, a mechanism for combining fonts and using them together 5. Megafonts, which refers to a variety of similar approaches involving large fonts Finally, we examine: 6. The Unicode Standard, and how it contributes to gaiji support Note: outside of the publishing industry, there are other gaiji handling mechanisms. For instance, a Japanese consortium has developed the XKP architecture, which is aimed at supporting gaiji in databases based on Windows. In the interests of space, we limit ourselves here to the main publishing industry systems only. 7 San Jose, California, September 2002

8 Existing Mechanisms for Gaiji Paste up hand-drawn glyphs Lay out text, leaving gaiji blank Hand-draw gaiji glyph, matching font Paste in glyph on text galleys Alternative, higher level Scan gaiji glyph Drop in text flow as illustration 8 In the Paste-up of Hand-Drawn Glyphs method, the idea is to lay out text with blank spaces where the gaiji glyphs should be, then combine that typeset text with an image of the necessary gaiji glyph at the paste-up stage. The gaiji glyph is hand-drawn by a skilled calligrapher, in a style that matches the design of the main font. The glyph is scanned in, scaled down to size, and pasted into the blank spaces in the text. In the mid-1990 s I heard that a major Japanese newspaper was using exactly this method daily to print gaiji in its newspaper. An alternative workflow is to convert the scanned image of the gaiji into a bitmap, and place it in the text flow as a graphic. This requires that the layout software is able to support graphics in the text flow. I also used a slightly more sophisticated variant on this technique to prepare this paper. I used US edition software with no specific gaiji support available. To include the gaiji, I converted them into illustrations and pasted in the illustration. 8 San Jose, California, September 2002

9 Evaluating Existing Mechanisms Paste up hand-drawn glyphs Advantages Works with non-computer workflows No need for specialised gaiji equipment Disadvantages Drawing glyphs requires special skills Labour-intensive, so expensive Cannot repurpose text 9 Pasting up hand-drawn glyphs is the baseline gaiji approach. It succeeds in all cases of getting an appropriate glyph onto the printed page. It is compatible with non-computerised workflows, so it has been used for years and is the traditional method. There is no need for specialised equipment for gaiji; it can be implemented using scanner and paste-up techniques that are already standard in the workflow. However, this is an expensive, labour-intensive process. Drawing the glyphs, especially to match the font well, takes graphic design skills. The workflow needs careful manual attention to be sure that no gaiji is overlooked. Looking forward, perhaps the biggest drawback is that the marked-up text is not repurposable using this approach. The modern publishing industry seeks to repurpose content between print, web, cell phones, PDAs, and other media. It is important that gaiji be included in that repurposing. Achieving that repurposing requires being able to drive content back up the publishing workflow to the character level, then reformat the document for the new target device. 9 San Jose, California, September 2002

10 Existing Mechanisms for Gaiji Proprietary systems Buy gaiji glyphs from system vendor Install into cumulative gaiji font on RIP Thousands ten thousands chars Site-specific character codes Lay out text, using site-specific codes Gaiji displayed as geta placeholder Layout software generates RIP commands that use gaiji font in RIP 10 Proprietary System is the term for a dedicated hardware and software system produced by a single vendor for the specific purpose of doing text layout and other publishing and graphics tasks. This kind of system performs the bulk of gaiji-intensive work for the Japanese printing market. There are many different proprietary systems from various makers. Here we will give a general description, glossing over system-specific details. The system maker is the only supplier of fonts that work on the system, so the system maker supplies the gaiji glyphs too. The customer could buy thousands of gaiji glyphs when purchasing the system, or they could buy individual glyphs month by month as needed for specific jobs. (In some cases, there is a tool that lets the user draw their own glyphs, by combining shapes from existing glyphs in the standard fonts.) The customer installs the glyphs into a cumulative gaiji font, which is generally located on the final output device (Raster Image Processor, or RIP). Some metrics information about the glyph is also installed on the host layout system. There are typically thousands or tens of thousands of glyphs in this gaiji font. Gaiji glyphs for all font designs are mixed together. The character codes used to refer to the gaiji are a function of the sequence in which the gaiji were installed at that site. That means that text with formatting markup, which includes gaiji codes, is site-specific data. It generally cannot be moved to a different site, even if that site uses exactly the same equipment. The first step in laying out a document on a proprietary system is to enter the text data. When entering gaiji, operators must enter the site-specific gaiji codes that correspond to the site s particular cumulative gaiji font contents. The layout applications included in proprietary systems are typically not WYSIWYG ( What You See Is What You Get ). This means that the operator doing the layout of the text will see a placeholder such as geta ( )rather than the gaiji glyph. The layout software generates commands to the RIP that causes it to image glyphs on the film or paper. The commands include codes to invoke gaiji from the site s cumulative gaiji font on the RIP. The text can now be sent the the prepress stages, such as paste-up. Paper-based paste-up was typical of proprietary system workflows in the early 1990 s, but now electronic paste-up has become more common. 10 San Jose, California, September 2002

11 Evaluating Existing Mechanisms Proprietary systems Advantages Proven track record of success Font vendor provides high-quality glyphs Compatible with layout system Disadvantages Expensive Cannot repurpose text, even between sites Job failures due to wrong version of gaiji fonts Closed: to DTP workflows, to technology advances No choice or limited choice of suppliers 11 Proprietary systems have a proven track record of success supporting Japanese high-quality publishing with tens of thousands of gaiji glyphs. They are the benchmark for any other mechanism to beat. Since system vendor also supplies both the standard font collection and the gaiji glyphs, the vendor can ensure that the gaiji glyphs are faithful matches to the design of the main font. In fact, over time vendors build up a large database of raw glyphs, which they can package as either fonts or aftermarket gaiji glyphs as needed. And since one vendor supplies font, gaiji glyphs, and the layout system, all parts work together seamlessly. Unfortunately, these systems are expensive to purchase and to operate. The site-specific nature of the gaiji codes means that documents cannot be repurposed, even between different sites of the same printing company. There is a significant amount of management required for the cumulative gaiji fonts in the RIP and the host-side layout information. Job failures due to a mismatch in these pieces are a real danger unless the operator is meticulous about font management. The single-vendor approach has its disadvantages as well as advantages. The systems are generally more or less closed to the DTP workflows. Or it is open in some respects (for instance PostScript language output, PDF file output, or EPS illustration input) but not as generally open as a DTP system is. And since the printer is limited in choice of supplier for key components of the system, especially font provider and layout application provider. 11 San Jose, California, September 2002

12 Existing Mechanisms for Gaiji Gaiji one-byte fonts Draw gaiji glyphs in Fontographer Save as a Type 1 font ( one-byte ) Site-specific character codes Install font on layout workstation When formatting text, Change font of gaiji character to one-byte font Enter special character code for that gaiji 12 We now turn to gaiji mechanisms used by Desktop Publishing (DTP) systems. In contrast to proprietary systems, DTP systems are characterised by an open architecture: customers acquire computer hardware from one vendor, layout software from another, font software from a third, output devices from yet another vendor, and so on. In the Gaiji one-byte font approach, printers create their own gaiji glyphs in a font design tool like Fontographer. They save the glyphs out in a Type 1 font, which takes one-byte codes, can effectively hold up to 200 glyphs. The character codes for this gaiji font is of course site-specific. There may be many such gaiji fonts, several per job and dozens or hundreds per site. Printers install the gaiji font on the layout workstation. When formatting gaiji text, the operator must first change the font of the gaiji glyph to the correct one-byte font, then change the character code to the correct value for that particular font. Layout then proceeds normally. The layout software can generally dynamically download the onebyte font to the RIP for rasterisation. 12 San Jose, California, September 2002

13 Evaluating Existing Mechanisms Gaiji one-byte fonts Advantages Compatible with present DTP layout systems No special support in layout app needed Disadvantages Font management is very difficult Job failures due to missing or wrong version of fonts Cannot repurpose text Drawing glyphs requires special skills Labour-intensive, so expensive 13 One-byte fonts represent the simplest way to implement high-quality gaiji within a DTP workflow. Since Type 1 fonts are a universally supported format, the gaiji fonts can be used with any application. However, font management is very difficult. A printer may have dozens or hundreds of fonts to keep track of. The fonts need to be available on the layout system, and often on related systems for graphics editing. If there are different versions of the fonts, or if the right font isn t in every location, jobs can fail due to missing glyphs. The failure is particularly insidious because it is nearly silent, so easy to overlook. Since the gaiji fonts have completely arbitrary encodings and font names, the plain text and the text with formatting markup are very site-specific, and repurposing content with gaiji is not possible. Plus the burden is on the printer to create the glyphs to match the main fonts. As for hand-drawn glyphs, this requires special graphic arts skills. The glyph drawing, font management, and proofing is labour-intensive and expensive. 13 San Jose, California, September 2002

14 Existing Mechanisms for Gaiji Adobe Type Composer Get gaiji glyphs in Type 1 font ( one-byte ) Site-specific or commercial options Set up rearranged font Refers to base font + gaiji fonts (+ alternate kana font) Site-specific character codes (Shift-JIS user area) Install Rearranged font in system Enter text, using site-specific codes in user area Format text with rearranged font 14 Perhaps the DTP industry s most sophisticated gaiji mechanism to date has been Adobe Type Composer, by Adobe Systems. It provides a way of combining standard and gaiji fonts together into what looks like a new composite font. As before, the printer draws their gaiji and save them as Type 1 fonts. There are also commercial providers of gaiji fonts that work with Adobe Type composer. The printer uses the Adobe Type Composer tool to set up a rearranged font that maps both a standard Japanese font and one or more gaiji fonts into a shared Shift-JIS encoding range. (The rearranged font may also invoke a kana font to override the kana of the standard Japanese font.) The gaiji fonts are mapped to the user area of the Shift-JIS encoding. This means that the gaiji glyphs are invoked by Shift-JIS codes with site-specific meanings, based on the encoding of the glyphs in the Type 1 font and how they are mapped into Shift-JIS user area rows. The printer then installs this rearranged font into the system of the layout workstation. Thanks to special support from the font rasteriser in Adobe Type Manager or the layout application, the rearranged font appears to the system and applications like just another Japanese font. Text formatted with the rearranged font is WYSIWYG. The printer then enters text, using the site specific codes to refer to gaiji. In the layout application, the printer formats the text with the rearranged font. The font rasteriser turns text formatted with the rearranged font into runs of text formatted with the underlying standard Japanese font and gaiji fonts as needed. Rasterising proceeds as normal with the underlying fonts. The gaiji fonts and rearranged fonts can be downloaded to a PostScript RIP, or they can by dynamically downloaded by the printer driver as needed. 14 San Jose, California, September 2002

15 Evaluating Existing Mechanisms Adobe Type Composer Advantages Compatible with DTP layout systems Base of 3 rd -party font suppliers exists Can repurpose text to some extent Disadvantages MacOS 9 only (plus Adobe InDesign on Windows, MacOS X) No path to Unicode, OpenType, new OS s Low glyph capacity of Shift-JIS user area Font management is difficult Job failures due to missing or wrong version of fonts Cannot repurpose text very easily 15 The distinguishing feature of the Adobe Type Composer approach is that it does not require applications to support or even be aware of the rearranged font format. It can do this because of cooperation from the system font rasteriser, which does support the rearranged font format and can present them to the rest of the system as completely conventional fonts. Because of this, it is compatible with all DTP layout apps and systems. At least one DTP layout application, Adobe InDesign, took the extra step of building support for the rearranged font format directly into the application. Thanks to its many years on the market, the Adobe Type Composer architecture has built up a pool of 3 rd -party font suppliers. This in turn provides printers with a supply of high-quality gaiji glyphs that match popular font designs, and with roughly standard character codes. Printers can exchange text to the extent that they use the same gaiji fonts. But the requirement for rasteriser support limits the Adobe Type Composer approach in the long term. Adobe never provided rearranged font support at the system level on Windows. On MacOS through MacOS 9, the vehicle for supplying rearranged font support is ATM Light. However, thanks to improvements in the font rasterisers for MacOS X native, Adobe need not supply ATM Light for that platform. As a side effect, Adobe no longer can guarantee support for rearranged fonts. While Adobe InDesign has its own rasteriser with support for rearranged fonts, the fonts are usable only within InDesign. There are architectural limits to the ATC approach. One is the tight coupling to Shift-JIS encoding. The Shift-JIS user area has only 2,444 code points, so this severely limits the number of gaiji glyphs that may be combined with one main font. A capacity of 10, ,000 is what professional publishing requires. Another limit is the lack of a clean path to bring the existing ATC technology forward to support Unicode or the OpenType font format. There are also operational challenges with the ATC mechanism. Font management of both the rearranged fonts and the base fonts from which they are built is one challenge. If a rearranged font is missing, the application will usually flag an error that a font is not present. If the rearranged font is present but some of the component fonts are missing, the application will not flag an error, but any text that uses that component font will not display or print correctly. The lack of an error message is insidious; it can lead to an error not being discovered until late in the process, requiring expensive rework or reprinting. Finally, text repurposing is limited because the character codes used in documents are only as standard as the choice of gaiji font. 15 San Jose, California, September 2002

16 Existing Mechanisms for Gaiji Megafonts Define a larger and larger standard character and glyph set E.g. Adobe-Japan1-4, Apple Publishing Glyph Set, Unicode 3.2 Each increment to glyph set reduces but does not eliminates gaiji need Font vendors build fonts that cover the full glyph set Enter text, using standard character or glyph codes 16 One response to the need for gaiji is to have fonts cover more and more characters. This has been a trend in DTP font standards for the last five-ten years. Consider these font standards, and their corresponding character or glyph counts: Font Standard Character or glyph count (rounded) Japanese CID-keyed 8,700~ glyphs OpenType standard 9,400~ glyphs OpenType pro 15,000~ glyphs JIS X X ,000~ characters Apple APGS 20,000~ glyphs Unicode 3.2 Unihan 70,000~ UniHan characters Dai Kanwa Jiten dictionary 50,000~ characters Over time, font makers develop fonts that match these standards. Let us refer loosely to fonts with a large number of glyphs as megafonts. Because the fonts cover more characters and glyphs, fewer of the glyphs required by a given publication need to be treated as gaiji. Thus it reduces the need for gaiji mechanisms. However, it does not eliminate that need. It is relatively simple to enter and lay out text with a megafonts. Text entry uses standard character codes, and sometimes glyph selection codes via formatting controls such as OpenType features. Font handling and printing with large fonts proceeds much the same as for smaller fonts. References: The Adobe-Japan1 series of glyph complements are documented in Adobe-Japan1-4 Character Collection for CID-Keyed Fonts, technote #5078, 6/21/2002. <http://partners.adobe.com/asn/developer/pdfs/tn/5078.adobe-japan1-4.pdf> Number of Han characters in Unicode 3.2 taken from The number of characters in Unicode, <http://www.i18nguy.com/unicode/char-count.html>, and from personal communication with others. 16 San Jose, California, September 2002

17 Evaluating Existing Mechanisms Megafonts Advantages Compatible with DTP layout systems Can repurpose text Disadvantages Increasing size of glyph set is unsustainable for font makers Large fonts are expensive, error-prone Insidious glyph failures when changing fonts Not a complete solution (there are always more gaiji) 17 Enlarged character set standards, and megafonts, are effective in reducing the gaiji requirement. After all, gaiji are defined as characters or glyphs valid in the language but not in your font. Also, to the extent that the OS and applications maintain compatibility with the enlarged character sets, this mechanism is compatible with a wide variety of DTP apps. Finally, since the character encodings and glyph complements are standardised, it permits reliable text interchange. However, this approach cannot be a complete solution. First, fonts are far from covering the characters known today. OpenType Pro fonts cover a fraction of the 50,000 kanji in the reference Dai Kanwa Jiten dictionary. Even the extended glyph coverage of the new JIS X0213 character set standard, at 11,223 characters when combined with the existing JIS X0208 complement, is a fraction of the language. And the reportoire of CJKV ideographs remains open-ended; people can and do invent new kanji characters. Furthermore, as character sets get larger, fonts get more and more expensive to produce, and more and more likely to contain errors. Font vendors are increasingly unable to recover their costs. Our sense is that OpenType Pro fonts, at 15,000 glyphs, are about as large a glyph complement (or character set) as font vendors are likely to be able to sustain across their typeface library in the Japanese publishing market. Larger glyph complements will only be addressed by a few fonts from a few vendors. And even the OpenType Pro font complement is so large that it is hard to justify making a wide variety of unusual display typefaces. There are proposals for composite font architectures, where the text and fonts system will use multiple fonts together to cover a large character set like Unicode. This does not resolve the megafont challenge for high-quality publishing. It is a requirement that all CJKV ideographs be in a consistent design, so all ideograph components of the composite font would have to be designed for each other. And each component is likely to have thousands of glyphs, which still leaves the font developer with the burden of building megafonts. So the market demands a way to handle gaiji, but ever-larger fonts are not the answer. 17 San Jose, California, September 2002

18 Existing Mechanisms for Gaiji The Unicode Standard Unicode encodes more and more historical and variant characters Fonts covering Unicode become megafonts Variation Selector mechanism adopted in Unicode 3.2 Usage for Han glyph variants is not yet specified Not all gaiji are eligible for encoding by Unicode Corporate logos, symbols, glyph variants Unicode doesn t commit to encode all glyph variants as characters 18 Now let us consider how the Unicode Standard addresses the publishing market s requirement for gaiji support. The Japanese publishing industry is beginning to encounter Unicode deeply, since it is the main character encoding used in OpenType fonts, OpenType layout services, MacOS X, and Windows. With each version, Unicode encodes more and more of the CJKV ideograph repertoire. The most frequently used characters and character set standards were covered years ago, so recent additions tend to cover exactly the historical and variant glyphs that have been handled as gaiji up to now. Projecting forward, we can imagine that over time, Unicode will eventually encode all of the characters of Chinese origin that are both known about and valid to encode. Of course, fonts that aim to cover the Unicode character set become megafonts, with the strengths and weaknesses of that approach. The Variation Selector mechanism, defined in Unicode 3.2, provides a mechanism for specifying variants, such as for CJK Ideographs, that have essentially the same semantic but have substantially different ranges of glyphs. This sounds like it might be useful to represent the kind of glyph variants that make up part of the gaiji requirement. However, it has not yet been defined precisely how variation selectors Han ideographs. The responsibility for that definition is with the Ideographic Rapporteur Group (IRG). In any case, the Unicode standard will by definition not expand to cover all gaiji. Some gaiji represent the kind of symbols which are out of scope for Unicode, such as corporate logos, unusual symbols, and arbitrary kinds of glyph variants. The Unicode standard is also careful to draw a distinction between encoding characters, which is in scope for Unicode, and glyphs, which is not. But the hard kernel of the gaiji business requirement in publishing is that the right glyph appear on the page. All the characters and glyphs which Unicode declares beyond its scope are reasons for a separate gaiji system. 18 San Jose, California, September 2002

19 Evaluating Existing Mechanisms The Unicode Standard Advantages Widely-used and well-designed standard Extensive repertoire of Han characters (99+%) Ideal for repurposing text Works well with OpenType Disadvantages Fonts covering Unicode become megafonts Not a complete solution: there are always more gaiji Not all gaiji are eligible for encoding by Unicode Open Will Variation Selectors turn out to be useful for gaiji? 19 The Unicode standard has some strengths that make it a very good solution for the part of the gaiji problem which is in its scope. It is a widely-used and well-designed standard. It escapes one of the great limitations of the Shift- JIS encoding scheme, lack of encoding space. Unicode has plenty of scope to encode characters and character variations. In fact, Unicode 3.2 has almost certainly encoded enough Japanese characters to cover well over 99% of the characters occurring in published documents. Text encoded as Unicode will be repurposable. Text portability is one of the core strengths of Unicode as a text data format. Also, the OpenType font format which is assuming primacy in the publishing industry is smoothly compatible with character data in Unicode. However, there are drawbacks. As mentioned before, fonts that attempt to cover large portions of the Unicode encoding space directly will be megafonts, with the problems of megafonts: they are unsustainable for font-makers, difficult to make error-free, and vulnerable to causing missing glyphs in documents. And in any case, Unicode by its own terms declares some gaiji to be glyphs or characters or symbols that are out of its scope. And, it cannot ever completely cover an open-ended writing system. An interesting open question is the extent to which Variation Selectors will turn out to be useful in handling gaiji. The Variation Selector mechanism is defined, but no Variation Selectors for CJKV ideographs have been registered yet (as of Summer 2002). Thinking about what meaning to assign to Variation Selectors here raises interesting questions about the relation between the concepts of character, character variation, glyph variation, and glyph. There will be more on this topic later in this paper. 19 San Jose, California, September 2002

20 Evaluation of Existing Solutions Proprietary systems have quality and capacity But: expensive, closed Desktop publishing systems are open, cheap But: lack capacity, original font vendors Megafonts are unsustainable and incomplete Unicode helps, but is not a complete solution How much will Variation Selectors help? There is an opportunity for a better way 20 So, where does this leave us? Proprietary systems and desktop publishing systems each have strengths the other lack, and weakness the other remedies. Proprietary systems can handle gaiji with sufficient quality, in sufficient numbers, with sufficient productivity. However, they are expensive and closed systems. Desktop publishing systems are far more open, and due to competition between providers they are cheaper to buy and operate. However, they aren t able to handle gaiji in sufficient quantities with sufficient productivity, and they lack comprehensive support by font vendors. Megafonts have allowed the industry to make some progress, but have gone about as far as they go, at least for graphic arts publishing using a wide library of type designs. Unicode brings significant advantages to bear, but it does not claim to be a complete solution to the publishing market s requirements. Pasting up hand-drawn glyphs is labour-intensive, and therefore expensive. It also does not allow repurposing. There is a need for a gaiji system which is smoothly compatible with Unicode (and other publishing standards like OpenType), but which covers the areas beyond Unicode s scope. It should be able to give the best of both worlds: the quality, capacity and productivity of the proprietary systems, with the openness and interchange of desktop publishing. 20 San Jose, California, September 2002

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