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Re: [Slightly OT] UTF-8 support in *nix terminals (Was: Re: Syntactic differences within parts of speech)

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Saturday, September 2, 2006, 7:10
On Sat, Sep 02, 2006 at 12:25:49AM +0200, Henrik Theiling wrote:
> Hi! > > H. S. Teoh writes:
> > I'm pleasantly surprised that I'm actually reading those characters in > > my console-based emailer (mutt). I've recently found a good Unicode > > bitmap font for X11, and finally made the switch from xterm to > > rxvt-unicode, and switched my default locale to UTF-8. And ever since, > > I've been pleasantly surprised, on more than one occasion. > >... > > Hmm, all installed on this machine, no problem, I'm actually seeing > the Kanji now, too. :-) The only thing that's missing now is support > for ttf-fonts or knowledge how to enable that, because I *love* DejaVu > Mono in my xterms and strongly dislike Emacs for not supporting it > yet.
Rxvt-unicode supports XFT, which means you get free ttf support. However, finding a fixed-width TTF font that covers a significant range of Unicode is a challenge (I haven't been able to find one). Fortunately, rxvt's font lists allow you to specify fallback fonts for characters not found in your standard font. [...]
> > Speaking of fonts, has anyone experimented with purely vertical writing > > systems? (I.e., one where you simply *cannot* write horizontally without > > severely crippling the system.) Even better, has anyone gotten vertical > > writing to actually *work* in an application, say your browser? > >... > > What? That's strange. *Yesterday* I was browsing for Mongolian text > samples and talked with my wife about how browsers, etc. would look > like when it's perfectly supported. Is the title bar on the left and > the [OK]-button in a column of buttons on the right (or vice versa)? > That's a very nice idea and I was about to fake screen shots... But > maybe it exists? Hardly, I guess. Or does any OS or application > really do this? Screenshots!
I have no idea. I highly suspect it doesn't exist (yet). I just looked up Mongolian writing, and apparently the cool vertical script is in disuse, and Cyrillic (of all things!) has been adopted for a number of years now. Apparently my little venture into Russian has other rewards that I wasn't aware of, among which is being able to read Cyrillic.
> A web browser would probably be funny, because the URL should still be > displayed horizontally, so you could have the URL in a top bar, the > title and menu bars on the left/right and any dialog buttons would > occur on the opposite side.
True. As if bidi isn't already complicated enough in the current scheme of things, throwing verticality into the mix would probably take another decade before software can fully support it. Complicated questions arise with vertical scripts, such as whether scrollbars should become horizontal, since otherwise you'd have to scroll down to the bottom to read a single line of text, and then go all the way back up. Full browser support would require embedding of horizontal scripts with vertical scripts and vice versa: not exactly a trivial problem. [...]
> > I decided instead to go with a completely vertical system. In this new > > system, the glyphs stack on each other and resembles decorations of a > > pillar (or a totem-pole-like thing), > > Funny -- quite like Mongolian. I really like that script. Did you > have the idea from there?
Maybe, but the prospective TF script has much flatter glyphs than Mongolian, and is kinda blocky, with vertical kerning.
> > and there are left- and right-diacritics. (Laevocritics? > > Gauchocritics? I tried looking for the appropriate Greek root since > > -critic comes from Greek, but came up with 'aristocritic', which > > just sounds too lame.) > >... > > Hehe. :-) But hypercritics are no better.
[...] True. Maybe I should stick with prepositions... metacritics? paracritics? I don't know how to indicate the left/right distinction, though. Unlike a horizontal script, which is vertically polar in preference for diacritic placement, TF's vertical script tends towards horizontal symmetry, so having only a single term for both kinds of diacritic seems a bit inadequate. T -- Don't hide in the closet; wear yourself out.