Date: prev next · Thread: first prev next last
2016 Archives by date, by thread · List index

I, for one, am totally opposed to any perpetuation of this absurd distinction
between "typing" and "unicode" as it only perpetuates the silly idea that
somehow western character sets are "normal" and other scripts are "complex
text". Are Arabic, Japanese, Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Laotian and
Thai-speaking users not "typing" simply because they use a different

It is, of course, necessary that any/all computing devices support the lower
"ASCII" characters, since this is what operating systems, programming
languages, compilers, et al. understand. That, in itself, is an artifact of
history and not likely to change an any of our lifetimes. But, there is no
reason whatsoever that a modern computer should not be able to easily handle
ANY character one wishes to type - acknowledging of course that the desired
characters must be available in whatever font is desired.

As for "universal" Unicode fonts, that is highly impractical for both size
(such a font would be HUGE) and aesthetic reasons (what the heck does
sans-serif mean in Hangkul script anyway? and how does one match a Thai
style to an Arabic one?), but if a user (like me for instance) who
occasionally types using three distinct scripts (not including musical
symbols, which I also use) on a regular basis, there are many completely
free fonts available that cover most arbitrary sets of unicode planes

Unfortunately, the major suppliers of such fonts are quite lax in providing
information on which scripts are included in any given font they offer. But
it isn't all that difficult to locate a variety.

There is little support for entering non-Latin scripts in many applications
(including MS-Word and LibreOffice Writer - and I say this in spite of all
the "Complex Text Layout" obfuscation in the menus of these and other
examples - but - using an appropriate "Input Method" (I use iBus for
instance) one can easily switch scripts (language support is an entirely
different matter). To make matters worse, Writer, as those who regularly use
it for multi-lingual writing know, often substitutes fonts that don't
require substitution (at least on Linux - I left the Windows world some
years back), limits the user to ONE additional "complex text language" and
so forth - certainly a legacy of its Star days in spite of the addition of
CTL. There are multi-lingual examples that I can type all on one line in a
terminal or text editor on my machine that Writer chokes on - even when its
CTL is set up. (As a note: for those who use more than one script in a
single document, the CTL facility is best avoided: certain passages that
Writer butchers can be entered in a text editor and pasted (paste special if
regular past doesn't work) into the document if necessary).

Having said all that, Writer certainly could use some UI elements that could
help: an indication as to what font is actually being used at any given time
(and no: the displayed font is NOT always the one in use even when single
non-Latin glyphs are used); an indication as to what Unicode plane a
character is in, and so forth. Some of the poster's suggestions would
certainly be welcome. The ability to pick a font based on the unicode ranges
desired would be wonderful - but it strikes me that this really isn't the
responsibility of an application ...  Being able to select a font and be
able to determine which planes are implemented might be more practical,
although there are many fonts which "support" a given plane without
including all of its defined glyphs. It's a tough call by any measure.

Sorry for the rant - but Latin characters written left-to-right are not
NORMAL to a large majority of the world; at some point, some bright
developer will generalize this much better than is currently done. Right
now, the operating systems are ahead of the applications as far as I can

View this message in context:
Sent from the Users mailing list archive at

To unsubscribe e-mail to:
Posting guidelines + more:
List archive:
All messages sent to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be deleted


Privacy Policy | Impressum (Legal Info) | Copyright information: Unless otherwise specified, all text and images on this website are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. This does not include the source code of LibreOffice, which is licensed under the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2). "LibreOffice" and "The Document Foundation" are registered trademarks of their corresponding registered owners or are in actual use as trademarks in one or more countries. Their respective logos and icons are also subject to international copyright laws. Use thereof is explained in our trademark policy.