Older blog entries for rbrady (starting at number 21)


Some people have been recently talking about free Unicode fonts. It might interesting them to learn of the ucs- fonts project - which has extended many standard X11 fonts to a decent Unicode range. Soon, the -Adobe- pixel fonts will also be ready to a quite large range.

If you have XFree86 4.0, you already have these fonts, and a UTF-8 supporting xterm. Just type "xterm -u8 -fn 9x18u" and lo! This doesn't support CJK or combining characters, but you can get a patch for that, which hopefully will be integrated into the standard Xterm soon.

Obviously this doesn't support Indic scripts, however works in ongoing on support for Indic scripts in Pango, and will hopefully be ready for 1.0, along with a decent selection of pixel fonts for : Devanagari, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Burmese, Gujarati, Oriya, and possibly other scripts.

OpenType support is more confusing, and something I'd prefer not to have to do on my own. If anyone is interested in collaborating on this issue, I'd strongly recommend getting on the appropriate mailing lists, including fonts@xfree86, and the linux-utf8.

Some folk also might be interested to learn a stab at a free TrueType font editor exits. The main thing missing from this is hinting. All that is needed for OpenType is editors for Numerous Tables.

Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights is far from unique. The Constitutions of most countries guarantee certain rights. All member states of the European Union are signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits the abridgement of lots of basic rights which weren't guaranteed by the Bill of Rights These rights include

  • The right not to be a slave (1865 in US)
  • The right not to be killed (still absent)
  • The right not to be tortured (as part of investigation, not prohibited by US constitution, the 8th amendment only applies to punishments)
  • The right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise (still absent, I think)
  • The right not to be discriminated against on grounds of sex, race, colour, language, national origin, association with a national minority (1920, at least.)
  • The right to free and fair elections (1964)
  • The right to education (still absent)

So, whilst the United States's constitution is actually pretty good today, it would be false to credit this to the Bill of Rights, which didn't really contain anything that was very radical (most of the points being enshrined in English law at the time).


The current standard for C, is ISO 9899:1999, not :1990 The standardisation work for this was done entirely by ISO (which ANSI are a member organisation of, of course).


Continued hacking on xterm to support CJK/Thai. There is a strange selection crashbug still there, but I can't reliably reproduce it. Debugging isn't helped by the fact that the Xterm sourcecode isn't exactly the best example of modular, well-documented code.

Continued hacking on Indic script support for Pango. I have discovered my X server crashes when it tries to access a BDF file with a longer-than-1024-chars-long line. Must find out if XF86 4 does this and report it if so.

Need to if there is a standard Sinhala keyboard layout. This seems to be just about the only Indic script that doesn't fit well onto the Inscript keyboard layout that I'm using to enter all the other scripts. (due to the prenalised stops). Please let me know if you do...

Driving lessons going well, haven't crashed into anything or killed anyone yet. (this is a good sign).

  • Forgot to mention, was 21st birthday on the 26th. Now can become an MP (although admittedly I'd have to persaude a whole lot of people to vote for me first.)
  • Back in Leicester.
  • Sent the form off for a provisional driving licence (which is needed in order to start learning to drive).
  • Myanmar (the script) turns out to be a lot more interesting than I was assuming. The World's Writing Systems as always has basically everything needed, though. Probably the ligature substitution engine will get a lot smarter by the end of the week. Getting the funky [-style R to work will not be fun though. In the unlikely event that anyone is interested, here is some sample output of the myanmar shaper

Now have a Burmese renderer working. If there is anyone here who can read this script (preferably a native speaker), please let me know, I want to test it on a real person.

Moving out of the house tomorrow. Must do packing and tidying and throwing away assorted junk.

Haven't written in here for a while now.

  • Degree - I got a 3rd. I am generally happy with this, I was afraid I'd do better. For my project, I think I got a 2:1, and I got a 2:2 for the recent exams, it was the 1st semester exams that pulled me down. But an honours degree is an honours degree, so I'm happy. :)
  • Rendering of Indic Scripts - made quite a bit of progress here, I've started a Bengali renderer based on the Devanagari renderer. This has some new and interesting issues to deal with (in particular, characters that map to two glyphs, which occur on either side of another character). After this is working, I'll pull the common code into a library and make renderers for all the other Indic scripts (apart from Tibetan, which still looks very scary).

So, that's exams finished. I think I did OK, i'll know in a couple of weeks.

Anyone want to hire me? :) Resumé/CV, references available on request.

Done 2/3s of my exams, the last one will be on June 1st. Gote is now available from CVS. Warning : it's rather a mess, I plan to fix this ASAP.

Viva went ok. Release of initial version soon, after exams (two tomorrow, one on the 1st June).

Gote has a mailing list now. It'll be released very soon now (Friday if all goes well), so subscribe to the ml to stop me from feeling lonely. :) info here

6036 words and counting. (excluding appendix)

In tomorrow.

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