English (英語) here
（翻訳：Adobe Type チーム 山本太郎）
日本語 (Japanese) はこちら
I recently came up with a Variable Font model to handle glyph compression and expansion in horizontal and vertical layout that includes support for characters whose glyphs rotate in vertical layout, such as the glyphs for Western characters, along with TCY (縦中横 tatechūyoko in Japanese, which literally means “horizontal in vertical”) support.
The purpose of this article is to call attention to the open source test font that I developed, along with a description of the model itself, which are intended to be used by developers to implement such support in apps and layout engines.
I spent the last couple of weeks developing a Variable Font version of the infamous Adobe Blank, and the open source project, named Adobe Blank VF & Friends, was released yesterday evening. But, before I detail what makes the Variable Font versions special, besides being Variable Fonts, let’s briefly go over the history of Adobe Blank and Adobe Blank 2.
First released in 2013 as open source, Adobe Blank simply maps all 1,111,998 Unicode code points to non-spacing and non-marking glyphs. What made the project interesting for me was to find the right balance between the number of glyphs and the size of the 'cmap' table. When mapping over a million code points, this becomes a valid concern. After some experimentation, I found that 2,049 glyphs was the sweet spot that resulted in 'CFF ' and 'cmap' tables of a relatively small size.
Adobe Blank 2
Adobe Blank 2, which was first released in 2015, is a two-glyph version of Adobe Blank that includes a Format 13 (Many-to-one range mappings) 'cmap' subtable that maps all 1,111,998 Unicode code points to GID+1. At the time, there was no convenient way to create a Format 13 subtable, so I used ttx, and supplied the actual hex values of the compiled subtable. The current version of ttx can successfully compile a Format 13 subtable by explicitly specifying all 1,111,998 mappings.
That then brings us to the Variable Font versions…
On this date last year, I published the Contextual Spacing GPOS Features article, and this briefer article serves as an update.
This is a brief article to draw readers’ attention to my latest test font, which is a 12-font 65,535-glyph OpenType/CFF Collection that is intended to test how well an app or other font-consuming environment supports language tagging for East Asian text, to include the handling of localized strings, such as those for menu names in the 'name' table, and for named Stylistic Set 'GSUB' features.
The Variable Font Collection test fonts that were made available at the beginning of this month serve this purpose to some extent, but they also require an environment that supports not only Variable Fonts (aka OpenType/CFF2 fonts), but also Variable Font Collections (aka OpenType/CFF2 Collections). The main intent of this OpenType/CFF Collection is to remove the Variable Font baggage from the testing requirement. It also includes support for Macao SAR as a third form of Traditional Chinese, which was described in the previous article.
Please visit the open source Source LOCL Test project for more details, or to download the pre-built OpenType/CFF Collection binary from the Latest Release page.
Macao SAR (SAR stands for Special Administrative Region)—written 澳門特別行政區 or 澳門特區—is in the process of standardizing MSCS (Macao Supplementary Character Set or 澳門增補字符集 in Chinese), which is character set standard that is designed as a supplement to HKSCS (Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set), and by extension, as a supplement to Big Five. One reliable source told me that MSCS can be described as HKSCS plus approximately 150 additional characters.
This is a short article that is simply meant to draw developers’ attention to three OpenType/CFF2 Collections (aka Variable Font Collections) that I built this week, which are now available in the open source Variable Font Collection Test project. As stated in the project, the purpose of these Variable Font Collections is to simulate the Source Han and Noto CJK fonts deployed as Variable Fonts, to help make sure that the infrastructure—OSes, apps, layout engines, libraries, and so on—will support them. Remember that it took several years for Microsoft to support OpenType/CFF Collections (OTCs), which finally happened on 2016-08-02. In other words, this is not trivial.
Something extraordinary happened today.
This extraordinary event provided to me an opportunity to revisit the open source LOCL Test OpenType/CFF test font that I introduced over two years ago. I improved the language declarations in the 'locl' (Localized Forms) GSUB feature definition, and also made other minor tweaks, two of which can be seen in the image above.
The version of Adobe InDesign CC that was released today during Adobe MAX, Version 14.0, now supports language-tagging for a fifth East Asian language: Traditional Chinese for Hong Kong. This new language-tagging option appears as “Chinese: Hong Kong” in the Character Styles and Paragraph Styles panels, and as the same in the Character panel.
For those who were not aware, OpenType has supported language-tagging for Hong Kong, a flavor of Traditional Chinese, for over 10 years via the three-letter language tag ZHH, which was introduced in Version 1.5 (May 2008) of the OpenType Specification. ZHS is the language tag for Simplified Chinese, and ZHT is the one for Traditional Chinese, but for Taiwan. For Japanese and Korean, JAN and KOR are their language tags, respectively. I am very pleased that Adobe InDesign finally supports all five of these OpenType language tags.
The timing couldn’t have been better…
(After realizing that the retargeting of Adobe-Japan1-7 to include only two glyphs, and with a fairly predictable release date range, exhibited characteristics of a pregnancy, I became inspired to write the text for the Adobe-Japan1-6 is Expecting! article while flying from SJC to ORD on the morning of 2018-07-20. I also prepared the article’s images while in-flight. The passenger sitting next to me was justifiably giving me funny looks. My flight to MSN, which was the final destination to attend my 35th high school class reunion in greater-metropolitan Mount Horeb, was delayed three hours, and this gave me an opportunity to publish the article while still on the ground at ORD.)
What do we know about Japan’s new era name? First and foremost, its announcement is unlikely to occur before 2019-02-25, because doing so would divert attention away from the 30th anniversary of the enthronement, 2019-02-24, but it may occur as late as 2019-05-01, which is the date on which the new era begins. That’s effectively a two-month window of uncertainty.
Interestingly, the date 2019-05-01 takes place not only during UTC #159, which will be hosted by me at Adobe, but also during Japan’s Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク), which may begin early to prepare for the imperial transition.
Japanese line layout is very complex, and the first attempt to standardize its rules and principles was in the JIS X 4051 standard, which was first issued in 1993 with the title 日本語文書の行組版方法 (Line Composition Rules for Japanese Documents in English). There was a revision issued in 1995, and the latest version was issued in 2004 with the slightly different title 日本語文書の組版方法 (Formatting rules for Japanese documents). Another important document is the W3C Working Group Note JLREQ (Requirements for Japanese Text Layout), which provides much of what is described in JIS X 4051, but covers additional areas, and is tailored toward web technologies. Although still considered working drafts, W3C is also preparing similar documents for Chinese and Korean as CLREQ (Requirements for Chinese Text Layout) and KLREQ (Requirements for Hangul Text Layout and Typography), respectively.
This article is not about these standards per se, which are intended for apps and environments that implement sophisticated line layout. Rather, this article is about harsher “plain text” or comparable environments that generally do not need such treatment, yet still benefit from a modest amount of context-based spacing adjustment, particularly to get rid of unwanted space between full-width brackets and other punctuation whose glyphs generally fill half of the em-box. App menus, app dialogs, and simple text editors are examples of where such adjustments can improve text layout in these modest ways.