Glyph ordering (Wase: Questions on Greek characters)

From: John Hudson (
Date: Fri May 19 2000 - 13:06:46 EDT

At 05:53 AM 5/19/00 -0800, Mark Leisher wrote:

>Sorry, it was awkwardly phrased. These glyphs are positioned at G+03f4 and
>G+03f5 (using Marco's new syntax :-) in the font. Whether these happen to be
>physical positions in the font or map through a cmap to physical positions in
>the font, adjustments can be done elsewhere in the font to make the
>character->glyph mapping work correctly.

So what you're talking about is a font in which the decimal Glyph ID (GID)
is equivalent to the Unicode codepoint for all assigned characters, and you
make use of the unassigned hex locations in the same block as, say, basic
Greek for nonstandard Greek characters, just so they are logically
positioned in the font alongside their companions. In the Unicode CMAP,
these GID's would actually be mapped to private use area codes, yes?

This doesn't seem too terrible, but since glyph positioning in the font is
discretionary, why assume that Unicode ordering is the best solution? When
we're building Big Fonts, we begin work with a spreadsheet that catalogues
glyphs, their decimal positions, Unicode values, PSnames, associated
OpenType features, etc.. In this way, we are able to order the glyphs in
any way we want before we even begin work on the outlines. The spreadsheet
then becomes the source of a glyph set template for FontLab, among other
things. Personally, I like to order glyphs according to base character so,
for instance, all the Latin uppercase A diacritics will be in sequence,
regardless of which of three possible Unicode blocks they come from; the
same sequence of diacritics is followed for each base character, so it is
easy to know where to find something: grave, acute, circumflex, caron,
diaeresis, krouzek, etc..

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

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