Re: CJK glyph generation (was RE: "Giga Character Set": Nothing but noise)

From: Jon Babcock (
Date: Tue Nov 07 2000 - 09:44:19 EST

>>>>> Edward Cherlin <> writes:

> Chinese scholar-officials in training used to practice writing the
> 3000 Character Classic over and over and over...and yes, it contained
> 3000 distinct characters once each.

What is this book? The Thousand Character Classic is famous, of course.

> URW worked on this problem for a time, and showed a partially developed
> system for composing Chinese glyphs from components at Seybold in the
> early 1990s. Mike Parker told me later that URW had to give it up
> because the shaping behavior was too complex, and it was easier to do
> the glyphs individually. Automatic hinting didn't work well enough
> either. Mike also told me that the leading Japanese font houses had
> their glyphs individually written by master calligraphers, and regarded
> the originals as their most important intellectual property. At least
> one refused to license digital versions at all back then, but I haven't
> heard about later developments.

Yes, in designing *fonts* this would be the case, I completely agree.

I have always been concerned with a discussion of the advantages and
disadvantages of analyzing Chinese characters (not glyphs) into hemigrams
(yielding about 2000), not into purely graphical elements, which would yield
about 300 - 500 and pose the kind of problems mentioned above.

BTW, this thread has been moved to another list,


Jon Babcock <>

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