[Suppress-Script] Initial list of 300 languages

McDonald, Ira imcdonald at sharplabs.com
Wed Mar 15 16:04:52 CET 2006

Hi Randy, Peter, et al,

Please remember that not all documents are sent to printers
in rich text (i.e., with font tags, etc.).  Even when they
are in rich text, there are NO standards for the naming of
fonts and there are NO standards for a print driver to ask
a network printer what fonts are installed (it's sometimes
hacked in local PPD, UPDF, or other capabilities files, but
these are static and do not track the installation of new
fonts on the printer).

Many documents are printed from plaintext.  In which case 
problems certainly can and do happen.  

However, since you're all convinced that printers and print
drivers will miraculously be unharmed by the egregious
infixing of four-character script tags where their parsers
previously expected country/region tags, I'll stop wasting
my breath.

This really is my last word on the whole topic.

Bye for awhile
- Ira

Ira McDonald (Musician / Software Architect)
Blue Roof Music / High North Inc
PO Box 221  Grand Marais, MI  49839
phone: +1-906-494-2434
email: imcdonald at sharplabs.com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no 
> [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no]On Behalf Of 
> Randy Presuhn
> Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 8:01 PM
> To: ietf-languages at iana.org
> Subject: Re: [Suppress-Script] Initial list of 300 languages
> Hi -
> > > Let's work through a specific example.
> > > Document tagged ga-Latg-IE. Printer defaults to en.
> > >    (1) What will go wrong? 
> > >    (2) How is this different from a document tagged en-US, which
> > >         contains a single word which, if it had been tagged, 
> > > would have
> > >         been tagged ga-Latg-IE?
> > > 
> > 
> > Depending on the tagged charset, various things will go wrong.
> > 
> > If the charset tag is 'UTF-8' it's useless info, so the printer
> > will guess the script and character repertoire and _font_ based 
> > on the language tag - which fall back in this example to 'en-US'.  
> > 
> > That font won't contain the accents necessary to render ga-Latg-IE,
> > so a bunch of those annoying little black squares will replace every
> > character that's not in the US-ASCII subset of the Latin script.
> ...
> This suggests that, in general, documents cannot be rendered
> properly if they contain characters requiring scripts other than the
> script customarily used for the document's primary language.
> For multi-script multi-lingual documents to be unprintable by design
> would be so broken that I have a hard time believing this
> is how things actually work, particularly since it is so contrary
> to my own experience.
> Randy
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> Ietf-languages at alvestrand.no
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