ID for language-invariant strings

Michael Everson everson at
Fri Mar 14 16:08:41 CET 2008

At 16:51 -0700 2008-03-13, Peter Constable wrote:

>An OpenType font can have strings for family name (or other various 
>data categories) in multiple languages, but for good 
>internationalization design, what should be passed in programming 
>APIs or put in markup for purposes of selecting a font resource 
>should be completely independent of the current user's UI language.

I understand.

>Thus, we want a way to designate a family name string that would get 
>used for those purposes. The string used for that purpose may happen 
>to be an English name, a Japanese name, a Farsi name, or whatever 
>(it's probably the same string as used for one of the languages 
>covered in the font's resources). What language it is is irrelevant; 
>the main thing that matters is that it is stable since it is what 
>would get used to reference that font resource programmatically in 
>the future.

WHat matters is that "it" is stable? What? The language? I get that 
you want to have for instance the "fa" for Persian and then have 
three strings, say, in Persian, in Japanese, and in English to be 
displayed to the user depending on his or her locale. Right?

>The language identifier (for which I'm spec'ing the use of BCP 47) 
>constitutes part of the key used to index all of the string 
>resources in an OpenType font, so I need to use an ID from the same 
>identifier space.

I don't understand. "fa" is your language. What "language tag" are 
you using to access the translations?

>I could make up a private-use ID, but given that this is probably 
>not an isolated case for needing this, it seems to me to make sense 
>to ask first if there shouldn't be a conventional recommendation in 
>the LTR.

I would tend to agree that a private-use ID would be less good given 
the public nature of OpenType, but I don't understand what 
"language-invariant" means.
Michael Everson *

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