Re: Pango in Gnome-terminal, zvt Terminal widget

On 19 Oct 2000, Owen Taylor wrote:

> But a terminal is enough different from displaying normal text that I
> think trying to use the Pango layout APIs is going to be difficult.
> This does depend on your goals: a terminal that just handles shell
> commands is easy enough, but a terminal that can handle curses
> programs has to deal with positioning in a way that is very different
> from continuous text.

I don't know. I've been wanting a terminal that would do proportional
fonts for years. It seems to me if we can afford semi-transparent
backgrounds in our xterms, we can afford to apply some layout heuristics
to the content. =)

Tab stops are easy, of course. Too bad no one uses them 'properly' in this
sense. Word-justifying so you get the proper number of characters per line
makes tables readable but looks terrible. Reliable identification of
indents and columns is probably too much to ask, but for mixed text,
roughly fitting the proportional bits (like arabic or hindi) into the box
they "should take up" if they were rendered fixed might work ok.

Can one come at it from the other direction? How feasible is it to
design a charcell font for some of these scripts? I imagine ligituring
would mess with the one-or-two-character-per-cell rule, so one would need
to standardize, but it should be possible doing no more damage to the
typography that it does in roman script. We're all just used to it.

> (I actually don't have much of a sense of how a terminal should
> behave in the presence of bidirectional and complex text, so
> I might be very wrong about this) 

I'd be interested in something, anyway.


giles ashlu bc ca

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