Re: character-spacing & cursively-connected characters

Hi, I am just now trying to get up to speed on the technologies available to Linux apps, and so if my observations are not relevant, please forgive me! I am a developer of a DTP program, and while word spacing is most common justification method used, changing the inter character spacing (aka tracking or track kerning) is very common.

If for no other reason than to decrease the spacing between characters as the type size increases. In most DTP apps this is handled automatically through tracking tables, which of course should be able to override this on a font by font basis for cursive fonts and other specialty fonts (for English). And modifying the character spacing for justification is common as well.


> Is it possible to determine if 2 clusters are cursively-connected?
> (i.e. the glyphs are joined up in some way.)

No, I don't think font formats contain the necessary information
usually. (You can tell sometimes for OpenType fonts, since there
is a special positioning type for cursive attachments, but that
probably isn't going to be used in most cases.)

> I think in some scripts like Arabic nearly all clusters are connected,
> and you can even get cursive Latin fonts.

Arabic doesn't matter much because you are justifying via
Kashida insertion. A line without Kashida insertion points
or word spaces is pretty much going to be a single character.

Cursive Latin fonts are pretty much intractable without information
from the font.

> I'm thinking of using character spacing in my justification routines,
> maybe just as a fallback for when word-spacing fails. But I can't really
> do that for cursively-connected clusters.

I think when word-spacing fails, it's probably best to just leave
a gap at the edge of the line.


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