Re: [Markus Kuhn cl cam ac uk: A suggestion for gucharmap, KCharMap and umap]


While the opentype alternate glyphs thing sounds cool to me,
I'm not sure it makes sense for gucharmap.  I think it would
be confusing to users, but also, the existence of alternate
glyphs may be specific to certain font systems. Even if it
isn't, I would be surprised if there is a straightforward
way to get the alternate glyphs from Pango.

Incidentally, one feature that I might like to put in
gucharmap is a toggle for Pango's fallback mechanism, so
that I have the option of seeing exactly which characters
are in which fonts. Does pango have a way to do this?

Regarding your dialog idea, I am planning to eventually
write gtk+ input module that uses the character map. I
haven't thought much about it, but I imagine your
suggestions will be applicable. Maybe it pops open a charmap
window, with only the chartable, block list, and unicode
info, along with a close button; when you double-click or
press enter on a character, it goes into editable that is
being edited.

Can you think of any situations where you have to have a
dialog instead of this input module?


On Wed, Jan 15, 2003 at 23:38:40 -0800, Patrick wrote:
> Hi,
> Haven't tried out the application yet but this discussion coincides with
> some of my own research and it looks good enough that I shouldn't pass
> up this opportunity to say something.
> I've been exploring the OpenType font file format lately for an
> application I'm designing. One of the things I've just been looking into
> is the extended tables available in OpenType. One extended option is
> alternate glyphs. I don't have a concrete suggestion for how this could
> (should?) be incorporated into gucharmap but it may be worth keeping in
> mind as a future option.
> While alternate glyphs wouldn't serve much purpose for gucharmap as an
> application (except for the DTP app I have in mind) it would be useful
> if gucharmap was an application-accessible dialog. Have you considered
> making an API for it? It seems like this would be a useful dialog in the
> same vein as the standard GTK+ colour selector, file selector, and font
> selector. You also mention on your website that the gucharmap can run on
> Windows. That would make it as portable as GTK+ if I'm not mistaken.
> A few thoughts off the cuff on what might be useful if it were a dialog:
>  - might only show characters from the font(s) indicated by the
> application (and therefore narrow language list accordingly)
>  - might want to display it a little smaller
>  - might not show font, style, size boxes at all
>  - would need an OK button to close the dialog
>  - copy button would be redundant as it is implied that the characters
> in the textbox would be inserted into the app
>  - menu bar hidden or changed
>  - would want to preserve the currently open script/language group and
> be positioned to the appropriate symbol page if the user opens the
> dialog repeatedly
>  - callback on glyph hover or press (app. can look up alternates in
> opentype capable fonts and display them?)
> One last push for a dialog: having to find the character map in a menu,
> find your character, copy it and then paste it into a app makes it a
> real pain to use (especially if you close the window between repeated
> uses). Integrating into applications, preferably with a common shortcut,
> would make multilingual/symbol input much easier and more consistent
> (cf. AbiWord insert symbol box, missing one in Gnumeric).
> Patrick

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