[Scribus] Khmer and other Southeast Asian scripts

avox avox
Wed Jun 27 19:06:28 CEST 2007

Hi Roger,

thanks for your comment. I fully agree with you for the most part and will
just add a few comments why things in Scribus haven't worked out that way

Roger Sperberg wrote:
> I know it's been mentioned before. I see it in the roadmap, sort of. I
> know
> there's a bug filed regarding it.
> But I want to reiterate the request for Scribus to be able to handle
> complex
> scripts such as Khmer (and others for Southeast Asian languages).
> ....
> I suppose the reason it doesn't come up a lot on this list is because no
> one
> publishing in Khmer or these other languages uses Scribus. Why would
> they?*
> So there's no one to be vocal about it, except for the handful of people
> publishing in multiple languages, including some handled by Scribus.

Havent seen requests for Khmer before, but there are regularly people asking
for Indic scripts.

> I don't remember now whether the first "it doesn't work in Scribus" note
> regarding complex scripts I found was 2002 or 2004. But this is a
> necessity
> that's been deferred for years. It shouldn't be deferred any longer.
> There's also an issue I haven't seen noted about this which I want to
> raise.
> In Khmer, words aren't separated by spaces -- spaces instead correspond to
> commas, supplying phrasing. In legacy texts, there is no space whatsoever
> between words. In Unicode text, usually the zero width space is used to
> indicate word breaks. What's critical is that the "show invisibles"
> capability be able to display the ZWSP.

Scribus supports fonts with ZWSP since late 1.3.3, and ZWSP independently of
any font 
since 1.3.4. It should be possible to show ZWSP as control character in
1.3.5 - that's just 
a small extension.

> Among word processors and text editors, having tried several dozen, I've
> found only two programs** that can do this although virtually all the ones
> I
> tried claimed to be Unicode compatible. Without being able to see where
> ZWSPs are entered, checking a manuscript and fiddling with linebreaks is
> tortuous. It's really important that this go hand in hand with the
> capability to handle complex scripts.

Is there a standard mark for this? Otherwise I'd use something similar to
control character used for a smart hyphen in 1.3.4.
Note that on canvas we can't move characters to provide space for zero-space
control glyphs.

> As for me, I'm an editor and a publishing person. I used my first DTP
> program in 1985 (and TeX before that). Publishing I know. What I'm not is
> a
> programmer, nor are any of the people I've ever encountered who are
> stymied
> by this. So it's not a question of "if you want it done, pitch in." If it
> were, I'd pitch in. But right now the only thing I can do is appeal to the
> developers to reorder the priorities.

You'll notice that the Scribus team really treasures the bug reports and
submitted to http://bugs.scribus.net.

> Please make this a critical feature for 1.3.6.

The ability to display south east asian scripts depends on the ability to
advanced features from OpenType fonts. The old text engine in Scribus was
not able to support that, so it has to be rewritten in 1.3.4 - 1.3.6.
that beast takes a lot of time to fix.

I can't promise what features will make it into 1.3.6, but OTF handling is
on the
top of my list.

View this message in context: http://www.nabble.com/Khmer-and-other-Southeast-Asian-scripts-tf3989156.html#a11328557
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