[dns-operations] IDNs

Lyman Chapin lyman at INTERISLE.NET
Mon Sep 19 12:09:19 UTC 2011

Hi Kim -

Web font embedding is not a good solution to this problem (Paul  
Hoffman has made the same point in this thread), not least because it  
cannot guarantee that local browser configurations will not override  
the embedded font information. A better (but still not perfect)  
solution is PDF/A, which is an archival format standard that focuses  
on the reproducibility of electronic documents over time. "A key  
element to this reproducibility is the requirement for PDF/A documents  
to be 100% self-contained. All of the information necessary for  
displaying the document in the same manner every time is embedded in  
the file. This includes, but is not limited to, all content (text,  
raster images and vector graphics), fonts, and color information. A  
PDF/A document is not permitted to be reliant on information from  
external sources (e.g. font programs and hyperlinks)." As far as I  
know, applications that display PDF/A observe these constraints, and  
do not substitute locally-configured alternatives to the information  
embedded in the PDF/A file.

In the IDN ccTLD fast track, the Telugu characters in the xn-- 
fpcrj9c3d example that Ed cited have so far been the most difficult to  
display without embedded font information. We resorted (for the first  
and only time) to a .png representation of the string (attached) -

- Lyman

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On Sep 16, 2011, at 4:52 PM, Kim Davies wrote:

> On Sep 16, 2011, at 1:33 PM, Edward Lewis wrote:
> The question - what's the best way to see all of the TLD names in
> native script?  I mean, if I - echo "$idn" - and idn has a hex
> sequence of UTF-8, what seems to get the most characters "to write
> right"?
> I don't mean to make this Mac specific, I'm curious if there's an
> optimal solution.
> I would not say it is the optimal solution, but what I'm considering  
> for the IANA web site for a future iteration is font embedding. Web  
> font embedding has become sufficiently advanced in the past year or  
> so, that you should be able to reliably embed a suitable font in the  
> CSS of a web page and not be dependent on locally installed ones.  
> The advancement is both in all significant browser vendors now  
> supporting the ability to embed fonts, plus importantly, type  
> foundries finally offering appropriate licensing terms that allow  
> for font embedding.
> kim
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