LiveCode's handling of Unicode glyphs being dependent on the underlying OS

Mark Waddingham mark at
Tue Mar 28 05:17:37 EDT 2017

On 2017-03-28 10:30, Richmond via use-livecode wrote:
> In 1996 I bought a copy of Fontographer, having previously developed
> several bitmap fonts
> for Macintosh with Fontastic (for Anglo-Saxon and Old Slavic). At that
> time (1996) it was possible
> to use Fontographer to make fonts with about 4000 characters which one
> could access through Mac Keyboard layouts. As far as I know, although
> Unicode development started in 1986, there was
> no question of Unicode compatibility (and I had not heard of Unicode).
> Presumably (?) ALL that Macintosh system 7.5 was doing when it
> displayed characters outwith the ASCII set was what I need now?

Not necessarily - I believe system 7.5 was pretty advanced when it came 
to text and fonts. In particular, I'm sure it had an implementation of 
TrueType at least. The only difference then was that a font might have 
multiple CMAP tables for different text encodings as the Unicode 
encoding was still in its infancy. Even bitmap fonts (which might not 
necessarily have been TrueType) would have to declare what encoding it 
assumed was being used so that things could be mapped appropriately.

In actual fact, fonts don't really care about encoding exactly - they 
provide tables which map indexes in an encoding to the glyphs to 
represent them. Everything inside the font runs on glyph indexes and not 
codepoints in any encoding. Indeed (as I mentioned in another email) you 
can use the PUA area for your font as a direct codepoint->glyph map.

> I'm glad you find it unusable: I have a G5 iMac (connects to the
> Internet using TenFourFox) running
> dual-boot 10.4 and 10.5 that is stuffed with lots of PPC software that
> I bought when I had more money for that sort of thing than I have now:
> I would be lost without the availability of Appleworks and
> Bryce.

I'd point out that TenFourFox is a fork of FireFox and is not a Mozilla 

i.e. A third-party has taken the responsibility for maintaining a fork 
of an open-source project to ensure there is a variant of FireFox which 
runs on older systems...

Warmest Regards,


Mark Waddingham ~ mark at ~
LiveCode: Everyone can create apps

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