aKademy 2007 hosted two mini-summits, one for Schools and Education and one for Text Layout. The Text Layout Summit was a true cross platform event, and followed from the one last year at the Gnome Summit. Text layout is a complex area requiring advanced knowledge of dozens of different writing methods. With funding from The Linux Foundation they brought together people from Pango, Qt, IBM ICU (Intl. Components for Unicode), SIL Graphite, Unifont.org, m17n, W3C and DejaVu. Getting the various widget sets to have the same high quality support for all scripts is a problem the summit hoped to solve. Read on for details of what they discussed.
Busy in the Summit
Much of the current work for standardising text layout in the free software world is going on in the HarfBuzz project, a joint effort with code from Qt and Pango.
Organiser Ed Trager said of what had been discussed "A number of brief updates and discussions were given (as outlined on the summit wrapup page), but the major focus of
Other talks included Arne Gotje talking about CJK support, the revival of openfontlibrary.org a website to catalogue freely licenced fonts and Fontima, a library that can be used to make font selection widgets a better experience than just seeing one big list. Sharon Correll presented Graphite which aims to support many minority languages.
Promising as these developments are, there are still unsolved problems in the world of text layout, including the Pan-Unicode issue. Should one font include every character, or should we fix our tools to make it easier to load characters from different fonts? The issues were described in The Pan-Unicode Fonts talk by Ben Laenen of DejaVu Fonts.
Relaxing in Glasgow
Behdad Esfahbod of Pango said that "the true value of all this meetings and harfbuzz is the sharing