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Re: <nettime> appropriation and type
Benjamin Geer on Thu, 22 Mar 2007 03:16:51 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> appropriation and type


> i'd love to know your take on this manuscript, regarding the field
> of typography

Perhaps your argument would be strengthened by a consideration of some
of the issues involved in typography of non-Western scripts.  In the
case of Arabic, for example, calligraphic tradition long ago
standardised a certain number of styles, which users naturally expect
to find on their computers.  The results are judged by comparison with
classical models that are seen as aesthetic and functional design
ideals.  Unfortunately, technology such as Unicode, which attempts to
make Arabic script work like the Latin alphabet, has become
standardised.  Operating systems simply do not provide the
infrastructure that would be needed in order to render Arabic well.
Therefore word processors produce ugly results in Arabic, and even
Arabic books are often poorly typeset.

A good introduction the failure of current font technology to produce
beautiful, highly readable Arabic script is the article "Authentic
Arabic: A Case Study" by Thomas Milo, presented to the International
Unicode Conference in 2002:

http://www.tradigital.de/specials/casestudies.htm

Ben


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