Re: [xep-support] XEP, Uniscribe, and Complex Fonts

From: Alexei Gagarinov <>
Date: Sat Aug 25 2007 - 11:53:54 PDT

Hi Than,

> However, such a font properly renders in Windows only when there is
> access to the Uniscribe (ups10.dll) system library. I read in the
> archive that:
> XEP is a Java application. It does not use platform-dependent API.
> Uniscribe is a Win32 API for multilingual writing; XEP has no access
> to it.
> But, that was in 2004, and I was wondering if there has been any
> advancement in XEP's dealing with complex OpenType fonts, some work
> around its inability to access Uniscribe, such as using the Java
> OpenType class.

Let me explain:

It is a viewer application that displays (i.e. draws) glyphs.
And the glyph's drawing may rely on different "drawing" functions.
Some of these functions are capable of reading/using OpenType Layout
information, others are not.

Glyph's drawing of complex scripts in Windows uses Uniscribe API.
The same drawing under Linux uses other API functions.
There is no way to tell the viewer application what functions it
should use. All you can do is to replace the according
system/application library.

XEP is not a viewer application, it is a XSL-FO rendering engine.
Yes, XEP implements internal font's parser (much more complex than the
simple java.awt.font.OpenType interface), but all parsed information
(including OpenType Layout information) cannot be directly used on the
upper -- "drawing" -- level.

> can you suggest any way that we might be able to create PDFs with
> Tibetan script?

You can create PDF with Tibetian script using XEP on any OS. ;)

There are few open source analogs of Uniscribe for Linux (e.g. ICU
Library, Pango, FreeType Layout). They essentially provide the same
services Uniscribe provides in Windows.
Just install one of them.

Best regards,
  Alexei Gagarinov

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Received on Sat Aug 25 12:50:48 2007

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