--- Comment #7 from Saašha Metsärantala <saasha@...> ---
Thanks for your reply! Here are a few clarifications!
> the vast majority of modern usage,
Many, many software do not support non-BMP characters. I would like to clarify
that FOP is not the only one. The fact that non-BMP characters are poorly
supported is among the main reasons why non-BMP characters are seldom encoded
as such. Instead, work-arounds are used. For example, non-BMP characters are
often converted to parts of the so called "private use area" (U+E000 to U+F8FF)
before being processed. Sometimes, "font-tricks" are used, where the glyphs of
one alphabet are just copied to a BMP-alphabet's place -- reminding of the
(early) nineties, where greek and cyrillic glyphs (among others) were often
living in "ASCII"-fonts. Sometimes, they are replaced by PNG's. All these
work-arounds contribute to many confusions and also contribute to the
"non-visibility" of these alphabets and to great difficulties to find text
written with these character sets.
In other words, the poor support for non-BMP characters is indeed one of the
main reasons for their "non-visibility". It is important to avoid
misinterpretations here: these characters are both used and useful.
> demonstrate to me a real, current need to use non-BMP characters
To be accepted as part of Unicode, an alphabet or other character set (such as
mathematical symbols, etc.) needs to be supported by a VERY active community
during a long time. Otherwise, the Unicode consortium does not include this
alphabet. The very fact that Unicode includes non-BMP alphabets and other
character sets is a proof that an active community needs those characters.
On the other hand, the fact that dozens of alphabets are still absent from
Unicode shall not be misinterpreted as a non-usage of these alphabets.
> adding full CJK support,
Thousands of CJK characters live outside the BMP. A full CJK support requires
support for non-BMP characters.
> If you wish to contribute a patch that adds non-BMP support,
I plan to try to write some kind of fix this summer.
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