Modifying Alphabetic Paragraph Sorting Macro other languages

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Modifying Alphabetic Paragraph Sorting Macro other languages

Post by DeePoe » 2007-04-01 21:14:47

I wonder if any one out there might be interested in walking me through the process of modifying the standard alphabetic paragraph sorting Macro to allow me to treat as alphabetics some ASCII characters are not alphabetics in the standard English ASCII system. [I work in a foreign language requiring about forty alphabetic characters; on the font I am designing with Fontographer, it is necessary to assign some of these characters to non-alphabetic positions on the ASCII chart.]

If anyone wants more specifics, the language is S'gaw Karen. There are seven tonal markers that are sorted first, followed by eight vowel markers [but of these, contextual changes require two of these to assume a total of five different glyph forms, essentially the equivalent of an alphabetic sort with a capital A, a minor case a, and an accented A], followed by twenty-five consonants [of which four have two contextual glyph forms], with the last sorting being that of five consonant cluster markers [of which the third has six different contextual glyph forms, and the fifth has two different glyph forms]. Anyone interested in this?

My thought at this point is to put the consonant characters (from the eighth to the twenty-fifth) at alphabetic positions, A to R, allowing me to put the consonant cluster markers at alphabetic positions S, T, U, V, W, with the U using accented upper ASCII U forms to accomodate the six contextual forms at that point. My other consonants would be placed before the alphabetic positions, as would the preceding vowel markers and the earlier tonal markers. That would allow me to simply use the existing Macro Paragraph sorting routines. . . . ANY THOUGHTS ????

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Post by thf » 2007-04-02 11:28:22

Some time ago there was a discussion about a macro repository. I hope it'll be realized shortly after nisus pro. I'm also lost with that marco-stuff. I think there are lot's of people who don't use the macro-function because they do not know where to start.

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Post by martin » 2007-04-02 16:41:29

I have two suggestions. The first is that if you are designing a font you really should use the proper Unicode code points (character codes) for your characters. I don't know anything about the language you are working with, but it looks like there are some proposed additions for Myanmar. Better to use those than random ASCII codes that are already used for other purposes.

Once you've done that, perhaps the menu Edit > Sort Paragraphs will work for you. It uses whatever information Apple has included in OSX about all the various Unicode characters. If that includes Myanmar I cannot say, but it's worth giving it a try.

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Modifying Alphabetic Paragraph Sorting Macro other languages

Post by DeePoe » 2007-04-06 07:40:04

Dear Martin,
Thanks for taking the time to reply. As you pointed out, however, the proposals are just that, proposals, and have not yet been approved. The sorting procedures for the Burmese script differ dramatically from that of S'gaw Karen. The sorting rules for S'gaw Karen are very straightforward. One simply arranges the tones first, the vowels second, the consonants third, the consonant clusters, last. But the problem is in how to treat the contextual forms that some of the consonant cluster glyphs, some of the consonant glyphs, and some of the vowel glyphs must take [in addition to kerning changes that can be written into Fontographer]. It's a lot easier for me to write my own font on a non-Unicode platform than to wait until one is agreed to and implemented, including the contextual glyphs forms that will make the font more legible and visually pleasing. My problem is simply that of doing a sort.
Under an older Nisus program [Nisus Writer ?], one could sort a column in a table by an ASCII sort, rather than alphabetic. Are there any Nisus Macros out there with accompanying bracketed explanations that explain to a novice what is going on in the alphabetic sorting Macro and in the previously-available ASCII-based sorting scheme. The glyphs for the font I've done are arranged to sort correctly if an ASCII-based sort is done, . . . provided that among the 58 character slots used in the alphabetic characters of my font a total of fourteen of these can be treated as alphabetic sorts, whereby a contextual form is coded as the minor case of the normal alphabetic character.
I feel that over time I could get help from friends to write a MACRO for this. What I would simply ask is access to the former Nisus ASCII-based sort with bracketed explanation, and bracketed explanation of the alphabetic character sort of the current Nisus Express Macro.
Any thoughts would be most welcome. Thanks. Dee Poe[/u]

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