[reportlab-users] Re: Using UTF-8 strings with ReportLab.

Andy Robinson andy at reportlab.com
Wed Dec 21 03:57:25 EST 2005

> I beg to differ on this point. In the utf8 branch all characters are 
> supposed to be uniformly usable everywhere if in utf8-string/unicode. In 
> paragraphs we have an additional facility ie we can use some xml 
> notations. That should not be considered a problem since nobody is 
> forced to use them.

Yes, you're right.  The main problems with non-UTF8 arose in RML,
not the library, because of going through different parsers.

> The main remaining difficulty with the utf8 branch is how to deal with 
> out of band characters. Not every utf8/unicode font supports every glyph 
> so there is a kind of fall back mechanism in place which eventually 
> comes back to the missing glyph and even that is not uniform amongst 
> fonts; we do it manually for T1 fonts and seemingly leave it to the 
> canvas for ttf.

Also, if we know we are making PDF then we can fall back to the
'standard 14' (Helvetica, Times, Courier x [bold|italic] + Symbol +
ZapfDingbats); but if making a chart, we cannot count on anything.
I think we really ought to have a 'standard recommended setup'
where the Ghostscript fonts are installed and have metrics, or have an 
easy-install script, and aliased to cover the 'Standard 14'.  One can 
then have a reasonable fallback plan for most western languages
and symbols at least.

Over the break we do need to make sure there's a modern and 
world-readable ReportLab Wiki to record this stuff in.  We'll
discuss this today

- Andy

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