ELIZABETH J PYATT: February 2008 Archives

Lucida Grande coming to Windows


The standard super Unicode font from Apple is Lucida Grande, but now a version will be available to Windows users if they download the Windows version of Safari 3.
See http://www.alanwood.net/unicode/fonts.html#lucidagrande

Like the release of Microsoft's release Arial Unicode MS for Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) I think this is really good for the  Web community. A lot of Mac-oriented designers have gotten hooked on Lucida Grande, but they don't always realize that it's not available on Windows (or they think that Arial is a good substitute, when Arial Unicode may be more appropriate.

With both Arial Unicode and Lucida Grande available for both platforms, the headaches of developing cross-OS friendly sites should be reduced in the future. We may be able to (gasp) pick a Unicode font we like and assume it will be on almost all machines. Wow!!!

FYI - If your site needs to display a lot of quirky characters (like this one does), I would still recommend your CSS file allow for both Arial Unicode MS and Lucida Grande...at least for the next few years.


Quirkiest i18n Linux Logos


Linux is that great open source OS which has been adopted around the world. And sometimes, the Linux penguin gets to wear new outfits (or hang out with new friends). Some of my favorite i18n penguin costume changes are....

  • Cymrux Welsh Linux - The penguin has a red dragon pal...and both are the same size!
  • Linux4Arab - Stylish eye wear and head gear for our Antarctic avian.
  • Linux Malta (It's back!) (dead link) - The penguin hangs out on the beach with a trendy Maltese cross tatoo.
  • Russian Linux (dead link) - imagine if you can, a brown furry penguin with teddy bear ears. This one was a Photoshop composite.

P.S. If you're wondering where the heck this post came from - I'm testing the blog tool again.


Please install the Character Map


A few weeks ago I commented/complained that most people in the U.S. technology field consider foreign language support a peripheral issue even though English does need "foreign language" support for special punctuation and foreign words. An unfortunate corollary is that the U.S. tech industry also assumes that people will not need to type beyond ASCII either.

As a result, some of the base-line tools that Apple and Microsoft provide may not necessarily get installed. For instance, I recommend the Windows Character Map as a last resort for a lot of Windows users. But in the past few months, I've gotten questions (mostly outside Penn State) saying the user can't find it and where the heck is it.

The truth is...it may not have gotten installed. I've noticed that in order to save space, some "exotic" utilities may be skipped. Hmmmm!

Truthfully, I can understand skipping the East Asian utilities because they do take up a lot of disk space (one East Asian font can be about 8-20 MB vs. 200-500 K for Western-only fonts)...but I do worry that even the basic tools for handling the € sign are also not included.

It's difficult enough for the busy administrative assistant, instructor or Spanish I student (in the lab) to figure out how to insert the exotic symbols. Imaging trying to convince an even busier tech support specialist that they need to install some new utilities from the Windows CD-ROM (or the Mac disk) and it's not a very happy scenario.

FYI - The situation at most of Penn State is not like this - I think the Character Map is universally installed. Also, the CLC Student Computing Labs in particular have worked hard to ensure that the best Unicode toolset is available, even East Asian languages. Having said this though, I do hear about the occasional tale of a missing Unicode utility somewhere out there in PSU computer land.


About The Blog

I am a Penn State technology specialist with a degree in linguistics and have maintained the Penn State Computing with Accents page since 2000.

See Elizabeth Pyatt's Homepage (ejp10@psu.edu) for a profile.


The standard commenting utility has been disabled due to hungry spam. If you have a comment, please feel free to drop me a line at (ejp10@psu.edu).

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