v1 Indic shapers

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Do any rendering environments still use the "old" OpenType shapers? Is it worth maintaining support for them?

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  • Peter Constable
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    You asked two questions.
    Do any rendering environments still use the "old" OpenType shapers?
    Yes.
    Is it worth maintaining support for them?
    That depends on a couple of things.

    First, you didn't ask whether any rendering environments use only the v1 Indic shapers. Aside from Windows XP, I'd guess not, but I can't say for certain. I'd probably assume there aren't such rendering environments of consequence (including XP) until I was given specific examples.

    Also, you didn't say what you meant by "maintaining support for". I probably wouldn't worry about development of new fonts or new versions of previously-released fonts using v1 Indic, if that's what you have in mind.


  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,054
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    Just tested latest InDesign, and Adobe’s Indic engine is still v1-only for Gujarati and Gurmukhi. :s
  • Just tested latest InDesign, and Adobe’s Indic engine is still v1-only for Gujarati and Gurmukhi. :s
    Hi Mr. Hudson,
    Do You apply the Script for enabling Harfbuzz workflow in InDesign?
    https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign-discussions/script-for-enabling-harfbuzz-workflow-in-indesign/m-p/11295166

    Regards

    Sami


  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,054
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    That script doesn’t work in InDesign 2022. In 2022, Adobe appears to have hardcoded HarfBuzz support for scripts that their own engines do not handle (with mixed results, since HarfBuzz relies on the app environment to perform script itemisation and run segmentation as well as, obviously, paragraph and document directional formatting), but no longer enable override of their own engines.
  • It's a shame,
    adobe world-ready paragraph composer is still with bugs.
    @John Hudson Thank You for the information.
  • mateo
    mateo Posts: 6
    edited March 2023
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    That script doesn’t work in InDesign 2022. In 2022, Adobe appears to have hardcoded HarfBuzz support for scripts that their own engines do not handle (with mixed results, since HarfBuzz relies on the app environment to perform script itemisation and run segmentation as well as, obviously, paragraph and document directional formatting), but no longer enable override of their own engines.

    Harfbuzz is working for me with Indic in Indesign 2022 and 2023, and it seems to enable support for gjr2 and gur2 (that's testing with the Nirmala font, which I don't think has the v1 shaping). It has also fixed rendering and crashing problems with Devanagari and Bengali.
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,054
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    Yes, the script turns out to work after all. It is frustrating that there is no explicit feedback in the UI as to which shaping engine is active, so it is easy to lose track of whether one has activated or deactivated the HarfBuzz script, and this is made more confusing by the 2022 introduction of HarfBuzz as the default shaping engine for a lot of scripts. One needs to know exactly what to look for and in which scripts to determine which shaping engine is being used.
  • mateo
    mateo Posts: 6
    edited March 2023
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    Yes, the script turns out to work after all. It is frustrating that there is no explicit feedback in the UI as to which shaping engine is active, so it is easy to lose track of whether one has activated or deactivated the HarfBuzz script, and this is made more confusing by the 2022 introduction of HarfBuzz as the default shaping engine for a lot of scripts. One needs to know exactly what to look for and in which scripts to determine which shaping engine is being used.
    We use another script to check the status:
    if (app.textPreferences.shapeIndicAndLatinWithHarbuzz == true) {<br>    alert("Harfbuzz is currently ENABLED");<br>}<br>    else {<br>        alert("Harfbuzz is currently DISABLED");<br>    }
    And this to turn it off:
    if (app.textPreferences.shapeIndicAndLatinWithHarbuzz == true) {<br>    app.textPreferences.shapeIndicAndLatinWithHarbuzz = false;<br>    alert("Harfbuzz has been disabled");<br>}<br>else {<br>    alert("Harfbuzz was already disabled");<br>}
    It also confused me at first that you have get it to recompose the text to see any effect.
    Which scripts is Harfbuzz active for by default? I thought it was still only the SEA ones introduced in 2020.

  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,054
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    I have found it working with Burmese and Chakma in InDesign. My guess is that Adobe made it active for any script for which they do not have their own shaper. The integration of HarfBuzz into Adobe’s code is not complete, though, so for instance I think it doesn’t work well for right-to-left document layout.
  • mateo
    mateo Posts: 6
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    In case it's of interest, there is another page layout package, Viva Designer, that's had better Opentype support than Indesign for a while, although the gap has been closing.
  • Thomas Phinney
    Thomas Phinney Posts: 2,800
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    Viva is interesting. I am surprised they are at version 10 and I hadn’t heard of them before.

    They advertise Chinese and Japanese support, but how is their support for other complex writing systems such as the Indic languages this thread is about?

    (Also curious how they do with variable fonts.)
  • mateo
    mateo Posts: 6
    edited March 2023
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    They have supported complex scripts, including Indic and right to left, for a while I think. For example, I did a test in Tibetan recently, and it seemed fine, from what I could tell - in fact I'd say I think it's passed every complex script challenge I've thrown at it. I don't know for sure, but it looks like they're making use of a universal shaping engine, maybe Harfbuzz.
    The upcoming version 11 will include support for variable fonts (there is a beta available if you want to check it out).
  • k.l.
    k.l. Posts: 109
    edited March 2023
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    OpenType-Support got added in 9.5 in 2017.
    It is amazing to see how much it got improved, at version 10, since I have tried it last time, at version 8 or 9.
    What I find most intriguing is that it is available for MacOS, Windows, and Linux.

    Thanks a lot, @mateo, for remind of it!
  • mateo
    mateo Posts: 6
    edited March 2023
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    Variable font in Viva 11 (sorry if a bit off-topic from the original question, but it was asked about).

  • mateo
    mateo Posts: 6
    edited October 2023
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    I see Indesign 2024 now uses Harfbuzz by default for Indic and MENA scripts.
  • Thomas Phinney
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    InDesign has HarfBuzz now in the “world-ready composer”—which is expected for certain languages, and otherwise you have to manually turn it on in paragraph formatting. Major improvement over not having it, but still a pain when various functionality depends on it (because InDesign still doesn’t support some “required” OpenType features in their core layout).