Friday, June 22, 2007

EGPZ 1.0 - New font set (beta version)

EGPZ website
Saqqara Technologies website

Saqqara Technologies have released the beta (trial) version of their new font set, which has been submitted to the World Wide Web committee for approval as a recognized font set, meeting the Committee's formal standards. The following summary is taken, complete, from the Introduction section on the Specification Page. For more details go to the EPGZ website.

EGPZ stands for EGyptian in the (Unicode) Private Zones. Unicode provides Private Zones for scripts or features of scripts that have not yet been incorporated in the formal Unicode Standard (currently at version 5.0). As of April 2007, a proposal to include 1063 Egyptian hieroglyphs - a basic 'Gardiner Set' in the Universal Character Set has been accepted by WG2 which means these should become available in a future version of the Unicode some years hence (see Unicode and Egyptian).

EGPZ was announced in 2005. Shortly afterwards, work recommenced on the formal standard and it made sense to defer publication of private zone specifications until matters were clearer. The existence of the upcoming formal standard implies some changes to the original conception of EGPZ and these are taken into account in the specifications below. The release of EGPZ 1.0 is now expected in 2007, following feedback from the user community.

EGPZ 1.0 specifies a set of over 3000 codepoints in the Unicode Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP). This includes equivalents to all 1063 hieroglyphs proposed for the formal standard with about 2000 additions, including distinct signs, variants, and combinations. A private zone approach is no substitute for the formal standard but brings considerable practical benefits in the short and medium terms. Unlike the situation with the formal standard, EGPZ compliant applications and data will be available for use in 2007.

The Beta EGPZ 1.0 Specifications are expected in July/August 2007 at which point the only changes should be error corrections and clarifications. Currently, the 1.0 release is expected in September, following the WG2 ballot on the ISO/Unicode proposal. Meanwhile a list of proposed code points is given and interested readers are encouraged to review the list of hieroglyphs and contact the author with any suggestions for additions or changes.
See EGPZ 1.0 Pre-Beta Specification (June 2007) [PDF,1.9M].

Suggestions for hieroglyphs to include in EGPZ 1.0. are being accepted until the end of June for inclusion in the Beta version. There are currently around 2000 signs (including combinations) in addition to the 1063 given in the formal Unicode proposal.

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