Mark Roblee of the Wenlin Institute (a commercial provider) wanted us to share this with DLF members. It looked interesting enough to pass along to the DLF-Announce list, a way to get beyond Unicode for CJK-type languages. Please feel free to let us know if you'd like to see more of this sort of thing or if this makes the list too "noisy."
Dear DLF Coordinator,
The following announcement will be of interest to a portion of your constituency. Please let me know if you would be willing to post it to the appropriate forum.
[log in to unmask]
Wenlin Institute offers CJK Character Description Language to Researchers
The Wenlin Institute, publishers of Wenlin Software for Learning Chinese, is seeking to partner with researchers who are confronting the problem of unencoded CJK characters. Many rare and special characters still can not be used on computers because there are no standard codes to identify them. Wenlin has developed Character Description Language (CDL), an XML application that is the first complete solution to the missing character problem. We are interested in providing a free license for non-commercial use of this technology. If you are interested, please contact Mark Roblee ([log in to unmask]).
What is Character Description Language (CDL)?
CDL is a font and encoding technology designed for precise and compact description, rendering, and indexing of all 漢/汉 Han (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese) characters, encoded and unencoded. It is a core infrastructure technology, providing a rock-solid framework for data structure, data storage and data interchange. It is our hope that CDL will be adopted internationally in work to digitize and preserve humanities collections and paper and archeological archives. Because CDL is pure Unicode and pure XML, and because its applications for CJK are clearly based on traditional orthographic standards active across CJK scripts, CDL is completely standards-based. CDL technology bridges an important gap, putting real intelligence into fonts, and giving CJK digitization projects the freedom which roman-based orthographies take for granted. The returns from this technology will be large indeed, and shared globally, as improvements are made to data stability, content, and access. We are working to bring the CJK part of the CDL database online, so that everyone can use this technology. And we are working to promote and refine CDL methods to make them more flexible, more generally applicable.
More information on CDL:
An article from Multi-Lingual Computer on CDL: