Dai Banna SIL is a Unicode font package for rendering New Tai Lue (Xishuangbanna Dai) characters.1 It includes a complete set of New Tai Lue consonants, vowels, tones, and digits, along with punctuation and other useful symbols. A basic set of Latin glyphs, including Arabic numerals, is also provided. Apart from a few New Tai Lue characters and Chinese punctuation marks, the design is the same as its predecessor, SIL Dai Banna (obsolete). Two font families, differing only in weight, allow for a wide range of uses.
For a different style of New Tai Lue script, see SIL’s Nokyung fonts.
The New Tai Lue script is used by approximately 300,000 people who speak the Xishuangbanna Dai language in Yunnan, China. It is a simplification of the Tai Tham (Old Tai Lue) script as used for this language for hundreds of years.
We particularly thank the Dai News Department of Xishuangbanna Daily for valuable advice during the development of this Unicode font package. Xishuangbanna Daily, established in 1957, is the largest newspaper company in Yunnan, China that publishes in the New Tai Lue script.
The Dai Banna SIL fonts are designed to work on operating systems that provide support for TrueType fonts and for Unicode character encoding. This includes Microsoft Windows® 9x or greater, Mac OS version 9.0 and later, and some implementations of Unix / Linux. (TrueType font support on Unix and Linux may depend upon the particular applications in use.)
The above only describes the minimum needed to display characters. For the fonts to work properly in applications, additional requirements must be met. This release of the fonts is designed to work with Graphite, a smart font technology that enables the visual reordering of four vowels to the left of the base consonant:
Visual reordering is required to display them properly in relation to the base consonant because, according to the Unicode Standard, the New Tai Lue script is encoded after a logical ordering, i.e., consonants are always stored before vowels. Without visual reordering, the above four vowels will be displayed after the base consonant, which is incorrect according to standard usage of the script.
Graphite also allows smart line breaking that limits break opportunities to between syllables only. This is useful because intersyllabic space is optional in New Tai Lue text, and without space marking syllable boundaries, standard applications will just break the line whenever it is full, likely splitting up a syllable, which is undesirable as per standard script usage.
To correctly render a run of text with reordrant vowels and no intersyllabic space, you must be using applications and/or operating systems that provide an adequate level of support for Graphite.2 Tested applications / operating systems which make use of the Graphite capabilities of the fonts include:
- OpenOffice Writer 3.2.1 (cross-platform)
- gedit 2.30.3 (Ubuntu Linux with pango-graphite 0.9.3-0.1)
More information on Graphite technology and related applications is available at Graphite.
These fonts are licensed under the SIL Open Font License (OFL)
|Dai Banna SIL 2.200||for all platforms|
|Dai Banna SIL source files 2.200||for all platforms|
The font release contains a set of eight font files and documentation. (NB: No keyboard is provided.)
“Dai Banna SIL source files” contains the same files as “Dai Banna SIL” – plus the FontLab and Graphite source files and some package-building templates.
This font is also available in the SIL software repository for Ubuntu. Users can subscribe to this software repository and get current versions and updates automatically.
This official release (v2.2) includes the following changes:
- Added support for Unicode 5.2 additions
- Renamed ‘Oblique’ fonts to ‘Italic’ (for user-friendliness)
- Added .notdef, NULL, and CR to masters
- Open contours: 0020, 005F, 00A0, 2009, 200B, 2060
- Connection types: CJK punctuation
- Design changes:
- New characters:
|Dai Banna SIL 2.1||for all platforms|
|Dai Banna SIL source files 2.1||for all platforms|
|Dai Banna SIL 2.0_beta||for all platforms|
|Dai Banna SIL source files 2.0_beta||for all platforms|
The official release of Dai Banna SIL 2.1 (version 2.001) includes the following changes which reflect amendments made to ISO 10646:2003 in April 2008:
- Added: U+19DA NEW TAI LUE THAM DIGIT ONE (new code point added in PDAM6.2)
- Glyph change: U+19D1 NEW TAI LUE DIGIT ONE: → (glyph change in FPDAM5).
- Deleted: U+E380 NEW TAI LUE DIGIT ALTERNATE ONE (PUA)
The v2.0 beta release includes the following changes:
- Code points updated to Unicode 5.0.
- Released under SIL Open Font License (OFL).
- New features:
- Support for re-ordrant vowels (affects: U+19B5, U+19B6, U+19B7, U+19BA).
- Line-breaking rules (affects: all characters).
- Geometric Shapes: U+25CC ◌ DOTTED CIRCLE
- CJK Symbols and Punctuation:
- U+3000 IDEOGRAPHIC SPACE
- U+3001 、 IDEOGRAPHIC COMMA
- U+3002 。 IDEOGRAPHIC FULL STOP
- U+3008 〈 LEFT ANGLE BRACKET
- U+3009 〉 RIGHT ANGLE BRACKET
- U+300A 《 LEFT DOUBLE ANGLE BRACKET
- U+300B 》 RIGHT DOUBLE ANGLE BRACKET
- PUA: U+E380 NEW TAI LUE DIGIT ALTERNATE ONE
- Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms:
- U+FF01 ！ FULLWIDTH EXCLAMATION MARK
- U+FF08 （ FULLWIDTH LEFT PARENTHESIS
- U+FF09 ） FULLWIDTH RIGHT PARENTHESIS
- U+FF0C ， FULLWIDTH COMMA
- U+FF0E ． FULLWIDTH FULL STOP
- U+FF1A ： FULLWIDTH COLON
- U+FF1B ； FULLWIDTH SEMICOLON
- U+FF1F ？ FULLWIDTH QUESTION MARK
1 The New Tai Lue block was first added to Unicode 4.1 and subsequently amended up through Unicode 5.2. See the latest code chart.
2 The fonts also contain support for another advanced font technology, OpenType. However, to render New Tai Lue text correctly using OpenType, a New Tai Lue shaper that carries reordering and line-breaking information is also required. Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 each comes with an OpenType shaper (Uniscribe) capable of reordering New Tai Lue vowels correctly, but neither can do smart line breaking. It is not known whether more capable OpenType shapers are available yet.
Information for Contributors
We welcome contributions to this font project, such as new glyphs, enhanced smart font code, or bug fixes. The best way to begin the process is to file an issue in the Github project (Dai Banna) or respond to an existing issue and express your interest. Then we can begin to correspond with you regarding what all might be required and discuss how to best submit your contributions.
To enable us to accept contributions in a way that honors your contribution and respects your copyright while preserving long-term flexibility for open source licensing, you would also need to agree to the SIL International Contributor License Agreement for Font Software (v1.0) prior to sending us your contribution. To read more about this requirement and find out how to submit the required form, please visit the CLA information page.
As these fonts and utilities are distributed at no cost, we are unable to provide a commercial level of personal technical support. We will, however, try to resolve problems that are reported to us.
We do hope that you will report problems so they can be addressed in future releases. Even if you are not having any specific problems, but have an idea on how this system could be improved, we want to hear your ideas and suggestions.
Please note that these fonts are intended for use by experienced computer users. Installing and using these fonts is not a trivial matter. The most effective technical support is usually provided by an experienced computer user who can personally sit down with you at your computer to troubleshoot the problem.
General troubleshooting information, including frequently asked questions, can be found in the documentation. Additional information is also available on the general Font FAQ page. If that fails to answer your question, send an email via this contact form.
Before requesting technical support, please:
- Carefully read all the documentation provided with the font and on this site.
- Try the Support and Troubleshooting path on scripts.sil.org.
Language Software Community
Support from other software users may be available through the SIL Language Software Community. This community will be growing to become the major source of software support.
If that fails to answer your question, or you have a bug report, feature suggestion, or need help using the software, please contact us using the form below.