A more definitive definition of[ Font ]Association (a technology that helps us put the backward in backward compatibility!)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/02/29 10:16 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/02/29/7945019.aspx

Please read the disclaimer; content not approved by Microsoft!

I have talked about Font Association several times in the pat, like in the following posts:

but was able to get some more information on this... um... charming feature that so many people dislike (as I promised to do in some of the prior posts).

It is even more restricted then I originally thought.

Here are the conditions:

  1. Font Association only applies to East Asian text.
  2. Font Association only kicks in when the text is displayed with a non-East Asian font.
  3. Font Association does not occur unless the lfCharset is set to ANSI_CHARSET or OEM_CHARSET or SYMBOL_CHARSET.
  4. Font Association requires the default system locale being set to Chinese or Korean.

If any of these conditions are not met, then Font Association does not happen.

This information goes a long way to helping to understand why the results have been so confusing for so long, since most commonly the software is developed and it is only later on that all these conditions are true and suddenly results change.

The bug is reported and the developer tweaks the font settings randomly until the problem goes away (usually they don't even find themselves able to reproduce the problem, though the judicious use of screenshots guarantees they'll believe the problem exists....

It is things like this that make me wonder how things work at companies like Apple where they do have so many opportunities to chuck legacy with newer versions and not have to deal with the cruft like this that is so hard to figure out later on.

Is the loss of backward compatibility too high of a price to pay?

Since my career has been on platforms that either did go away but not in a way that affected me since I was not tied to the technology, or that had extensive backcompat guarantees. So I can't help wondering what the starting over is like....

We get the starting over with new technologies all the time, but the old stuff is always there and sometimes the new stuff is even built on top of the old stuff!


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referenced by

2008/05/24 What the hell is wrong with WC_NATIVEFONTCTL?

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