Generating Combining Forms in Devanagari

la_half_devanagariUnicode has been a boon for Indic Computing. Before the Arrival of Unicode, Indic scripts usually resorted to hack encoding of Latin & Extended Latin to encode them. This resulted in the creation of numerous non-standard fonts which were mutually incompatible. Every application, or website followed its own encoding schememe. Thanks to Unicode, Indic Scripts now have a uniforms standard, though legacy fonts are still in use albeit much restricted.

The introduction radicalized Indic font encodings, by resorting to logical order of the characters rather than the visual order. But It has its own limitation. In legacy fonts, the display of the script could be twisted and extended to suit our own needs. As, the scripts were encoded as glyph pieces. 
Even in Unicode it is possible to generate some of the glyph pieces, using Unicode control characters. 

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Book of John in Telugu – 1860

Repha-TeWhile writing the “Telugu Notes” for the Aksharamukha convertor, I suddenly remembered seeing the usage of Repha in Telugu script somewhere. Modern Telugu doesn’t use any Repha symbol. But its sister script, Kannada preserves the usage of Repha till to this day.


For those who do not know what exactly a Repha is, It is basically a special symbol to denote pre-consonantal /ra/. Such as in these words sarva, varga etc. Many Brahmic Scripts possess a repha.


Back to what I was speaking about, yeah so, I recollected that I has seen the usage of Telugu Repha in old version of a Telugu Bible that was published in 1860.. On searching my pdf dumps in my PC, I found the file which I had downloaded, probably from long time ago.


The Title of the book itself had a prominent Repha :


yōhānu vrāsina suvārta – యోహాను వ్రాసిన సువార్త 

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