Welcome everybody to this new place for sharing thoughts about mufish matters & related subjects.
The Medieval Unicode Font Initiative is a non-profit workgroup of scholars and font designers who would like to see a common solution to a problem felt by many medieval scholars: the encoding and display of special characters in Medieval texts written in the Latin alphabet. (from the introduction to the MUFI website)
With all due modesty I’d like to say that Mufi has been fairly successful since its foundation more than ten years ago. For me a kind of measure for this succes has not been the numbers of characters in the MUFI spec or those relocated to the UCS alone, but notably the impact that we had on the course of development in the humanities editorial scene and the array of projects and partners we were honoured to work with in close cooperation over these years. Others have joined the band, many work with our materials – what could be more rewarding? However, this is not to call ourselves to rest on laurels! Things keep moving and so should we. MUFI was a joint effort ever since and it will remain such, I believe.
The maintenance of both the MUFI specification editorial work and the MUFI website rested on the shoulders of one single person up to the day and we face the fact that this is quite a burden on the long run, to say the least. For that reason, chairman Odd Einar Haugen (Bergen) and I thought we might take a chance and introduce a new means of communication which possibly enhances our convenience to move things forward in the future: a new MUFI discussion forum. We hope that this may support conversations in particular which have so far taken place on the MUFI mailing list and the MUFI pipeline and that you will find this new, more straightforward communication tool beneficial.
This new forum is hosted as sub-division of the Andron user forum, for mere practical and economical reasons. There is a relation between the development of Andron and the development of MUFI, but there is no kind of afiliation between those two projects. Therefore I want to point out that any discussion taking place here in the MUFI forum shall be seen generally independent of Andron, since the font side of MUFI is of course more than ‘just Andron’ and I’d like to welcome contributions about as many mufish font matters as possible in particular.
To conclude this little introduction, a few practical remarks. You may participate as a guest or as a registered user. Registration as a forum user will inaugurate you immediately, without any admin controlling or restricting access (I hope this liberal policy will prove viable for the long run … ). If you register as a member user you’ll have to choose a user name. Since many of us know each other personally I think the other members will find it pleasing if the user name you choose is not too enigmatic … this is just a suggestion. If you find yourself facing any difficulty with the interface or functionality, please post a notice and I will try to help to my very best.
And now let’s see if we can make something useful out of this.
Greetings from Leipzig, Andreas Stötzner (Androneas 1) MUFI deputy chairman
As Andreas writes in his welcome message, the Medieval Unicode Font Initiative has indeed seen some advances in a very specialised field - the development of fonts for medieval texts written in the Latin alphabet. In MUFI, we offer a recommendation of useful characters in the official part of the Unicode Standard (some are hidden away in unexpected code charts) and also a substantial number of characters in the Private Use Area. The Private Usea Area is by no means a perfect solution for missing characters, but presently it seems to be the best. It works with most operating systems and we think it makes sense to try and co-ordinate usage between exisiting fonts (such as Alphabetum, Andron, Cardo, Junicode, LeedsUni, Palemonas and TITUS). In 2008, a group of scholars (some of them in the MUFI network) succeeded with a proposal for new characters to the Unicode Standard. The new code chart Latin Extended-D is to a great extent the result of this proposal.
When we founded MUFI in 2001, it was clear to us that the need of medieval scholars will not be catered for by the large commercial font developers. So the people in MUFI are a mix of independent font designers, academics or both, all having a profound interest in the shape and usage of characters. Andreas once told me that he had learnt his trade by drawing characters by hand for a long time, just like the medieval scribes, and then moving on to designing fonts on the computer. I think this background shows in his design of the Andron font, and this is one of many reasons for other people to participate in this forum. It is a chance to meet font designers and scholars - or both. I am an Old Norse philologist with very limited experience in font design, so for me it is very helpful to discuss such matters with people who know how to design fonts and make them consistent and attractive.