lucy24 - 11:35 am on Feb 28, 2013 (gmt 0)
Font substitution is-- or should be-- used whenever the current font doesn't contain the required glyph. That is, it is better to display the right character in the wrong font than to display an empty box in the right font :) This is independent of how the primary font was selected in the first place-- whether it's the browser default or specified by font naming.
But embedded fonts can only be used if they are requested by name. This may of course change in the future but right now you can't rely on the browser to say "Oh, cool, I've got KandyUnicode so let me just grab the characters from that when I need them". I remember having to wrangle with this when I first had the iPad, because iOS 4 didn't come with Euphemia. (It was added in 5, though you still can't type UCAS.) If I urgently needed to look up a conjugation in the night, I had to seek out my specially made page with embedded Pigiarniq.
Hm, come to think of it, pity you can't use the <embed> tag with fonts the way you do with sound files. "Here it is, it's available when you need it."
I did not know common windows/mac fonts covered Sinhala.
They don't. On my system I've got seven fonts that contain the Sinhala range-- eight if you count unifont-- and none of them are full-spectrum fonts. In fact ::cough-cough:: they are all datestamped August 2011, suggesting I downloaded them in a single binge. Even Code2000 doesn't have Sinhala, and it's got everything else under the sun. Seems to be my only source for Malayalam, f'rinstance.
Its informative but does not cover anything.
Oh, dear. Sounds like it's due for an overhaul then. This page began life as a couple of posts in a different forum, having to do with displaying unusual characters in e-books. You can probably see some of the splices as I change target audiences in midstream.
[I was typing so did not see your add-on ;)]