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VMs: For this MONKEY: Help, pointers, etc. please: Unicode, TrueType fonts, kerning

I have collected a small collection of editors
with their source code, but, at first wading
through the code, I could not find what I

Take kerning. Is there anything like vertical
kerning? So that, for instance, a hyphen,
vertically "kerned" above an 'a', would give
and a+macron? 

Some of my google searches have turned up
pages with "TrueType font for DOS" but when I
visited those pages, there was nothing of the
kind. I did not turn to www.archive.org because
I could not imagine DOS handling TrueType fonts,
only bitmaps generated from TTF.

As for Unicode, I am completely lost. Snippets
of code would help, in whatever programming
language (I can read C and its relatives, but
APL is right out!). 

Why do I ask? I don't see much point in working
on this MONKEY, if it cannot process texts in,
say Kannada or Chinese, or, why not, Akkadian 

Help and pointers, anyone?

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