NBSP &c.

From: Michael Everson (everson@indigo.ie)
Date: Sun Feb 09 1997 - 04:42:53 EST

At 17:02 -0800 1997-02-08, Alain LaBonté wrote:

>>>>Option-Spacebar? Alt-Spacebar? How hard is that?
>>>Try this with an American keyboard on a PC (even under Windows 95 or NT) (:
>>I find it hard to believe that PC users cannot access NBSP easily.
>You have to have a CAN/CSA Z243.230-compliant (or ISO/IEC 9995-3-compliant)
>keyboard to do this in a standard way.

Alain, I have a Macintosh. I press down the Option/Alt key and then the
spacebar and the character at xCA, NON-BREAKING SPACE, is inserted in the
document. Every document. Every application. Every time. All Macintosh
keyboard layouts do this. Whether they conform to the standards makes not a
whit of difference.

>I have this, but typical American or
>European PC users don't have this. Furthermore if you try this under many
>pieces of software including Microsoft Word, it does not work!

The independence of some companies' application software from using
boot-time loaded resources things like keyboard drivers, sorting routines,
etc. is hardly a reason to give up on the NBSP. The reason we were talking
about this is that I said that "van" and "den" and "Beld" were normal
independent words in Dutch and that if Jan needed to bind them together as
a non-breaking unit he should use the NBSP which is what the NBSP is for.
Your argument that we should do this with SP instead simply because some
existing software doesn't support NBSP is not very convincing.

When Apple released its WorldScript technology, Microsoft announced that
they would not support it. They were right, they didn't -- and unless
recent versions have changed things, you *still* can't see a Georgian font
named in Georgian under a Georgian WorldScript module in the font menu.
Instead, you see a bunch of internal control symbols from an internally
stored font. Is this a reason to stop trying to write Georgian? I think not
-- another option comes quickly to mind.

Microsoft is a big, powerful, rich company with a huge market share. I am
constantly astonished to see such an important company release what looks
and feels like beta-ware on their captive audience. No, I'm not just trying
to bash Microsoft -- but even recently on this forum we've seen them
talking about how one of their products "sort of" supports Unicode. I'm
impatient for Unicode. We're all impatient for Unicode. Why don't we have
it on the Mac? I can only suppose it's because Apple wants to make sure
that it works before they release it.

Anyway, regarding NBSP: Thank the gods we have that toggle.

Michael Everson
Baile Átha Cliath

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