Re: NBSP &c.

From: Alain LaBont/e'/ (
Date: Mon Feb 10 1997 - 10:30:16 EST

At 01:05 97-02-10 -0800, unicode@Unicode.ORG wrote:
>On Sun, 9 Feb 1997 Michael Everson wrote:
>> 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.
>Please note that the primary purpose of NBSP is inhibiting line
>breaking, while the discussion on this list was mainly about sorting.
>There may be cases that are split among lines but sorted as a unit
>(I guess the French "vice versa" would be such a case) or the other
>way round.

Right, this is one of the problems... However, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2 does not
prescribe any specific use for characters and anybody can use any character
for its quick and dirty solutions. This is a problem, but that is also human
nature. That's why in Canadian standard CAN/CSA Z243.4.1 we recognize all of
this, we don't recommend the use of NBSP to trick sort programs in any way
(we rather recommned the use of different fields in more sophisticated, real
professional DP sorts), but as we know human nature, we provide the choice
with good warnings for the least user-friendly behaviour for sorting "spaces".

Alain LaBonti

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