Re: Decimal Point

From: Markus Kuhn (
Date: Sun May 30 1999 - 19:01:37 EDT

John Cowan wrote on 1999-05-30 16:46 UTC:
> Markus Kuhn scripsit:
> > Is there a Unicode character to represent a decimal point?
> No. That was debated in the past and rejected. There is a fairly
> full writeup at .

It seems my question has been misunderstood, because this (and similar
answers) slightly missed the "point".

I was talking about a character DECIMAL POINT and not a (more general)
character DECIMAL SEPARATOR. A character DECIMAL POINT would *always* be
represented by a point (hence the name), and it would be left to the
font designer whether this point would be located on the base line (US
convention) or centered (UK convention). A character DECIMAL POINT would
never be represented by a comma and would not have the purpose of
unifying the different locale conventions.

I am not really arguing in favour of it, I just want to make sure that
my question is actually understood. I noted that in Britain, in some
commonly used fonts a DECIMAL POINT looks different than a FULL STOP,
and I also noted that X11 has an extra keysym value XK_decimalpoint in
addition to XK_period (= FULL STOP) that was apparently copied from some
older DEC publishing character set, that seems to have the described
semantics, and for which there seems to be no Unicode equivalent
available. I just noted this while preparing a table that converts X11
keysyms of graphical characters into Unicode values.


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at,  WWW: <>

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