Re: A basic question on encoding Latin characters

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Thu Sep 30 1999 - 06:52:37 EDT

Ar 16:59 -0700 1999-09-29, scríobh Scott Horne:

>Just a few days ago it was pointed out
>here that industry will probably resist the disunification of the florin sign
>and the lower-case hooked _f_ because the former has already been mapped to
>the latter in various fonts and code pages. Predictably, the needs of speakers
>of Ewe and other languages spoken by impoverished black Africans are
>subordinate to the convenience of corporations owned by white Westerners.

I shall ignore the racist reference to skin colour in your statement, and
instead review again the problem and possible technical solutions. The
standard encodes:


The second of these is currently unified with *FLORIN SIGN, which is used
as a currency sign and (on the Mac for instance) as an abbreviation for
"folder" in directory names. The problem is that the *FLORIN SIGN is almost
always drawn as a swash italic, while the African letter is supposed to
have its usual vertical alignment in plain text. *FLORIN SIGN is widely
implemented on Macs and PCs and has been mapped to U+0192.

Possible choices:

1. Do nothing. Leave it to the font makers to make special fonts for Ewe.

2. Do nothing now. Wait for Ewe users to complain.

3. Disunify. Add FLORIN SIGN to the currency symbol block and remap Mac and
PC characters to it instead of U+0192.

4. Disunify. Add LATIN SMALL LETTER AFRICAN F WITH HOOK and change the case
mapping for U+0191 to this rather than to U+0192.

It is necessary for industry to assess the costs and benefits of

Michael Everson * Everson Gunn Teoranta *
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Guthán: +353 1 478 2597 ** Facsa: +353 1 478 2597 (by arrangement)
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn;  Baile an Bhóthair;  Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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