Re: symbols used in charts, list

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Wed Dec 08 1999 - 17:52:16 EST

Peter asked:

> In printing the Unicode charts and the accompanying names
> lists, what characters are used for
> - the dotted circle that represents a base character for
> showing combining diacritics?
> - the rounded square with the slanted-line fill used to
> indicate reserved codepoints?
They are *glyphs*, not characters.

The dotted circle glyph used in the charts (and the book) to display
non-spacing marks in isolation is *not* the same as the glyph used
to display the character U+25CC. Just look at either the book for
Unicode 2.0 or any of the draft charts that have been circulated
for Unicode 3.0. This will also be apparent in the printed version
of Unicode 3.0, due out soon.

The rounded square with slanted-line fill is also a special glyph.
as is the rounded square with black fill used for the names list
position for U+FFFE and U+FFFF (not a character). It is *not* the
same as U+25A7, which is a compatibility character for an encoded
character in one of the Korean character encoding standards.

All of these glyphs are accessed out of special fonts by the chart
printing and display program when it prints the charts for the book.

> Are they U+25CC and U+25A7?

U+25A7 is a compatibility character. It was presumably intended in
the original standard as some kind of a cheap, character-based way
to fill an area with a pattern -- something similar to the block
elements in U+2580..U+2595. It would only make sense in a terminal
or other character-mapped display, and not in a world of mixed text
and graphics.

U+25CC can be used *as a character* when you need to talk in text
about a dotted circle. It isn't something you are forced to use
*as a character* when you are giving visual representations to
non-spacing marks.

Just as one more reminder -- not every mark on paper that repeats
itself within an identifiable bounding box in some publication
is or deserves to be an *encoded character*.


> Peter

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