Re: EA width, Latin punctuation and fonts

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Thu Dec 09 1999 - 20:34:28 EST


I'm personally in favor of encoding compatibility characters when you want
to make distinctions that are maintained in equivalent documents using
legacy character sets. That is, these characters, in my opinion, are not
there for transparent use in character interchange with a Unicode pivot, but
to provide for a stable collection of mutually unique code positions for a
given market, whether or not one happens to work in Unicode from start to
finish, or uses legacy character codes for part of the process. I'm not a
strong believer in sometimes usign meta data and sometimes using character
codes for expressing the same distinction between conceptually same pairs
of characters. That is error prone and will lead to confusion sooner or later.

On the more general question about what to do when you have two scripts
Latin punctuation, but needing more or less subtle adjustments in shape
depending on context. For these I am in favor of using meta data (font tags
or language tags) to select the correct glyphs. Armenian punctuation (as
far as it has been unified with ASCII punctuatio is a good example of this).

Yi is an interesting case. One could make an argument to treat it like
Armenian, or to treat it like Chinese. I would lean towards the latter, on
the expectation that a goodly portion of it will be used on systems
engineered in China and reflecting a Chinese preference for the current
practice of EA legacy character sets in general. If the Chinese are
creating Yi legacy style character sets with the punctuation mapped to the
FullWidth characters, I see no reason why you should not follow their lead.
Doing otherwise will just screw people up.


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