RE: EA width, Latin punctuation and fonts

From: Marco.Cimarosti@icl.com
Date: Sun Dec 12 1999 - 12:27:25 EST


Chris Prately wrote:
>Actually, Marco's explanation is for Japanese only. Peter, you are
>describing a standard glyph variant for Traditional Chinese of IDEOGRAPHIC
>FULL STOP (U+3002). The Traditional Chinese style is to centre the glyph in
>the character box. The Japanese style is to place the glyph at the bottom
>left in horizontal layout, and upper left in glyphs rotated for vertical
>layout. The glyph does not need to move in Chinese vertical layout. The
same
>is true for IDEOGRAPHIC COMMA U+3001.

No, it applies to both Chinese and Japanese (not sure about Korean or Yi).
Both languages use both characters, for the same purposes.

1) CJK full stop.

It has the same meaning as Western full stop, but it looks like an *empty*
circle. In horizontal writing it is normally in the lower-left side of the
square cell; it does not need a blank after it because it already has plenty
white space on its right side. In vertical writing it is normally near the
top of the cell and horizontally centered or, alternatively, on the left
side. An alternative glyph, that is used in both horizontal and vertical
writing, has the mark centered in the cell. As you suggest, all this is true
also for commas (there are 2 in CJK) and most other punctuation marks ("!",
"?", "...", ";", ":", etc.).

--Encoding--. Definitely seems to me that it should be U+3002 (IDEOGRAPHIC
FULL STOP). If Peter wants his font to be usable in both vertical and
horizontal layout, he could decide to center the glyph in the cell. However
this centered form is quite obsolete, especially in horizontal writing. The
best thing, if possible, would be two have two contextual glyphs: one
vertical (top, centered) and one horizontal (bottom, left). Same applies for
commas and other punctuation.

2) Dot-like hyphen, or raised dot.

It is used to separate words in foreign person and place names (as CJK
scripts use no spaces between words). This is a *filled* circle and is
*always* in the center of the cell, regardless that the text is horizontal
or vertical.

--Encoding--. Both U+00B7 (MIDDLE DOT) and U+30FB (KATAKANA MIDDLE DOT) seem
reasonable candidates. However, in an average CJK font, U+00B7 would be
half-width, so it would not be a handy choice (BTW, how does Unicode define
this character now? Narrow, wide or ambiguous?). Moreover, the semantics and
history of U+00B7 is totally unrelated with far eastern script (I for one
tend to see it as a Catalan diacritic mark, as seen in the name of one of
the most famous streets in Barcelona, the Avenida Parallel). I would rather
suggest U+30FB because it seems to have exactly the required semantics,
despite its misleading name, and despite the fact that it has been put in
the katakana block, rather than in CJK Symbols and Punctuation, where it
logically belonged.

Chris Prately also wrote:
>If you apply the right fonts to this text, you'll see what I mean:
>-oezEUR' (Japanese, display in Japanese Mincho)
>oe<EUR' (Traditional Chinese, display in Ming Li)
>The katakana middle dot is a Japanese thing unrelated to what you are
seeing
>in those Chinese documents.

What I see in these two string is the CJK full stop. I thought that Peter's
question was rather more about the other character being discussed.

If my email does not kill the poor characters before they reach you, see
examples of "dot-like hyphens" (or KATAKANA MIDDLE DOTs) as they would be
actually used in Chinese and Japanese to transliterate a Western name and
surname ("Marco Cimarosti", in this case :-)

- Chinese (simplified): ???????? (Make Qimaluositi)
- Japanese (katakana): ?????????? (Maako Timarosutei)

Ciao. Marco



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