RE: EA width, Latin punctuation and fonts

Date: Mon Dec 13 1999 - 07:59:28 EST

... Update about the Chinese "dot-like hyphen" sign...

The character we were talking about is 0x2124 in GB. I could finally peek in (my web
connection was kaputt yesterday), and it actually maps to Unicode U+30FB

        # Name: GB12345-80 to Unicode table (complete, hex
        # Unicode version: 1.1
        # Date: 6 December 1993
        # Author: Glenn Adams <>
        # John H. Jenkins <>
        # Copyright (c) 1991-1994 Unicode, Inc. All Rights reserved.
        # Any comments or problems, contact
        0x2121 0x3000 # IDEOGRAPHIC SPACE
        0x2122 0x3001 # IDEOGRAPHIC COMMA
        0x2123 0x3002 # IDEOGRAPHIC FULL STOP
        0x2124 0x30FB # KATAKANA MIDDLE DOT

You can see some examples of GB 0x2124 used to separate transliterated
Western names and surnames in these articles from the Renmin Ribao

(contains several names of American and British movie directors and actors).

- (is a brief
presentation of the American history for the Chinese readers, and features
George·Washington himself!)

However, Microsoft made a different decision about the mapping of this
character: when I read these GB articles with Internet Explorer 5 (under Win
NT 4.0), it gets mapped to Unicode U+00B7 (MIDDLE DOT).

I also had a look at some text in Big-5. This article from the China Times
(Taiwan) shows the corresponding Big-5 character:

(talks about Linux)

I was surprised to discover that it is also used as a decimal separator for
numbers (percentages), when expressed with ideographic digits.

The behavior of Internet Explorer is interesting here: the character is
mapped to Unicode U+2027 (HYPHENATION POINT), that is a third reasonable
candidate for our guy.

If I was in Peter's (or other CJK font designers') situation, I would take
the safe approach and map U+00B7, U+2027 and U+30FB all to the same glyph,
so that most Chinese text would display nicely.

However, mapping U+00B7 to a CJK glyph has the drawback that it necessarily
becomes a wide character. This is OK in many situation, but not when the
Chinese text contains occasional words in Western languages, especially in
Catalan. In fact, I would not like to be the Chinese publisher who wants to
typeset a tourist guide of Barcelona using such a font...

Ciao. Marco

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:56 EDT