Re: Latin ligatures and Unicode

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Mon Dec 20 1999 - 13:34:06 EST

Ar 10:10 -0800 1999-12-20, scríobh James E. Agenbroad:

>To me this seems analogus to the situation with Indic scripts (among
>others): An early, voted down version of ISO/IEC 10646 included a good
>many Devanagari conjuncts/ligatures. Subsequent versions have not, giving
>only the codes for characers and allowing rendering software to do what
>available fonts permit and users' needs require (assuming they overlap).

Yes, and I have argued in
that it is illogical that Devanagari has a mechanism for forcing conjuncts
and European scripts do not, but it is instead left up to individual type
designers to figure out and build into their fonts with complex kludges in
OpenType and ATSUI. Not that these technologies aren't powerful and
wonderful and good for fonts -- but they are not robust and reliable and
flexibly user-overrideable with regard to end-user choice.

Currently, we have (as for Devanagari) a prohibition on addition of
ligatures. But we have no mechanism for producing them, and it is
wrongheaded to claim that it's a feature of Devanagari worthy of plain text
but not so for Latin.

Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta **
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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