Re: Chess symbols, ZWJ, Opentype and holly type ornaments.

Date: Thu Jun 20 2002 - 13:32:45 EDT

On 06/20/2002 10:48:27 AM "Doug Ewell" wrote:

>> it would be best for me not to post details of my research in this
>> forum.

Don't despair, William. Just please recognise that many of us don't have
the ability to read lots of long posts.

>Also, as I have tried to convey before, many of us lead relatively busy
>lives and receive a lot of e-mail, and don't always have time to read
>through a post of 2,000 words or more. When it gets that long, it's
>better to post it on your Web site and send us an announcement.

Speaking for myself, my main frustration with William's contributions has
been with the length of the posts.

>> My understanding was that this forum was a place to ask questions of end
>> users of the Unicode system. I have done that. In this thread I have
>> interesting scientific questions.

And some of those questions have probably gone unnoticed by some or many of
the members because they have been buried in lengthy messages that didn't
provide enough motivating attractions for me to take the time to read them.
(Note that I've read Doug's message because my experience with his
contributions tells me that I can expect a good benefit : time investment

>>My understanding is that academic freedom is about
>> being able to hold unpopular ideas without personal disadvantage.

I don't think anyone has given you personal disadvantage because of any of
your ideas. I started paying less attention to your posts because they were
consistently very long and often revisited ideas that I either didn't agree
with or wasn't particularly interested in. There's nothing personal in

>> I feel
>> that the fact that I am trying to use the Unicode specification as it
>> rather than on some nudge nudge wink wink understanding of how some
>> feel that it should be interpreted is at the root of the problem.
>See, I think it's the other way around. I just reread Section 13.5 and
>I don't see anything about the character-glyph model or other policies
>of Unicode being suspended for the PUA...

My opinion differs a bit from Doug here. I don't see any problem if you
want to encode ligatures or presentation forms as PUA codepoints. I'm aware
that people still need to work with software that does not provide support
for the kind of processing assumed by the character-glyph model. But, I
don't agree with devising some grand scheme for everyone to encode
ligatures in the PUA in the same way. (I actually don't know if you
proposed that since your discussions of ligatures were ones I wasn't
interested in reading. I'm making assumptions based on earlier messages
that I did read.) If you want to do it, fine. If I need to interchange
documents with you at some point, I'll take an interest in your encoding of
PUA characters. Until then, I'm not interested. Not for any personal
reason. It's just that I don't have a need.

>> The potentially interesting question of whether an OpenType fount may be
>> programmed to produce a two colour display has not been discussed.

Did you raise that question? That's something I might have noticed if it
had been stated in a two-line post. But I didn't notice it, and I'm
guessing it's because it was in the midst of some 500 lines.

The question interests me because a while ago now I was amusing myself with
the idea of being able to do this kind of thing in Graphite (another
smart-font technology akin to OpenType) in order to emulate dual-coloured
Ethiopic manuscripts -- specifically, I was thinking of a way to handle the
paragraph marks that are done with four black dots interspersed with five
red dots.

Can an OpenType (or Graphite) font be programmed to do this? No. Should the
technology be revised to accommodate this? There's not a clear enough case
to warrent the increased complexity, I think. (But it would be possible to
implement, and it's still amusing to imagine doing so.)

>Such a
>> discussion could have either established that it could be done, or that
>> could not be done in which case perhaps some extension to OpenType could
>> produced for the future which could have that facility. If so, how
>> that facility best be produced?

That question isn't relevant until there is concensus that it *should* be
produced. I don't think it should.

BTW, I didn't see what reasons *you* had for wanting to control colour. If
it's just to handle different colours for squares and pieces on a chess
board, that doesn't belong in OpenType, even in amusing imaginings: it
belongs in markup. IMO.

- Peter

PS: As always, the opions I express are my own and not those of the
organisation for which I work.

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <>

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