RE: Chess symbols

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Fri Jun 21 2002 - 09:33:52 EDT

Otto Stolz wrote:
> The meaning of plain text ought not depend on the usage of a
> particular font; hence, two-dimensional arrays are ill suited for
> plain text, as these depend on a fixed-width font.

My opinion is actually even more puristic than yours. :-)

To me, chess diagrams do not apply to text in general, including the textual
part of rich text. They are pictures, and the only proper way to insert them
in a document is in a picture frame.

What you did in MS Word was not much more proper than what I did with
Unicode art. That was not a real chess diagram, but rather a table with some
text in it, and the text happened to look like chess pieces. I could do odd
things with it, such as sorting the rows or askin the "sum" of a column...

Moreover, when I opened your document, I had Word in "reveal codes mode", so
all chess pieces appeared to me with an international currency symbol ("¤")
on their left side. It looked like a chessboard after an alien invasion...

The dingbats for chess pieces would not be valid "characters", according to
the basic Unicode principles. They are there only for roundtripping
compatibility with some older CJK character set which had them.

Those CJK character sets had these characters because they were designed on
the assumption (correct, for those day) that, on CJK computers, some
characters (hankaku = ASCII & halfwidth katakana) occupy exactly one "cell",
while all other characters (zenkaku) occupy exactly two "cells".

So, according to the original design of those characters, I can legitimately
assume that:

1) Those character only apply in a text displayed with a CJK font;
2) In such a font, two blanks will always take the same space as a chess

OTOH, according to more puristic Unicode principles, those characters should
not be part of any Unicode text, unless that text was obtained by converting
an old CJK plain text document to Unicode.

> However, the remainder of my contribution was really about Word's
> treatment of Unicode text; and that program does not carry the
> table structure over to the plain text, so you will rather get
> something like
> ♜

I used the command "Table / Convert / Table to text" before copying the
text. This command allows you to specify the character to be used as column
separator, and I specified "|".

_ Marco

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Jun 21 2002 - 07:53:09 EDT