Michael Everson raised a very interesting question, which caused me to sit
and think about it for quite a while.
>At 08:16 +0100 2002-06-24, William Overington wrote:
>>U+E7C2 HOLLY LEAF (GREEN) SURROUNDED BY FIVE BERRIES (RED)
>As a "character", will this differ from HOLLY LEAF SURROUNDED BY FIVE
>BERRIES in its semantics? If not, then you are using character coding
>for a higher level protocol again.
Well, after some thought as to whether it would differ in its semantics or
whether it would not differ in its semantics, I realized that I had no
intention that HOLLY LEAF SURROUNDED BY FIVE BERRIES would be defined as
well. I suggested U+E7C2 HOLLY LEAF (GREEN) SURROUNDED BY FIVE BERRIES
(RED) as a test item, my reason being that the examples of chromatic
characters that had been discussed are rather special characters and I, and
probably others, would not wish to go around using them for tests in a
manner that would possibly be usage in an incorrect manner, so an ornament
that could be used in a general manner seemed desirable. Also, I felt that
a specific example and some specific colour suggestions might help get
I suppose that HOLLY LEAF (GREEN) SURROUNDED BY FIVE BERRIES (RED) would
appear in monochrome if a chromatic font were used on a platform which did
not support chromatic fonts.
I find it interesting to compare and contrast HOLLY LEAF (GREEN) SURROUNDED
BY FIVE BERRIES (RED) where colours are defined within the name of the
symbol with present regular Unicode where colour is not defined within the
name of the symbol. If a chromatic font of letters of the alphabet were
produced, the letter A would still be U+0041. Yet some symbols such as the
holly would probably need colour guidance, either in their names or in notes
in the code charts. I do not purport to have the answer to this, if the
technology of chromatic fonts can take off, then it is an issue that would
need to be resolved by discussions.
Certainly, this example works because two of the colours which I have
suggested as default colours are used in the name of the symbol. If two
specific colours were needed where they are not two of the default colours
which I have suggested, then I am unsure, at present, which way to proceed.
I suppose that it is possible that the encoding of the character in the font
could carry a colour specification with it so as to override any default
settings of the rendering system for that character, with a "strength of
assertion" value as to whether the override is merely suggested or
obligatory. The rendering system could then have a "strength of defaults"
value, with the arrangement that the default colours of the rendering engine
would be overridden by the colour specification of the character in the font
if the strength of assertion is greater than the strength of defaults, for
that character within that rendering system. The strength of assertion and
strength of defaults value could be an integer, composed of, say, three
bits, giving a number from 0 to 7. So maybe the marks from the manuscripts
would need to have a strength of assertion of 7 as they are obligatory,
whereas something like the holly symbol could have a strength of assertion
of 4 and a two colour capital letter could have a strength of assertion of
2. If a rendering system had its strength of defaults value set at 3, then
the manuscript marks and the holly would show in their specified colours,
yet a capital letter would show in default colours. These are just
examples, for perhaps a rendering system would have its strength of defaults
value set at 0 for normal usage and only be increased if there were some
problem with that.
25 June 2002
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