Re: (long) Re: Chromatic font research

From: James Kass (
Date: Sat Jun 29 2002 - 08:41:20 EDT

Doug Ewell wrote,

> ...
> On 2002-05-31, I wrote a response which ended "Respectfully, Doug,"
> except that I used William's code point U+E707 in place of the letters
> "ct." My intent was that everyone on the Unicode list, including
> William, would see "Respe<black box>fully," thus demonstrating the lack
> of interoperability of this PUA solution. Only users of a font that
> happened to contain William's PUA character would see the ct ligature,
> and I didn't think any such font existed.
> Much to my surprise, however, James Kass had modified his private
> version of the Code2000 font to include William's ct ligature at U+E707,
> and he was using it to read my message, so oiut of everyone on the list,
> he alone did see the ligature.

Sitting atop a rugged mountain peak in an isolated cabin during late
March after having just reclaimed this computer from a distant
storage facility, an effort was made to catch up on the hundreds
of e-mails which were sent during the off-line time.

One of the threads on this list concerned Latin ligatures. Casting
about for something constructive to do, working on Latin ligatures
struck my fancy. Several such ligatures were drawn and added to
the working version of Code2000. The OpenType table generator
and databases were tweaked to accomodate these new features.

These ligatures weren't assigned to code points. With OpenType
and "smart" font technology, code points for presentation forms
aren't required.

...unless someone wants to display them.

This system supports OpenType substitution for many scripts like
Bengali, Tamil, Devanagari, and so forth. But, OpenType support
for the Latin script is not yet enabled.

Time passed and William Overington published the Golden Ligatures
set. It only took a moment to assign existing ligatures in the font
to these unoļ¬ƒcial code points, so I did it.

> William observed that I had sent, and James had received, a ct ligature
> at U+E707, based not on any private arrangement but on our mutual (and
> coincidental) use of William's code point. He latched onto this chain
> of events as proof that end-user publication of PUA code points was a
> success, and named it "The Respectfully Experiment," despite my protests
> that the whole incident was a freak accident. (I think "ct" was the
> only one of William's "golden" ligatures for which James had provided a
> Code2000 glyph.)

Also "fj" and "ffj". IIRC, the balance of the ligatures in The Golden
Ligatures would be best suited for specialty fonts, like Fraktur.

This is a display issue rather than an encoding one. Unicode already
provides for the correct encoding of the "ct" ligature with the
ZWJ "character". Anyone wishing to correctly display the "ct"
ligature might need to use a "work-around". Substituting PUA code
points by private agreement is one workable method.

Right now, if someone sent me a file with c+ZWJ+t, the easiest way
that it could be displayed on this system would be to open the file
in a plain text editor and globally replace all instances of c+ZWJ+t
with U+E707 and then open the altered file in an appropriate application
with the desired font active.

This is one way in which PUA code points can be used in conjunction with
the ZWJ mark-up.

Best regards,

James Kass.

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