ZWJ and Latin Ligatures (was Re: (long) Re: Chromatic font research)

From: James Kass (
Date: Sun Jun 30 2002 - 07:31:58 EDT

John H. Jenkins wrote,

> I must point out that for English (and a lot of other languages), the use
> of ZWJ to control ligation is considered improper. The ZWJ technique for
> requesting ligatures is intended to be limited to cases where the word is
> spelled incorrectly if *not* ligated (and similarly ZWNJ is intended to
> prevent ligature formation where that would make the word spelled
> incorrectly). The kind and degree of ligation in English is generally
> considered a sylistic issue and is best left to higher-level protocols.
> Thus saith Unicode 3.2.

Sounds like a giant step backwards from Unicode 3.0.1 (March 2002)
(see section "Controlling Ligatures")

This page clearly states that ZWJ is proper for controlling the
formation of Latin ligatures and even uses f+ZWJ+i as an example.

Unicode 3.1 (May 2002) uses the same examples:

Can you please point me to a URL for Unicode 3.2 ligature control?
This link (March 2002):
...glosses over Latin ligatures suggesting that mark-up should be
used in some cases and ZWJ in others.

Becuase of the reasons cited in that last link, IMHO ligature control
is best performed by the author of a document and ZWJ still seems
to be the most straightforward method.

Best regards,

James Kass.

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