Re: (long) Re: Chromatic font research

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu Jul 04 2002 - 12:36:56 EDT

At 18:20 6/29/2002, Doug Ewell wrote:

>Font designers regularly include a glyph for U+FB01 LATIN SMALL LIGATURE
>FI. It has always been known, and obvious, that a user could access
>this glyph directly by encoding U+FB01. With the advent of OpenType and
>a smart-enough rendering system, the user could alternatively encode the
>sequence U+0066 U+200D U+0069 (f ZWJ i) and get the same glyph. (Or, as
>John Jenkins points out, if you have a Mac you can see this glyph simply
>by encoding "fi," without the need for the ZWJ hint.)

This is not Mac-only behaviour. So far I have yet to see a single OpenType
font that uses the ZWJ to produce ligatures: they all proceed on the basis
of applying a layout feature to regular text and affecting any sequence
(e.g. f i) found in the feature coverage table in the font. Ironically,
inserting a ZWJ in such a sequence is more likely to break a ligature than
it is to form one.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

Language must belong to the Other -- to my linguistic community
as a whole -- before it can belong to me, so that the self comes to its
unique articulation in a medium which is always at some level
indifferent to it. - Terry Eagleton

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