RE: How do I encode HTML documents in old languages such as 17th century Swedish in Unicode?

From: Alistair Vining (
Date: Fri Jul 05 2002 - 15:19:12 EDT

Stefan Persson wrote:
> I'd like to know the best way to represent 17th century Swedish on Internet
> web pages. There is a big problem in the current Unicode standard, since
> Fraktur letters aren't supported in any suitable manner.

You could encourage the W3C to include a generic "national-script" font-family in
CSS. Combined with language tagging this could deal with three cases (fraktur in
Germany and Scandinavia, the Irish national script and "Old English" / Blackletter in
England (?Britain) where printed material used the two scripts in parallel. I've no
idea if there are parallel cases in other scripts.

> It wouldn't be possible to use the HTML <fount face> command,
> because no Fraktur fount is commonly distributed with any OS.

And because it's deprecated, and because it's spelled <font face>

> One way could be to use the plane 1 Fraktur characters intended for mathematical
> usage

I think that's wrong: "The characters in this block are intended for use only in
mathematical or technical notation; they are not intended for use in non-technical

> and the combining "e" and "o" characters,

I'm not sure that's wrong, but if it were done at the font level, you retain the
ability to search for "ö" rather than o+combining e

> I seem to recall that I have seen web pages with founts embedded in
> the pages, would that be a suitable solution?

IE apparently has a share of 90+%, so if you used its technology you would have some
success, but the remaining 5-10% can be very vocal.


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