Re: [OpenType] Proposal: Ligatures w/ ZWJ in OpenType

From: John Hudson (
Date: Fri Jul 19 2002 - 21:44:31 EDT

At 01:56 PM 19-07-02, David Possin wrote:

>The proofreaders were a rare breed, I talked to them often. They were
>master typesetters with a degree in German linguistics. When I asked
>them which rules they followed I always got the reply there are no
>strict rules like those for Fraktur, we do what looks best in each case
>out of experience. I often watched them with fascination how they made
>ad-hoc changes turning text into an artform.

The experience and insight of such proofreaders would be very useful to
document, even if it is acknowledged that 'no strict rules like those for
fraktur' existed for antiqua typography. Documenting the factors affecting
the proofreaders' decision making would be invaluable, and could probably
provide a basis for a German hyphenation and ligation layout engine that
would, if not replicate in all circumstances the creative response of the
proofreader, at least provide something very much better than the current

Thanks for relating your experiences, David.

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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