Character identities

From: David Starner (
Date: Wed Oct 23 2002 - 13:00:42 EDT

  • Next message: Stefan Persson: "Re: Character identities"

    I have several questions about character identities.

    First, is it compliant with Unicode for an Antiqua font to use an s
    glyph for ſ (U+017F)? It makes switching between Antiqua and Fraktur
    fonts possible, and it is arguably the glyph given to the middle s in
    modern Antiqua fonts.

    Likewise, ä is printed as a with e above in old texts.* Would it be
    acceptable to make a font with a a^e glyph for ä? It's not even changing
    the meaning of the character in any way.

    (I suspect the answer is it's not technically complaint, but nobody

    (To my surprise, I came across a text from 1920 that used the e-above
    instead of a diearsis. The only other texts I've see with this date
    before 1810. It was "Islands Kultur zur Wikingerzeit" by Felix Niedner,
    in the series (?) "Thule: Altnordische Dichtung und Prosa", which leads
    me to believe, based off my limited German, that it's a deliberate
    anacronism. Right?)

    As a third case, I looked briefly at information and advocacy of the
    duodecimal system. Chi and epsilon have been used as glyphs for 10 and
    11, as well as an upside-down 2 and 3, a chi and reversed pound symbol
    (? I'd need at that one again . . .) and * and #. Unified, they might a
    proposal here, if someone still cares enough to make it. Would it be
    unreasonable to unify them? There's quite a disparity in glyphs, but not
    much argument against them all being the same character, and I don't
    think there's anyone wanting to make the distinction.

    David Starner -
    Great is the battle-god, great, and his kingdom--
    A field where a thousand corpses lie. 
      -- Stephen Crane, "War is Kind"

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