RE: Character identities

From: Kent Karlsson (
Date: Thu Oct 24 2002 - 14:02:39 EDT

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Character identities"

    > Kent Karlsson wrote:
    > > And it is easy for Joe User to make a simple (visual...)
    > > substitution cipher by just swiching to a font with the
    > > glyphs for letters (etc.) permuted. Sure! I think it
    > > would be a bad idea to call it a "Unicode font" though...
    > > (That it technically may have a "unicode cmap" is beside
    > > my point.)
    > The only meaning that I can attach to the expression "Unicode
    > font" is a
    > pan-Unicode font: a font which covers all the scripts in Unicode.
    > If this is what you mean,

    No. (No current font technology can handle that b.t.w., them
    having a limit of 64 Ki glyphs...; you'd need to one way or
    another coalesce several fonts. Or do something very neat
    for CJK...)

    > But if by "Unicode font" you just mean a font which is
    > compliant with the
    > Unicode standard, but only supports one or more of the
    > scripts,

    Yes, including that the glyphs are "recognisably correct"
    for the given characters.

    > then *any* font having a unicode cmap is a Unicode font.

    No, not if the glyps (for the "supported characters") are
    inappropriate for the characters given.

    > In this sense, what is or is not appropriate depends on the
    > font's style and
    > targeted usages and languages: there are fonts which don't
    > have dots over
    > "i" and "j";

    You have a slight point there, but those are not intended for
    running text. And I'm hesitant to label them "Unicode fonts".

    > fonts where U+0059 and U+03A5 look different;

    Of course, those aren't even in the same script (though they are

    > fonts where
    > U+0061, U+0251, U+03B1 and U+FF41 look identical;


    > fonts where capital and small letters look identical...

    If you want small caps, or capitals, via the font, yes.
    (But that should not be the default 'mode', should it?)

    > Why can't there be a Fraktur font where "" and "a^e" look
    > identical, if

    "" and "a^e" look different even in Fraktur... Maybe the use
    of "" in Fraktur is a beast, but that is beside my point.

    > this is appropriate for that typographical style and for the
    > usages and languages intended for the font?

    Of course you can have such a font. You can have any font
    you like. But I would not label it a Unicode font (regardless
    if there is a Unicode cmap, in a particular subset of font
    technologies, or not; bugs nothwithstanding). Talking about
    this particular subset of font technologies, maybe interested
    parties (not me) should lobby for a new font feature for this.
    But do you really want a font feature for this? Is it worth
    the cost? (I'd just do some global substitutions; or put that
    in a little special-purpose utility somewhere.)

                    /Kent K

    > Ciao.
    > Marco

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