From: John Hudson (
Date: Tue Oct 29 2002 - 18:29:06 EST

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    At 16:34 10/29/2002, John Cowan wrote:

    >HEBREW MARK LOWER DOT: not needed, use generic U+0323 COMBINING DOT BELOW

    I'm generally in agreement with John about using generic combining marks
    when possible. From a font development perspective this can sometimes
    create problems in multilingual fonts, though, since the desired size of
    the mark might vary between scripts. For example, in the Latin script, the
    combining dot below is generally close in size to the dot above the
    lowercase i and slightly heavier than the two dots used in the diaeresis;
    in the Hebrew script, however, the combining dot below probably should be
    the same size as the holam and shin/sin dots above the letters, typically
    much smaller than the Latin form. Now, this is not necessarily a strong
    reason for separately encoding a Hebrew combining dot below, but is perhaps
    something for the UTC to consider in looking at Elaine's proposal. There is
    a mechanism within OpenType, for example, that would allow a specific
    variant of U+0323 to be automatically substituted as part of Hebrew
    shaping, using the Localised Forms <locl> layout feature and
    Hebrew-specific Language System tags. Support for this aspect of OpenType
    is being developed by Microsoft, but is not available yet.

    >diaeresis, lacks a name: not needed, use generic U+0308 COMBINING DIAERESIS

    As above, my guess is that this should correspond in size and design to the
    two dots of the Hebrew hiriq, which it likely to be smaller than the Latin
    diaeresis. Again, this is something that *can* be handled in glyph
    processing, but the UTC should consider whether they want to make this a

    Again, I offer these comments only as they might be useful to the people
    who have to make the decision. Personally, I think existing and imminent
    font mechanisms are most likely sufficient to resolve any display problems
    at the glyph level, so the generic combining mark characters should
    probably be used.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC

    It is necessary that by all means and cunning,
    the cursed owners of books should be persuaded
    to make them available to us, either by argument
    or by force. - Michael Apostolis, 1467

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