Re: RE: Character identities

From: John Cowan (
Date: Wed Oct 30 2002 - 07:08:33 EST

  • Next message: Mark Davis: "Re: New Charakter Proposal"

    Jim Allan scripsit:

    > There has never been anything wrong with using a hack when required for
    > a task at hand. But hacks of this kind that, if followed up widely in
    > many fonts in many languages, would produce a chaos of interpretations
    > and numerous fonts only suited for particular languages, filtering the
    > text and not presenting what is there, without complex and otherwise
    > unnecessary tagging.

    You talk as if what font was used was utterly beyond the author's control.
    This may be true in some browsers and email programs, but most environments
    in which text is presented allow authors to select fonts. If I find your
    Suetterlin font unreadable, however, and switch to an Antiqua font to
    read your German, I expect to find the text littered with diaereses, not
    macrons, although the Suetterlin umlaut-mark looks pretty much like a

    In addition, there is nothing wrong with per-language fonts, and fine
    typography pretty much demands them. A high-end English font should
    provide the fi-ligature automatically when the sequence "fi" is
    presented to it (but not if it is a monowidth font). But no
    Turkish font, high or low, should ever encode this ligature.
    Likewise the well-worn example of O WITH ACUTE, which will look
    quite different in a proper Spanish font from a proper Polish font.
    Japanese typography demands that ideographs be rendered Japanese-style,
    even if the language is Chinese.

    Full-Unicode megafonts invariably involve compromises.

    John Cowan
    "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on
    the shoulders of giants."
            --Isaac Newton

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Oct 30 2002 - 07:56:19 EST