Re: A .notdef glyph

From: Thomas Chan (
Date: Thu Nov 07 2002 - 17:09:05 EST

  • Next message: Barry Caplan: "Re: A .notdef glyph"

    On Thu, 7 Nov 2002, John Hudson wrote:

    > At 13:07 11/7/2002, John Cowan wrote:
    > >Wouldn't the glyph for the GETA SIGN be suitable as a .notdef glyph?
    > >That seems to be just what GETA is for.
    > Aha! Thank you, I'd never noticed that before. I think the GETA MARK would
    > be ambiguous to a non CJK user, but I like the idea of the strong
    > horizontal bars very much.

    GETA MARK is also ambiguous to Chinese readers; an "M"-sized WHITE SQUARE
    or WHITE CIRCLE (or LARGE CIRCLE) are more familiar.

    I'm not familiar with how the GETA MARK is supposed to be used in
    Japanese, but I hesitate to blur the possible distinction between
    1) "there's a character here but you don't see it because the font is
    missing a glyph", 2) "there's no character here for you to see because
    what the author would like to put there is not encoded in Unicode", and
    3) "there is expected to be something here (e.g., a letter, an ideograph,
    etc) but the author doesn't even know what it is" (e.g., transcribing a
    tablet with broken pieces or paper with insect damage, or
    undecipherable/illegible source text). I don't think the distinction
    between #2 and #3 need or should be standardized at this level--it is up
    to a convention that the author should establish with the reader, as with
    any specialized notation--but there is certainly a difference between #1
    (author succeeds in writing but reader fails in viewing) and #2/#3 (author
    fails in writing). Given the current white box/rectangle (or other
    symbols) for notdef, if I see one of those, I really don't know if my font
    is defective, or if the author volunatarily put it there to signify

    Thomas Chan

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