From: Werner LEMBERG (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Feb 20 2003 - 05:01:13 EST
> The Unicode 3.2 text states:
> With Unicode 3.0 and the concurrent second edition of ISO/IEC
> 10646-1, the representative glyphs for U+03C6 GREEK LETTER SMALL PHI
> and U+03D5 GREEK PHI SYMBOL were swapped. In ordinary Greek text,
> the character U+03C6 is used exclusively, although this characters
> has considerably glyphic variation, sometimes represented with a
> glyph more like the representative glyph shown for U+03C6 (the
> `loopy' form) and less often with a glyph more like the
> representative glyph shown for U+03D5 (the `straight' form).
I didn't know that, sorry. Perhaps a small note should be added to
the descriptions of U+03C6 and U+03D5 (on page 374 of Unicode 3.2)
noting that change -- many people (including me) will miss the
> For mathematical and technical use, the straight form of the small
> phi is an important symbol and needs to be consistently
> distinguishable from the loopy form. The straight form phi glyph is
> used as the representative glyph for the symbol phi at U+03D5 to
> satisfy this distinction.
> The reversed assignment of representative glyphs in versions of the
> Unicode Standard prior to Unicode 3.0 had the problem that the
> character explicitly identified as the mathematical symbol did not
> have the straight form of the character that is the preferred glyph
> for that use. Furthermore, it made it unnecessarily difficult for
> general purpose fonts supporting ordinary Greek text to also add
> support for Greek letters used as mathematical symbols. This
> resulted from the fact that many of those fonts already used the
> loopy form glyph for U+03C6, as preferred for Greek body text; to
> support the phi symbol as well, they would have had to disrupt glyph
> choices already optimized for Greek text.
> When mapping symbol sets or SGML entities to the Unicode Standard,
> it is important to make sure that codes or entities that require the
> straight form of the phi symbol be mapped to U+03D5 and not to
> U+03C6. Mapping to the latter should be reserved for codes or
> entities that represent the small phi as used in ordinary Greek
> Fonts used primarily for Greek text may use either glyph form for
> U+03C6, but fonts that also intend to support technical use of the
> Greek letters should use the loopy form to ensure appropriate contrast
> with the straight form used for U+03D5.
Virtually all fonts I know of use the pre-3.0 glyph representations.
Sigh. Any suggestion how to fix this mess?
Thomas Phinney asks:
> So, if I understand correctly: this means you no longer think
> Adobe's glyph naming/encoding is in error?
I no longer know what I shall think. It really depends on how the AGL
names `phi' and `phi1' look like, and whether Adobe plans to
distinguish between pre-3.0 and post-3.0 Unicode mapping. If `phi' is
the stroked glyph and `phi1' the curly version (as used e.g. in the
Symbol font version 001.007), then the mapping is wrong.
IMHO, the decision to flip the glyph shapes was a shot into the leg.
But it's too late...
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