From: Mark Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Mar 13 2003 - 12:39:37 EST
This might be worth writing a Technical Note to start with; see
IBM, MS 50-2/B11, 5600 Cottle Rd, SJ CA 95193
fax: (408) 256-0799
----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank da Cruz" <email@example.com>
To: "Pim Blokland" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 08:53
Subject: Re: geometric shapes
> > I've got a few questions about the use of geometric shapes, like
> > squares and such.
> > Some of these look very similar to one another, and I don't know
> > which ones to use in which circumstances!
> > Are their any guidelines on their use?
> > Just as an example, let's look at the squares. These come in four
> > sizes: small, medium, medium small and (not specified). So my
> > question is, as a writer: which one of these should I use when
> > exactly? And as a font designer: what should they look like? Is a
> > medium square (U+25FB) bigger or smaller than a square (U+25A1)? Are
> > there any guidelines on how they should be positioned vertically,
> > relative to normal text? Etc.
> > The same goes for other shapes, of course. For instance, what
> > criteria exist for, when creating a text, choosing between U+25B6,
> > U+25B8 and U+25BA?
> > Are there URLs available shich discuss these issues?
> Block characters, as well as box- and line-drawing characters in general,
> are mainly inherited from character sets in which they were included for
> the purpose of character-cell graphics (e.g. on terminal screens,
> text-mode DOS applications, etc), and their use makes sense only in a
> monospace font.
> To my knowledge, the semantics of most of these characters is not
> anywhere, which leaves them open to misinterpretation, especially by font
> designers who are not aware (e.g.) that such-and-such a line must extend
> the edges of cell, so it can join up with copies of itself in adjacent
> to form an unbroken line. Or that the two lines of "lower left box
> must touch and bisect the top and right edges of the cell. And so on.
> In part this is explained by the fact that the original character sets
> which these characters were inherited were themselves documented only by
> tables showing the glyphs, never by a description of how the glyphs were
> be used, or line up. Only experimentation with an actual terminal
> (e.g. VT220) or PC code page (e.g. CP437) can reveal such things.
> The same concerns apply to some of the math characters -- integral and
> summation sign pieces, etc, but then the character's purpose more obvious,
> if not from its appearance, then from its name.
> For a bit more on this topic, see the "Supplemental Terminal Graphics for
> Unicode" writeup:
> for Unicode 3.2:
> - Frank
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