Re: visible glyphs for U+2062 and similar characters

From: Michael \(michka\) Kaplan (
Date: Sun May 11 2003 - 14:40:13 EDT

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    From: "Jungshik Shin" <>

    > Recently I found some fonts have visible glyphs for invisible characters
    > (that I _guess_ are supposed to have no visual effect) such as U+2062
    > (the glyph for U+2062 is dotted 'x' inside a dotted box). With these
    > kind of fonts present, a bit naive(??) approach of searching for glyphs
    > in all the fonts on the system would turn the 'invisible' to the visible.
    > For instance, the following MathML snippet was rendered with
    > a visible glyph (&InvisibleTimes; == U+2062) by Mozilla.
    > <mi>a</mi><mo>&InvisibleTimes;</mo><mi>c</mi>

    Yes, you mentioned this in your mails from a few days ago....

    > My questions are:
    > (1) Is a font to blame for having visible glyphs for U+2062 and
    > similar characters. I think U+2062 and similar characters are different
    > from ZWJ/ZWNJ and other 'control' characters that do have visual effect
    > in such context as Indic scripts, Arabic script and expressing authorial
    > intent about ligature in Latin and other scripts)

    You did not mention specifically what font is doing this, which makes it
    hard to claim that a font should be "blamed" for anything. What is/are the
    font(s) and where did you get it/them?

    > (2) What's the normative (if there's such a thing) rendering behavior
    > of a sequence with U+2062-like characters? For instance,
    > does '<U+0061><U+2062><U+0062>' have to be rendered exactly the same
    > way as 'ab'? Perhaps, it'd better be left up to implementations.
    > Some implementations (typographic tradition?) may use different
    > kerning(?) or add a very thin space between 'a' and 'b'. Others would
    > just treat them identically.

    I believe you will find it in the default ignorable list. It should likely
    have no visible rendering unless there is some higher level reason for there
    to be such -- which gets us back to asking what/where/why/etc.

    > (3) Is there any way (IF it's allowed) to express the authorial intent
    > to render U+2062-like characters with visible glyphs?

    How can others know what is in the mind of people who developed a font
    without knowing who they are and for what the font was develoed?

    Ignoring the normative/conformance side of the question for a moment -- life
    is about dealing with things are they are, right? So any application should
    do what it thinks best and if a font works to supplant this then it is up to
    the app to either let the font do what it wants to or to keep it from doing


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