Re: Dutch IJ, again

From: Pim Blokland (
Date: Sat May 24 2003 - 10:11:08 EDT

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    Karl Pentzlin schreef:

    > Is this true:
    > "Dutch 'ij' is (besides its special casing rule) by no means more
    > 'single character' than e.g. Slovak 'ch'. It is encoded in
    > only for historic reasons (like backward compatibility).

    Well, in some ways, the ij DOES act like a letter. For instance, its
    titlecase version is IJ, not Ij. (That is, a word such as "ijver" is
    written as "IJver" when at the start of a sentence.) Encoding it as a
    single codepoint makes this easier to implement.
    (On the other hand, this makes the process of sorting less trivial.
    Sorting routines should treat U+0133 as two letters, much like the
    "legacy" ligatures U+FB01 fi and U+FB02 fl.)

    > In the era of automatic ligating (OpenType etc.), no Dutch
    > really needs U+0132/U+0133 or misses an 'ij' key on their
    > - Karl

    That is true; typing i and j is a lot easier than Alt+0307, or
    whatever method the system has for inputing it.. Besides, lots of
    classical fonts don't have an ij glyph.

    Pim Blokland

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