From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri May 30 2003 - 16:08:43 EDT
From: "Jim Allan" <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, May 30, 2003 8:05 PM
Subject: Re: When do you use U+2024 ONE DOT LEADER instead of U+002E FULL STOP?
> John Cowan posted:
> > Not really, in many applications it will translate in one or more dots
> > just to create a dotted line (notably within layout processors for
> > publishing). This looks more like a "styled" thin whitespace, and
> > semantically it really has this value (the number of dots is not really
> > relevant).
> > For example I would not be shocked if a text using it was rendered with
> > a monospaced font, where the base line of the character cell shows
> > multiple tiny dots, that create a contiguous dotted line when multiple
> > U+2024 characters (one per display cell) are used to indent the text in
> > columns.
> > Of course with proportional fonts this character would display at least
> > (and preferably) a single dot. Any use of this character that assumes
> > it is a symbol consisting in a single dot aligned on the baseline seems
> > to abuse the semantic of this character, which is not a punctuation,
> > but really a styling character used instead of an "invisible" thin
> > space.
> Where is this behavior indicated by Unicode specifications?
> Such behavior appears to me to be a non-standard extension on Unicode,
> interpreting what Unicode classes as a General Puncutation character as
> instead a Formatting Character.
> Individual applications can do such things as they wish as part of a
> higher protocol.
> But I don't see how conforming aplications could assume this semantic
> for the character when reading in plain text Unicode or writing plain
> text Unicode.
> What then is U+2025 TWO DOT LEADER?
For me this one is a punctuation, commonly used to designate a separator between bounds of intervals like [0..1] (it is generally surrounded by a thin space on both sides with strict typography). It should not be used to create arbitry lengths of leaders.
The three dot leader is also a punctuation (normally not prefixed by any space, but followed by a large space like for the full dot). It should not be used to create arbitry lengths of leaders.
But the "one dot" leader should no be mixed with a full stop or a decimal separator, or an abbreviation symbol, or an ideographic full stop, or a bullet, or a multiplication operator, or other 1-dot symbols which have their own encodings...
The one-dot leader should have no other purpose than to be used in sequences of arbitrary length. The whole sequence of single-dots leaders like this forms a single token with the semantic of a word separator, where the number of displayed dots is not really relevant for the reader of text whatever is rendering style or fonts.
I just think that this 1-dot leader is used as a way to transcode within a single string what was initially a tabulation decorated by some markup system, but it has no other application, because unlike other punctuations the number of occurences of this character is not meaningful or could have varied depending on conversion constraints at the interface between rich text and plain text.
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