Re: Rare extinct latin letters

From: William Overington (
Date: Mon Jun 02 2003 - 13:19:10 EDT

  • Next message: Jim Allan: "Re: Rare extinct latin letters"

    Peter Constable wrote as follows.

    >William Overington wrote on 06/02/2003 01:06:25 AM:
    >> I am wondering whether the range from U+F200 through to U+F2FF is being
    >> by anyone for anything.
    >This is a nonsense question. It should never matter to person A whether
    >others are using particular PUA codepoints *unless* person A needs to
    >interchange with person B, in which case A and B need to agree on that
    >range if A intends to use it in interchaning with B.

    Suppose person Ai and person Bi are both people with an interest in the
    texts which contain these particular rare extinct ligatures.and wish to
    exchange documents, which they have keyed themselves, over the internet and
    view them using a package such as, say, Microsoft WordPad. I use Ai and Bi
    to mean some particular pair of persons A and B. You wrote never, so one
    counter example will disprove the generality of your claim. Neither Ai nor
    Bi has facilities to make fonts, so they need to rely on having a font made
    by a third party. They have a better chance of having a font to use if the
    characters are added into an existing font which already has many other
    characters in it, such as the basic latin alphabet and punctuation, so that
    only the rare extinct latin letters represent special drawing work, rather
    than the whole font. So, if they look at fonts such as, for example,
    Code2000, Gentium and Junicode and observe which Private Use Area code
    points are already in use within that font, then choose code points for the
    rare extinct latin letters which code points are not used in the fonts at
    which they look, then the chances of getting their chosen characters
    implemented in those fonts will be increased.

    For example, considering my own Quest text font. If Ai and Bi choose to
    place their characters in the U+E7.. block or the U+EB.. block, then I would
    not implement them in Quest text. However, if they place them in the U+F2..
    block, then I might well try to have a go at adding them in. I recognize
    that the lettering style of Quest text might not be appropriate to those
    characters and Quest text might not be liked as a display face by Ai and Bi,
    yet please allow me some latitude in this as I am trying to explain my
    thoughts without speculating about the thoughts of some other person who
    produces a font which might have a face design considered more appropriate
    to the particular application.

    So, bearing in mind my knowledge of some uses of the Private Use Area I
    thought that the U+F2.. block looks prima facie reasonable, in that it
    avoids code points used for Tengwar, for Phaistos Disc, for Ewellic, for
    golden ligatures and courtyard codes, while also avoiding the very top end
    of the Private Use Area. So, instead of simply sending a private email
    response I posted to the mailing list in the hope that the readers of this
    forum might like to help the process along of helping the gentleman be able
    to use those rare extinct latin letters which interest him, in a practical

    >Your question seems to be assuming the community of Unicode users at large
    can share agreements on PUA assignments,

    Well, surely they can if they choose to do so. Please note that I am not
    saying should, must, will or whatever: you used the word "can" and I answer
    about "can".

    > and in response I'd say that effectively you must assume that every last
    PUA codepoint is being used by somebody somewhere.

    I accept that that assumption needs to be made in generalized theoretical
    considerations, yet in a practical situation of trying to get a few special
    characters added into one or more existing fonts, it is highly relevant to
    know which code points are already in use and which are not already in use
    in a selection of fonts as that information can then be used so as to devise
    a Private Use Area encoding scheme for the desired characters which has a
    higher chance of being implemented.

    > (And I can assure you that somebody has their own usefor F200..F2FF.)

    Well, unless it is a secret or confidential it would be helpful if you could
    please say what it is, as that information could be used to consider whether
    a font needing both collections of characters would be likely to be needed
    for one particular document produced by an end user.

    William Overington

    2 June 2003

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