Re: Display of Isolated Nonspacing Marks (was Re: Questions on ZWNBS...)

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Wed Aug 06 2003 - 17:03:56 EDT

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    Peter Kirk <peter dot r dot kirk at ntlworld dot com> wrote:

    > Point taken. But when different fonts and rendering engines give
    > different results because the standard is unclear or ambiguous, that
    > is a matter for the discussion here. And when conforming fonts and
    > rendering engines fail to give the required results, that may also be
    > because of a deficiency in the standard.

    Or it may not. It may be a deficiency in the level of Unicode support
    afforded by the fonts and rendering engines. It may simply reflect a
    difference between your "requirements" and what the standard promises,
    and doesn't promise.

    > It seems that many rendering engines give to the sequence space,
    > combining mark the width normally assigned to a space. Is this
    > actually what the standard suggests?

    The standard doesn't say anything about width in this case. It leaves
    it up to the display engine, which is as it should be.

    > I have identified a need to display combining marks with no extra
    > width, only the width required by the mark. Should the sequence space,
    > combining mark do what I want, or shouldn't it? If so, this needs to
    > be spelled out so that rendering engines know what they are supposed
    > to do. If not, there may be a need for a new character. This is a
    > deficiency in the standard, not in the rendering engines.

    When the specific alignment of isolated glyphs is important to me, I use
    markup. I'm a big supporter of plain text, as many members of this list
    know, but the exact spacing of isolated combining marks seems like a
    layout issue to me.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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