Re: Clones (was RE: Hexadecimal)

From: Gerd Schumacher (
Date: Fri Aug 22 2003 - 16:06:36 EDT

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    On Roman number signs

    Jill Ramonski scripsit;

    > I confess, I hadn't read ch14.pdf, and I probably should have done. My
    > fault. But I still believe that there should be something in the
    > machine-readable code charts themselves that says, of the Roman numerals,
    > "Don't use these characters - use the the normal Latin letters instead".
    > If
    > they really are there _SOLELY_ for round trip compliance with East Asian
    > standards, then, if I wish to put the year MMIII in a web page, I should
    > _NOT_ use the Roman letters. Furthermore, if I write software to interpret
    > Roman Numbers, I only need to interpret the Basic Latin letters, not the
    > Roman ones. My life as a webmaster and programmer is made so much SIMPLER
    > by
    > not having to use the Roman letters. I would really like it if these, and
    > every single other character which is "only there for reasons of round
    > ...

    In - I think, not only - German quality printing the Roman numerals and the
    related letters usually are not equal. At least the numerals got a reduced
    advanced width. Metal fonts usually had no extra Roman numerals punches,
    but the typesetters filed the punches a bit slimmer. The I, the V, and the X

    may also have connecting top- and bottom bars, the latters not necessarily
    at the base line. So you cannot say, they were simply cloned letters.

    Ok, this might be a matter of smart font technologies, hopefully available
    day in standard PC applications, but as there are code points defined for
    numerals, they are and certainly will be used in Latin script for a well
    understandable reason. Is there another solution for non smart fonts?

    In my opinion the advice, not to use these codepoints will not solve the
    problem. Actually there are fonts, containing very clearly distinct Roman
    numerals, for example the Titus Cyberbit font of the Titus project at the
    Frankfurt (Main) university.

    Gerd Schumacher

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