Re: Panther PUA behavior

From: Dean Snyder (
Date: Wed Feb 04 2004 - 19:42:46 EST

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    Deborah Goldsmith wrote at 1:20 PM on Wednesday, February 4, 2004:

    >On Feb 2, 2004, at 9:20 PM, Dean Snyder wrote:
    >> I hope Apple re-thinks this, because it makes PUA useless in plain
    >> text.
    >Doing font substitution on PUA code points was causing problems,
    >because we have found a lot of fonts have garbage entries in their
    >cmaps in the PUA, due to the implementation details of certain
    >font-editing applications (which use the PUA part of the cmap as a
    >"scratch" area).

    Did this cause real problems for users?

    >The system was basically picking a random font in many
    >cases. Rather than have a font substitution mechanism that picks a
    >random font, we disabled font substitution for PUA characters.

    But I suggest that that "randomness" can actually be controlled by users
    - by font installation or code point re-assignment.

    >I agree this causes problems for things like file names in the Finder,
    >but I worry whether that is an appropriate use of PUA characters. When
    >Cuneiform is encoded, all these file names will have to be reentered.

    I only use them locally and it's a trivial code snippet to automatically
    change them when cuneiform gets encoded, or even when going through
    different iterations of the repertoire as it approaches final status.

    By the way I only used the Finder file graphic because I thought it made
    a more dramatic picture. The real issue is in plain text content where I
    want to specify a monospaced font like Courier for Roman text and expect
    a proportional PUA cuneiform font for interspersed cuneiform. If I set
    the plain text file to the cuneiform font, I don't get to choose the font
    for Roman. See the attached image of an application I use to work on the
    cuneiform repertoire. It was much nicer when I could see the actual
    cuneiform signs in the sign column of the array ;-) And indeed, it's
    useless right now for some work.


    Dean A. Snyder

    Assistant Research Scholar
    Manager, Digital Hammurabi Project
    Computer Science Department
    Whiting School of Engineering
    218C New Engineering Building
    3400 North Charles Street
    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21218

    office: 410 516-6850
    cell: 717 817-4897


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