Re: Fixed Width Spaces

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Mon Apr 05 2004 - 17:38:14 EDT

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: Fixed Width Spaces"

    From: "Peter Kirk" <>
    To: "Mike Ayers" <>
    Cc: "Unicode Mailing List" <>
    Sent: Monday, April 05, 2004 10:35 PM
    Subject: Re: Fixed Width Spaces

    > On 05/04/2004 10:14, Mike Ayers wrote:
    > > The implication here is that plain text Unicode would be used
    > > for legal documents. Given that my lawyer would send me emails in
    > > highly marked up format, I find this very difficult to grasp. Is
    > > there any evidence that plain text is even being considered for use in
    > > legal documents?
    > Evidence attached - one of many such legal texts on my computer, nearly
    > all plain text only.

    I just answered to him with the same arguments: almost all legal documents are
    basically plain-text with no extra rich-text formatting, notably for the
    original certified version which gets archived on printed paper of good quality
    (notably for all those documents which need to be archived for decennials or
    even centuries, like civil identity records, some justice decisions, notarial
    acts, certified police records, notably for criminal investigations...).

    In many cases, those plain-text documents are even restricting the use of many
    typogrical effects such as ligatures, variable font families or sizes or styles
    or weights or underlining, and they most often prefer monospaced fonts,
    fixed-width spaces, line-padding with wildcard symbols (asterisks or dashes...)

    The use of style, if present, is most often restricted to only exhibit very
    precisely the modifications which were added to an original text, which must
    still be recoverable even on typesetted documents (these typesetted documents
    are uncertified copies, useful because they can be annotated or can be read more
    easily, but they are not the original....)

    The most important thing in legal documents is to contain words that have legal
    force, and not any interpretation. All words are considered equally important in
    the text, unless there's an _explicit_ indication that they don't. Use of style
    may add interpreations to the text, and interpretations of an original text (or
    even corrections of what may be a single typo) are normally forbidden, unless
    this tiniest correction is approved and signed as a _new_ original.

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