Re: SSP default ignorable characters, was: Variation selectors and vowel marks

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sun Apr 25 2004 - 20:19:41 EDT

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    Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya dot org> wrote:

    > I wonder if it would be possible to set aside part of the SSP block of
    > default ignorable characters as a private use area? These can then be
    > used for private use combining marks (which would have to have
    > combining class zero, but consistent ordering of PUA marks should be
    > the PUA user's responsibility), which would simply be ignored by fonts
    > which don't support them which is the best fallback for combining
    > marks. Or they could be used as private use variation selectors, dare
    > I suggest it?

    You may, but people might start calling you "William." ☺

    > I would suggest perhaps a block of 256 characters, which would allow
    > those who choose to do so to use this for some kind of invisible
    > annotation. Obviously these are not really plain text issues; but then
    > the point of a private use area is to allow people to do things which
    > are not standardised. I suspect that allowing this kind of thing will
    > be a good way of getting many people off the backs of the UTC!

    Instead of asking for a new block of private-use code points that are
    default-ignorable, why not define your private-use characters out of the
    existing blocks and define THEM as default-ignorable? You have every
    right to do so; it is the essence of a private agreement to give your
    PUA characters properties as well as glyphs. And if you say, well, this
    won't work because Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer and other tools
    and vendors don't let me override the default PUA properties, I reply:
    do you really think they will be any quicker to support this new PUA

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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