RE: Proposal to encode dominoes and other game symbols

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Tue May 25 2004 - 05:23:30 CDT

  • Next message: Andrew C. West: "Re: Proposal to encode dominoes and other game symbols"

    At 23:30 -0400 2004-05-24, Ernest Cline wrote:

    >I'm not certain that a full 724 set of Dominoes is needed. In plain
    >text, the orientation of a domino would seem to be a matter for the
    >font to specify.

    Hardly. Complex display behaviour is expected for writing systems
    like Gujarati or Mongolian. It is not expected by users of
    Miscellaneous symbols.

    >The orientation becomes a concern only when the dominoes are laid
    >out as played, and that cannot be represented in plain text.

    That's not true. In the first place, the tiles if properly designed
    can be used in the same way as ASCII art is to make a layout (just as
    they were in lead type). In the second, orientation is also a concern
    when the tiles are used in text, as shown in Figure 1 and Figure 4.

    >If instead of providing all four orientations, no preferred
    >orientation or only a single orientation were specified, then
    >instead of 724 characters only 191 characters would be required to
    >represent the same variety of dominoes as the proposal calls for.

    We have discussed "glyph rotation" for more complex scripts like
    Egyptian and SignWriting, and it is generally agreed that we have no
    mechanism for causing such behaviour.

    >It might be better to consider encoding the pips for 0 to 18.
    >(either in addition to or instead of the bones themselves). Some
    >domino sets (as shown in the proposal) use different colors for
    >different pip values. With the pips available as Unicode
    >characters, it would be trivial to use HTML and CSS
    >to not only create the desired dominoes out of the pips, but place
    >them in any desired orientation and in relation to other dominoes
    >for play.

    I considered a smaller set. But I don't think it makes sense in any
    way that is user-friendly or practical in terms of the ways in which
    the characters are used. Orientation of domino tiles is significant;
    there is ample space in the standard for 724 tiles. Let's not make
    something simple into something impossible for a false economy of
    code positions. This isn't an 8-bit world any more!

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue May 25 2004 - 05:24:06 CDT