RE: Combining across markup? (Was: RE: sign for anti-neutrino - g ree k nu with diacritical line aboveworkaround ?)

From: Mike Ayers (
Date: Mon Aug 09 2004 - 16:10:50 CDT

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: Combining across markup? (Was: RE: sign for anti-neutrino - g ree k nu with diacritical line aboveworkaround ?)"

    > From: Peter Kirk []
    > Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 1:11 PM

    > If you really want nu followed by
    > a non-combining macron, Unicode has defined ways of doing
    > this. Inserting ZWNJ is *not* one of them, and I wouldn't

            I didn't propose ZWNJ. In fact, I didn't mention it, so I'm not
    sure what you mean here.

    > expect any kind of break or control character to have this
    > effect by default. The correct way to do this is probably to
    > insert SPACE or NBSP, or the proposed INVISIBLE CHARACTER.

            ...except that I don't want a space in there, nor can I use a
    proposed character.

    > And then of course there is the spacing clone of the macron, U+00AF.

            Possible. Do such clones exist for all combiners?

    > I wouldn't consider this a violation of layering. If layer A
    > has to split a string at a particular place because of its
    > own functions, that does not imply a break at layer B.

            ...if layer A is on top of layer B, then a break in layer A is, by
    definition, a break in layer B. Could I be using the wrong term again?

    > And it
    > is certainly a legitimate user requirement for a combining
    > mark to be in a different colour from its base character.

            Has this been accepted by Unicode as a requirement? If so, I'll
    just run screaming away from the issue.

    > What is the best way to represent that is debatable, but some
    > kind of markup at this point should not be ruled out in principle.

            Unicode has nothing to say about markup other than relegating
    certain behaviors to it. I had thought that coloring fonts was one of those

    > In any case markup cannot be allowed to break all intelligent
    > font features. Should kerning be broken because a particular
    > letter is in a different colour or underlined?

            Underlining (and bold, and italic, etc.) breaks kerning - "break"
    here meaning "causes a discontinuity in", not "causes to not work", because
    it forces a font switch, or, in the case of underlining, a change in the
    rendering behavior of the font in use. Color change is the only markup that
    I can think of for which it would be possible to preserve kerning across
    markup based change, and I assert that "people who change font colors
    midword" and "people who care about kerning" are two sets which do not


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