Re: Combining across markup?

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Wed Aug 11 2004 - 10:55:25 CDT

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    On 11/08/2004 15:27, Doug Ewell wrote:

    >... Peter's two combining marks, a black
    >one in the actual manuscript and a red one added by the editor, sounds
    >less like a problem that Unicode or W3C need to worry about.

    I agree that it is not a problem for Unicode. But I do think it is a
    potential problem for W3C if the latter aims to represent how people
    actually display text.

    As another example, there was a discussion on the Unicode Hebrew list
    not long ago of two combining marks, used in certain texts for variant
    forms of Dagesh and Sheva, which are distinguished from the regular
    forms by being larger and/or more bold, although used with the regular
    base characters. It was judged that they should not be encoded as
    separate characters, partly because the use is rather idiosyncratic but
    also because it was said that these variants should be distinguished
    from the regular forms by markup, e.g. by marking as bold or as a larger
    size. I strongly suspect that similar arguments have been used e.g.
    against variant sizes of accents, shapes of umlaut etc. But this markup
    argument fails if the standard forms of markup are unable to make such
    distinctions in combining marks when there is no distinction in the base
    character. This could open the door for a lot more proposals to encode
    in Unicode variant forms of combining marks.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

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