From: James Kass (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Sep 22 2004 - 14:13:20 CDT
Kenneth Whistler wrote,
> My recommendation, however, is just to pursue encoding of this
> as a symbol character and be done with it. Compared to the
> similar pile of stuff at 2460..24FF and 3200..32FF this one
> additional circled letter symbol would be a drop in the ocean.
> Or.... perhaps in this case, a grain of sand in the desert.
The copyright sign in question may well be suitable for encoding
as a symbol in its own right.
But, I'm still curious about COMBINING ENCLOSING CIRCLE. As it
stands, users can generate plain text ordered lists and so forth
using encircled letters and digits, as long as they are using Latin,
Hangul, or Katakana. But, they can't if they are users of other
scripts like Arabic, Hebrew, Tamil, Bengali, ... unless the COMBINING
ENCLOSING CIRCLE is considered valid for this purpose.
As D. Starner has pointed out, the font/font-engine "many-to-one"
substitution feature which works so well for Indic ligatures and the
like is exactly the same kind of substitution which would be needed
to render an appropriate glyph using ENCLOSING CIRCLE.
(Or, it could be just as easily done using OpenType glyph positioning.)
Some time ago, a new OpenType feature tag was proposed for just this
purpose. It was not accepted, perhaps because nobody is really sure
what should be done.
I'd expect COMBINING ENCLOSING CIRCLE to behave just like any other
combining character: it should combine with the previous character
(or character string, if the character string results in a single glyph).
If someone were to try to convert a Bengali text file made using
the "FancyU" font (which had Bengali presentation forms including
encircled digits and letters in the Private Use Area) to valid Unicode,
here are the options:
① Can't be done.
② Use a higher-level protocol (equals Can't be done in plain text).
③ Write a proposal for all these new characters and wait a few years.
④ Use the COMBINING ENCLOSING CIRCLE.
⑤ Mung the text by substituting normal digits/letters.
My choice would be circled-digit-four ( 4⃝ ). Let the character live up
to its name. What use is a combining enclosing circle which doesn't
combine and enclose?
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