Re: Luiseño Character "S WITH STROKE"

From: Edward H. Trager (
Date: Fri Oct 15 2004 - 08:48:35 CST

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    On Thursday 2004.10.14 20:59:49 -0700, Doug Ewell wrote:
    > Clark Cox <clarkcox3 at gmail dot com> wrote:
    > >> The characters are "majuscule S with a diagonal stroke", and
    > >> "minuscule s with a diagonal stroke". This letter is used to
    > >> represent a voiceless retroflex fricative, which is distinct from the
    > >> alveolar fricative "s" and the palato-alveolar "sh".
    > >
    > > What's wrong with <U+0073, U+0338> and <U+0053, U+0338>?
    > The preferred approach seems to be to encode these precomposed
    > letters-with-diagonal-slash separately, and simply not include canonical
    > decompositions for them.
    > I think I remember reading that the rationale is that the decomposed
    > versions are harder for rendering engines to compose on the fly,
    > compared to letters with "ordinary" diacritics that sit above or below
    > the letter.
    > -Doug Ewell
    > Fullerton, California
      I find it hard to believe that precomposed letters are the "preferred approach"
      for encoding. Isn't this more like the "legacy approach" , not in the true
      spirit of Unicode in 2004 ?

      Is there any reason why I could not create glyphs for "majuscule/miniscule S with
      diagonal stroke" in an OpenType, AAT, or Graphite font that would then
      get used as the preferred glyphs when composing text containing the
      <U+0073, U+0338> and <U+0053, U+0338> sequences? Is there any reason why Chris
      Harvey cannot simply do this in his already excellent fonts designed for
      indigenous American languages?

      In this case my computer's font rendering pipeline
      doesn't have to compose anything on the fly -- it just has to know that a glyph
      is already present in the font. It would be no different, or not much different,
      than if I had a glyph for, say, an "ff" ligature where the sequence of two unicode
      values get mapped to a single precomposed glyph (in this case for a common ligature).
      Perhaps an expert on OpenType, Graphite, or AAT would like to confirm or otherwise
      expound on this thought?
      -Edward Trager
       Kellogg Eye Center
       University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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