Re: No Invisible Character - NBSP at the start of a word

From: John Hudson (
Date: Sat Nov 27 2004 - 18:55:06 CST

  • Next message: John Hudson: "Re: No Invisible Character - NBSP at the start of a word"

    Jony Rosenne wrote:

    >>Jony, what do you think plain text is? Why should the
    >>arrangement of text on a page as a
    >>marginal note be considered any differently from text
    >>anywhere else *in its encoding*? Are
    >>you suggesting that Unicode is only relevant to ... what?
    >>totally unformatted text in a
    >>text editor?

    > Basically, yes. Except for the control codes in Unicode - spaces, line feed,
    > carriage return, etc.

    > To indicate formatting one uses markup.

    And markup is applied to what? Obviously, to text.

    It seems to me that the primary purpose of the plain text limitation in Unicode is to
    maintain the character/glyph distinction, so that it is clearly unnecessary to encode
    display entities such as variant glyphs, ligatures, etc. separately from the underlying
    character codes that they visibly represent in various ways. On this basis, I think there
    is a sound argument to be made against encoding an 'invisible letter', if there is an
    existing characters -- such as NBSP -- that logically and effectively serves the same
    purpose in encoding a particular piece of text. But it *is* a piece of text, however
    malformed it might seem from normal lexicographic understanding. It may not be a word. It
    may, in fact, be two words merged into a unit. But it is most certainly text.

    The idea that the position of such text on a page -- as a marginal note -- somehow demotes
    it from being text, is particularly nonsensical.

    But I'm now, as always, happy to hear alternate suggestions as to how things might be
    handled in either encoding or display. So if you think merged Ketiv/Qere forms should be
    handled by markup, perhaps you can explain how, so that I might better understand. Thank you.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    The Peasant of the Garonne, by Jacques Maritain
    Art and faith, by Jacques Maritain & Jean Cocteau
    Difficulites, by Ronald Knox & Arnold Lunn

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Nov 27 2004 - 18:55:50 CST