Re: Uppercase variant of U+00DF LATIN SMA LL LETTER SHARP S ("German sharp s", "ß" )

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Thu Feb 17 2005 - 12:49:57 CST

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    At 07:19 AM 2/17/2005, Patrick Andries wrote:
    >PREBURG is the equivalent of small caps for me of Preburg. I believe
    >Unicode does not regulate small caps forms...

    Unicode does not regulate small caps forms, but I disagree with your
    analogy. There is a well-established typographical style called 'small
    caps' and that is supported by software with a small caps style in rich
    text, which is supported by high quality software / fonts in a
    typographically proper manner, and simulated by other software.

    The PREBURG example is foremost a case of a non-standard orthography,
    which has, secondarily, led to the need for a glyph variant. In contrast to
    the small caps, which is a common feature of Latin typography, this is a
    variant for an isolated character, used in a single language.

    Therefore, an approach that uses a standardized variant is potentially
    appropriate and should be formally considered. A standardized variant
    exists when some subset of users need to make a glyphic distinction that
    can safely be ignored by software when not supported. By its nature, it
    affects an isolated character.

    In contrast, rich text styles are typically on the level of a span of text
    or longer. In the PREBURG example, it is not clear where the natural
    length of that span would be. Is it a style that applies only to the , or
    does it apply to the entire word?

    For titles, there are often styles that transform the spelling of the text
    as well as set style attributes. For example, the document may contain
    "Preburg", but a title style would transform this to ALL UPPERCASE and
    then apply a specific font.
    Since the default casing does not work in this context, you would need a
    transform, one that does not change to SS. Given that, creating a
    specific transform that changes to FE00 followed by is not any more

    If Unicode were to adopt a special alternative casing rule for to FE00
    followed by (to be used based on user discretion) and define such a
    standardized variant, then the rules of the game would be clear for any
    software that wanted to support that feature and any user trying to create
    documents for that software.

    The effect on existing software would be limited to having to ignore any
    uninterpreted FE00, something that is (in theory at least) already a
    even though in practice, the occurrence of FE00 is very limited.


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