RE: Script Continuums (Was: Re: Greek glyphs)

From: Addison Phillips (
Date: Wed Mar 02 2005 - 11:33:10 CST

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: Unicode Stability"

    Doug wrote:

    Just as it's optimal to display Serbian in the Serbian local variant of Cyrillic script, and not the Russian variant.
    The question is whether you can use existing markup and CSS features to achieve the effect you want--and you can:
    <p xml:lang="sr-Cyrl"> ?????? ? ???...</p>
    <!-- Note: Serbian text not meant to mean anything -->
    Coupled with styling that uses a language-specific font:
    p:lang(sr-Cyrl) {
       font: 12pt yourFontFaceHere, serif;
       # and so forth
    If you need to access specific glyphs then perhaps using <span> tags to set very specific styling on the characters can help you. For the truly finicky, there is another W3C technology called "SVG" that allows both fine font control and precise layout which may meet your needs.
    Your original question/concern is actually a rather old (concern about Unicode) chestnut in disguise. When Unicode was first created there was concern that Han unification would lead to the distinctive Japanese style for drawing Han ideographs to be lost. It turns out that it is not a problem in practice because there are ample ways to select language-specific font designs for text that uses characters shared between languages.
    For plain text applications, you seem to agree that the characters you're talking about are not separate distinct characters, only separate distinct display (stylistic) variations (tied to language). There is emphatically a way to access this in markup (shown above).
    If you mean something finer grained than that, I'd be happy to learn more so that I can communicate with the CSS working group appropriately. A good way to have that conversation would be to join the mailing list (*please* do not copy this list on your communications with that one!) and raise the question of how to achieve this there.
    Some useful references:
    Where you'll find links to things like this:
    Addison P. Phillips
    Globalization Architect, Quest Software
    Chair, Internationalization Core Working Group
    Internationalization is not a feature.
    It is an architecture. 
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: [] On
    > Behalf Of
    > Sent: mercredi 2 mars 2005 08:54
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: Script Continuums (Was: Re: Greek glyphs)
    > Hi Peter,
    > I agree with you that:
    > > What is missing, apparently, is a mechanism linking HTML and CSS with
    > This is looking to me like the optimal, flexible, non-bureaucratic
    > solution
    > for everything I need to do.
    > Thanks,
    > Doug
    > Peter Kirk wrote:
    > > What is missing, apparently, is a mechanism linking HTML and CSS with
    > > the emerging technology of font features. Adding such a mechanism just
    > > might make what you want to do easier, but the lack of it doesn't make
    > > anything impossible.>

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