Re: Malayalam Zero - an error

From: John Hudson (
Date: Sat Apr 09 2005 - 10:17:30 CST

  • Next message: Philippe Verdy: "Re: Malayalam Zero - an error"

    Philippe Verdy wrote:

    > Would that still be true if there exists some legacy text in the
    > transition period, where a written number sequence like "85(1/2)" that
    > includes the one-half glyph ambigously means "85.5" or "850"?

    > In that case, this cannot be solved at the glyph processing level,
    > because this is subject to human interpretation. In that case, the
    > variant explicitly says that the one-half glyph is used, and probably
    > means zero, but for accuracy the original one-half glyph is kept...

    So you are worrying about people using the Malayalam zero character to encode '1/2'? on
    the basis that in *some fonts* the glyph for this character may look like '1/2'?

    A variant selector requires documentation, and anyone who needs to use it will have to
    have read the documentation. So why not just provide documentation that says 'Don't use
    the Malayalam ZERO character to encode the fraction 1/2' -- just in case there really
    wasn't totally obvious to anyone.

    Your solution presumes a level of encoding knowledge that is at odds with the problem it
    seeks to solve: the only person likely to use the ZERO character as 1/2 is someone naively
    selecting a character based on its appearance, e.g. from a character map or glyph
    pallette. Is such a person really likely to be familiar with something as specialised and
    particular as a variant selector sequence? Is this the sort of person who is going to have
    read Unicode technical notes?

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    A century of philosophy, by Hans Georg Gadamer
    David Jones: artist and poet, ed. Paul Hills

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